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We're Living Vicariously Through Princess Diana's Impressive Party Outfits

Countless exhibitions, a plethora of books, and many, many a Who What Wear UK article all serve as proof that the world has an infatuation with Princess Diana's iconic style. This year, our obsession reached its peak thanks to Emma Corrin's flawless portrayal of The People's Princess in the fourth season of The Crown

It's clear, from the moment Diana stepped into the royal spotlight right up to this very day, all of her looks have been put under the sartorial microscope, but we can't find fault with any. Looking back, it's fair to say that she was one of the most progressive dressers of her time (not to mention lineage).

While we're besotted with just about every aspect of her wardrobe, be it off-duty or fabulously chic, it's Princess Diana's party outfits that truly set our fashion pulses racing, particularly this year, where our "party season" looks very different from its predecessors. With office nights out and get-togethers with friends put on hold, we're living vicariously through Princess Diana's excellent array of sequinned, bejewelled, and fanciful ensembles. 

That is why we've decided to archive our favourite Princess Diana party outfits in one place to serve as inspiration, albeit for next year, and as a reminder of what a style star she was. 

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Diana wears a black ballgown for her first official outing as Prince Charles's fiancée.

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Style Notes: For she and Prince Charles's first public outing since announcing their engagement in 1981, Diana opts for a black strapless dress by The Emanuels. Of course, the design duo would later go on to create her magnificent wedding dress. 

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Lady Diana wears blue frothy tulle to Claridges in 1981.

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Style Notes: On paper, blue and white polka-dot tulle shouldn't work, but on Lady Diana for a dinner at Claridges in 1981, it was the perfect choice. 

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Looking demure in a full-on Princess dress

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Style Notes: What's the use in being a princess if you can't dress like one? This ice-white creation looks dream-like set against her skin tone.

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Diana wears a deep blue velvet dress

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Style Notes: We don't know about you, but this midnight blue velvet dress, complete with on-trend lace collar, is precisely the sort of thing we'd wear today. Trust Diana to be ahead of the sartorial game all the way back in 1981. 

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Princess Diana in a red maternity gown by David Sassoon

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Style Notes: While pregnant with Prince William, Princess Diana held onto her style prowess in this scarlet maternity gown by David Sassoon. 

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Diana looks chic in spaghetti straps and sequins

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Style Notes: We'll be dreaming of sapphire sequins and spaghetti straps tonight. What a way to kick things off, Di.

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Making a case for one-shoulder ruffles.

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Style Notes: As if the one-shoulder trend wasn't enough, Diana embraced '80s fashion in all its glory with a ruffled neckline to boot.

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Red can be tricky to pull off, but Diana wears this dress with ease.

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Style Notes: Red can be a bold hue to pull off, but it's no match for Diana. See how she's pulled out the gold accent in her dress a coordinating clutch? Masterful.

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Princess Diana wears a pink gown and the Spencer family tiara while on a royal tour in Australia

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Style Notes: We don't know what we love more—the bow straps, or the Spencer family tiara. 

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Accessorising with a tiara and a wide metallic belt.

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Style Notes: We don't know what we're more impressed by—her glittering tiara or her wide metallic belt. Yes to the accessories.

Prince Diana Party Outfits: Diana wears a Margaret Howell tuxedo to attend a concert

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Style Notes: Princess Diana wears an achingly cool tuxedo by Margaret Howell while secretly pregnant with Prince Harry at a Genesis concert. Bravo. 

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Wearing a satin dress that wouldn't look out of place in 2018.

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Style Notes: Attending the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom premiere in a blue satin wrap dress. This look is so 2019 that we'd gladly wear it to our office Christmas party.

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Princess Diana has a very good hair day in 1984

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Style Notes: The outfit might not say "party," but Diana's new hairstyle sure does. 

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Diana wears a glittering dress for a performance of the stage show, Starlight Express.

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Style Notes: Sequins, bows, and metallic accessories—Diana pulls out all the party stops to take in a performance of the stage show, Starlight Express. 

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Debunking the myth that blondes don't suit yellow.

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Style Notes: Diana debunks the myth that blondes don't suit yellow.

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Looking glam in silver lamé

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Style Notes: Looking glam in silver lamé, we could swear we saw this exact dress on Matches last week. Diana was indeed a woman ahead of her time.

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Diana wears a Jasper Conran skirt suit

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Style Notes: This Jasper Conran cream skirt suit, complete with a quirky bowtie, is so, so slick. 

Princess Diana Party Outfits: When taffeta and velvet collide, this is the outcome.

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Style Notes: This drop pep-hem dress couldn't be more '80s if it tried—and that's precisely why we love it.

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Wearing bows, satin and a diamond headband.

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Style Notes: The diamond headband is grossly overlooked in the world of bijoux.

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Looking impossibly chic in a white embellished gown.

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Style Notes: One of Diana's chicest looks to date, this embellished one-shoulder dress is a prime example of timeless style.

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Dancing with John Travolta at the White House calls for something suitably swooshy.

