It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to one of the most influential figures of our time, Queen Elizabeth II, not only was she an amazing queen who led her country with grace and dignity for over 60 years, but she was also a fashion icon whose personal style served as inspiration for women all over the world. From her iconic hats to her impeccably tailored dresses, there was no denying that the Queen had a certain je ne sais quoi when it came to fashion.
A Life in Fashion
Elizabeth was born into a royal family with a rich history and tradition, so it's no surprise that she developed a love for fashion at a young age. After all, she was surrounded by some of the most well-known designers of her time, including Norman Hartnell and Hardy Amies. Hartnell, in particular, played a significant role in Elizabeth's personal style; he designed many of her most iconic looks, including her wedding dress and coronation gown.
Over the years, Elizabeth's personal style evolved along with her role as queen. In her early years, she favored youthful and feminine dresses with intricate details and feminine silhouettes. However, as she got older and assumed a more serious role as monarch, she began to dress in a more subdued and regal manner, opting for darker colors and simpler designs. Regardless of what stage of life she was in or what duty she was performing, though, Elizabeth always looked put-together and effortlessly chic—a feat that is not easy to achieve!
The Queen had an impact on fashion even though she may not have been considered a fashion trendsetter in the traditional sense of the word, there is no denying that Elizabeth had a huge impact on fashion during her reign. For starters, she was one of the first royals to embrace ready-to-wear clothing; prior to Elizabeth, most royals favored bespoke gowns made specifically for them by high-end designers. However, Elizabeth believed that wearing off-the-rack clothing would make her more relatable to her subjects, so she frequently wore dresses from British high street brands like Burlington Arcade and Turnbull & Asser. Thanks to Elizabeth's influence, ready-to-wear clothing became more acceptable within royal circles—a trend that has continued to this day.
Another way that Elizabeth left her mark on fashion was through her love of accessories. The Queen was rarely seen without her signature pearls and double strand bracelet (which became known as the "Queen Anne" bracelet), both of which have since become wardrobe staples for women all over the world. She also popularized other accessories like brooches (she owned over 500!), foulard scarves, and opera gloves—all of which can still be seen gracing runways and red carpets today.
A Timeless Style Icon
Elizabeth's keen sense of style earned her widespread admiration throughout her lifetime; even Vogue editor Anna Wintour once said that the Queen was "the best dressed woman in the world." And although she may no longer be with us physically, we know that Elizabeth's legacy will live on forever through both her amazing work as queen and through her timeless personal style. Rest in peace, Your Majesty—you will be dearly missed!
Written by, Nicole Wehner