Long before Duchess Kate and Duchess Meghan made fashion headlines, there was Princess Margaret, the veritable style queen of the royal family. From those cinched-in waists of the fifties to her glamorous hair accessories and those fabulous Mustique-kaftans, her exquisite taste in clothes meant she was lauded the world over for always delivering a look. And with Helena Bonham Carter playing Princess Margaret in Netflix’s The Crown, the late Princess is more current than ever. She totally made a look her own, with royal fans copying her outfits the world over.
Here, we look back at some of the style lessons we can learn from the Queen’s little sis.
Royal fashion can be fun
That's right, royal ensembles needn't always be formal and 'by the rules'. We adore this cure fit and flare printed dress on Margaret from 1976 with her then-husband the Earl of Snowdon in the Bahamas. The Princess accessorised with a kooky baby blue hair bow, which we love in abundance.
Here, Margaret teaches us how to rock a chic daytime frock with a fun hairband. She looks so happy!
A silk scarf is a fashion must-have
Just like the Queen, Princess Margaret was a fan of a silk scarf. She was a little more experimental than her sister though, and wore one as a headscarf, knotted at the back or as a neckerchief.
Don’t discount a silk scarf as a pointless outfit addition though - it’s a useful power accessory you can use come work or play; wear one as a neckerchief with jeans and a tee or twist and knot it in your hair, like a headband. The uses are endless.
Pull together in pink
Wearing an all-pink outfit is bold, but Princess Margaret pulls hers together with a co-ordinating scarf and neutral accessories – and brights are in this season so take note.
Follow the same rules with a suit in the same shade for a pulled-together look.
Animal print is a classic
Along with leopard print, Princess Margaret loved a bit of zebra print in her ensembles too. She treated it like a neutral wardrobe staple, shunning classic camels or blacks for a leopard print coat.
Animal print has been a huge trend in 2019, so work it like Margaret and indulge your wilder side with an animal print shoe, shirt or coat. Experiment with the different patterns to find your style animal.
Always pack a kaftan
What is a beach holiday without a kaftan? You’ve Princess Margaret to thank for that handy throw-it-on summer essential – they became popular after she was pictured wearing one on holiday in Mustique. It’s a great addition to your holiday wardrobe, and can be worn as a cover-up for day or with heels and jewels for night.
The kafta and turban worn by Margaret in Mustique in 1976
Experiment with prints for eveningwear
It can be easy to rely on an LBD for an event or special occasion, yet Princess Margaret often opted for a pattern instead of plain shades. Polka dot, floral stripes, she wore them all.
Next time you’re planning a big event outfit, think about trying something a little more unexpected – you can keep the colours subdued if you’re not a print aficionado.
Become a hat person
Princess Margaret’s love of hats spanned decades, and she was very forward-thinking with her choice of chapeau.
We’re not just talking the standard-issue fascinator or wide-brimmed version that the royals favour today, but contemporary, modern and downright out-there versions. Go on, go a little Margaret with your headwear.
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