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Style Notes: Dancing with John Travolta at the White House calls for something suitably swooshy—something we know all too well.

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Matching her bag to her dress like a pro.

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Style Notes: Diana proves that matching your bag to your dress is far from passé. 

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Casting her ballgowns aside in favour of a satin two-piece.

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Style Notes: The plunging neckline, the bright satin fabric, the crystal closure… This fabulous two-piece has Alessandra Rich written all over it.

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Diana experiments with mis-matched accessories.

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Style Notes: This dress is nothing short of fabulous—as are the mismatched gloves.

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Proving royals needn't adhere to the nude tights rule.

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Style Notes: Proving royals needn't adhere to the nude tights rule, Diana receives top marks for her excellent use of colour hosiery. Also, must track down taffeta opera gloves.

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Princess Diana wears a star-embellished gown in 1968.

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Style Notes: In our opinion, you should never need an excuse to wear opera gloves, but the opening night of The Phantom of the Opera in 1968 is as an opportune time as any. 

Princess Diana Party Outfits: The princess dares to wear a low-cut back

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Style Notes: This crushed velvet dress needs to be viewed from the back to be fully appreciated. Just look at that string of pearls. 

Princess Diana Party Outfits: This dress wouldn't look out of place on the Oscar de la Renta runway. Divine.

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Style Notes: This dress wouldn't look out of place on the Oscar de la Renta runway. Divine.

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Diana wears an LBD with glamorous beaded straps.

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Style Notes: Diana ensures her little black dress still makes a big impact by choosing one with interesting chain-motif straps. 

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Diana opts for a nautical style dress in her favourite hue.

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Style Notes: No '80s style album would be complete without a nautical-themed dress, but Diana's is easily the most impressive we've seen.

Princess Diana Party Looks: Diana looks elegant in a halter neckline for the premiere of Far and Away.

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Style Notes: Diana looks elegant in a halter neckline for the premiere of Far and Away

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Swapping her floor-sweepers for a lace suit.

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Style Notes: Proving she wears suits just as well as dresses in an elegant, ivory lace two-piece.

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Diana looks gorgeous in teal sequins.

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Style Notes: Back at it again in floor-length sequins, Diana kept coming back to the trumpet dress silhouette—easily the most flattering style for her figure.

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Finding her silhouette stride with trumpet-cut dresses,

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Style Notes: See? We told you trumpet silhouettes look beautiful on her.

Princess Diana Party Outfits: the epitome of regal in an embellished gown and diamond choker.

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Style Notes: Easily one of her strongest party looks, Diana never looks more stylish than when she wears cream embellishment.

Princess Diana Party Outfits: The gold buttons give this could-be Emilia Wickstead dress a jaunty feel.

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Style Notes: The gold buttons give this could-be Emilia Wickstead dress a jaunty feel.

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Proof that little black dresses are anything but boring.

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Style Notes: This would arguably become Diana's most iconic look of all time. Designed by Christina Stambolian, the dress was created for Diana three years before it received this outing in 1994. It's been said Diana was concerned it would be too daring. However, it would mark a new age in Diana's illustrious style history, and would swiftly become known as her "revenge dress." 

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Princess Diana wears navy Catherine Walker for the Fashion Awards in 1995

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Style Notes: For the 1995 Fashion Awards, Diana wears a navy dress by Catherine Walker, which she effortlessly offsets with a slicked-back hair 'do. 

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Diana turns heads in a lace-trimmed slip dress.

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Style Notes: That's right—Princess Diana was wearing slip dresses before anyone else. We bow down.

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Diana showcases her shoulders in a sexy halter neck mini dress

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Style Notes: One-shoulder, off-the-shoulder, halter… Diana knew the power of a sexy neckline.

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Matching her dress, shoes and bag with expert precision.

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Style Notes: Proof that little black dresses are anything but boring. Wearing a dress, shoes and bag in the same hue is the simplest way to make it look like you've spent hours working out to wear when, in actual fact, it only took two minutes.

Princess Diana Party Outfits: It pays to change-up your colour palette.

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Style Notes: We rarely saw Diana wear purple, but this look proves it pays to change up your colour palette.

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Diana looks incredible in her chic checked suit.

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Style Notes: Giving good suit in this double-breasted checked style. Simply switch the top-handle bag for a beaded pouch bag.

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Striking the perfect balance of sophisticated and sexy in a beaded mini dress,

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Style Notes: Continuing her penchant for embellished minidresses, Diana knows that sometimes less is more when it comes to accessories.

Princess Diana Party Outfits: A beautiful bejewelled mini dress, matching accessories and diamonds

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Style Notes: Wearing a beautifully bejewelled minidress, matching accessories and diamonds… Princess Diana's party outfits don't get better than this.

Princess Diana Party Outfits: Princess Diana wears a sparkling Jacques Azagury gown as she attends the Tate on her birthday in July 1997.

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Style Notes: Princess Diana wears a sparkling Jacques Azagury gown as she attends the Tate on her birthday in July 1997. 

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