Iconic Princess Diana Fashion Revival Tops Black Friday Wish Lists Amid ‘The Crown’ Finale

Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana in "The Crown"

Retailers are bracing for an unexpected surge in demand for some key fashion items in the run-up to Black Friday. In the wake of the release of the final season of The Crown, Princess Diana's iconic style is experiencing a remarkable revival, with a recent study finding searches for Diana's fashion soaring in the United States. 

The survey by fashion retailer Boohoo finds trends shifting to the androgynous, sophisticated style Diana made popular. 

“The trend of office wear pieces worn as streetwear was a staple of Princess Diana's wardrobe back in the 90s and has re-gained momentum over recent years, making it now a primary feature of mainstream fashion,” says a spokesperson from Boohoo. 

They add: “The versatility of the two-piece means they can be dressed up or down and are a vital part of wardrobes as people are eager to own inter-changeable pieces. It is easy to see why shoppers are hoping to get their hands on a suit this Black Friday, as they'll be sure to be best-dressed this party season.”   

As shoppers across the country gear up for Black Friday, the demand for structured jackets and simple watches underscores the late princesses' lasting impact on fashion. 

How Peter Morgan Helps Keep Princess Diana's Memory Alive 

Since Google began tracking search trends in 2004, ‘Princess Diana fashion' has seen a handful of significant spikes in interest.

The first spike came in 2006, ten years after Diana's fatal crash. The film The Queen – written by Peter Morgan, creator of The Crown – was also released that year, for which Helen Mirren won an Academy Award for “Best Actress” for her role as Queen Elizabeth II. 

Internet searches for Princess Diana's style have spiked again, thanks to the debut of the first half of the final season of Netflix's The Crown. The term' Princess Diana Fashion' has jumped 1,150% in searches in the United States since last month – a clear signal Diana's influence isn't going away anytime soon.  

Season Six's first four episodes focus on the eight weeks leading to Diana's death and heavily feature the People's Princess. The season's cold open shows the moments leading up to the car accident, following a man walking his tiny dog through the streets of Paris. 

There's a brief moment of levity – a bystander begging his dog to go to the bathroom – before they're both distracted by a speeding car and the motorcycles and other cars chasing it. 

But from there, viewers are taken back to the beginning of the summer, following Diana through her summer vacation with Prince William, now-Prince of Wales and Prince Harry. The trio joins old friend Mohamed Al Fayed, owner of Harrods Department Store, on his yacht in the Mediterranean – a vacation heavily documented by paparazzi, Town & Country reports.

Princess Diana's Continued Impact on Fashion

Watchers of The Crown also see Diana's August 1997 trip to Sarajevo, Bosnia, where she meets with landmine victims. The show depicts Diana walking through an active minefield – something the real Princess Diana did in Angola in 1997 as part of her campaign to raise awareness about the continued dangers of minefields. 

Diana did visit Bosnia weeks before her death to visit with victims of the country's 1990 civil war, CTV News reports. She did not do a minefield walk during that trip. However, The Crown creators still wanted to feature the princess's bravery and how it was often overshadowed by tabloid headlines. 

For the minefield walk in real life, and in the show, Diana wears a simple, crisp white button-down shirt, yellow pants, and a wristwatch, essential items the study finds skyrocketing in popularity since the show's premiere. 

By the end of her life, Diana had grown from a shy young girl who wore conservative styles in line with royal protocol to a confident woman who knew what she wanted to say with what she wore. Eleri Lynn, curator of “Diana: Her Fashion Story” at Kensington Palace, tells Vanity Fair her wardrobe was how Diana was most comfortable communicating. 

“It is very surprising how little footage there exists of the Princess actually speaking,” Lynn says. “We all have a sense of what we think she was like, and yet so much of it comes from still photographs and a large part of that [idea] is communicated through the different clothes that she wore.” 

Gen Z Loves Princess Diana's Style

New generations are already drawn to the athleisure style Diana embraced at the end of her life. Seeing (albeit fictional) Diana on screen wearing similar outfits reinforces and normalizes the trend. 

“We love an outfit that promotes style as well as comfort,” influencer Stephanie Yeboah tells CNN. Yeboah adds that for her, Diana's clothing choices reflected a “growing sense of self-esteem” in her post-Prince Charles life. 

She says: “That growth in confidence being reflected in your wardrobe is something I resonate with immensely, being a plus size person and slowly seeing a change in my (own) wardrobe after getting the confidence boosts I needed.”

Like Gen Z, Diana was about taking risks. Lynn tells Vanity Fair the princess was the first royal to at least publicly wear androgynous fashion. “She was the first member of the royal family to be photographed wearing trousers to evening events,” Lynn says. “But she often teamed that with tuxedo jackets and bowties.” 

The look is mimicked in HBO's Euphoria Season 1 Episode 6. Rue, played by Zendaya, wears a tuxedo to a Halloween party, complete with a bowtie. 

Suits Top 2023 Black Friday Wish Lists

The study reveals that suits are the most in-demand fashion purchase for Black Friday among Americans this year, not athleisure. 48 states, including New York, California, and Texas, all have two pieces at the top of their wishlists, with Washington and Oregon both pining after blazers. 

“As the party season rapidly approaches, suits offer a fail-safe, on-trend look with minimal thinking, as matching blazers and trousers make a perfect addition to any capsule wardrobe,” says Boohoo. “They remain timelessly chic and dressed up with heels and a sparkly bag for your office Christmas party; workwear can easily be eveningwear. Suits really are a must-have for everyone this season.”

Consider what you want to communicate with what you're picking out. “You can truly make people afraid of you – or intimidated by you, or respect you, or whatever it is – through clothing,” fashion researcher Eloise Moran tells CNN. 

When Diana wanted to come off warm and inviting, Lynn told Vanity Fair she would wear “cheerful, colorful clothes” meant to be touched and lived in. “She didn't wear gloves because she likes to hold people's hands. She would sometimes wear chunky jewelry so that children could play with it, and she never wore hats to children's hospital after a while” because, according to Diana, “you couldn't cuddle a child in a hat.” 

Not ready to invest in a two-piece? Add a velvet blazer to your wardrobe this Black Friday. Diana-favorite Ralph Lauren has styles of this coat, as well as many other stores like J Crew and Banana Republic that already have big sales going ahead of the official kick-off to the holiday shopping season.

This article is produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Author: Nicole Tommasulo

Title: Lead Editor

Expertise: Travel, Podcasts, Books, Lifestyle

Bio:

Nicole Tommasulo is an experienced journalist and content creator with over 8 years in the field, currently serving as Lead Editor at Wealth of Geeks. Holding an MFA in Writing from the Savannah College of Art and Design, she specializes in crafting engaging digital content with a strong focus on travel and lifestyle topics.