5 Iconic outfits from Queen Elizabeth

Despite the iconic clothing, there’s a complex past

These outfits are modern, fun, and in some cases funny.

It's been a week since Queen Elizabeth II passed away, and while her legacy means different things to different people, this is truly the end of an era. 

Hats off to the Queen as her passing marks the end of an iconic era in fashion.

I will say, anytime I saw pictures of her or news coverage, I was usually quite interested in her choice of colours and hats. I think the design and style of her clothing will live on, forever etched into the minds of many who haven’t known another British monarch.

Here are some of her most iconic fits:

Ms. Canadiana

Accompanied by a brooch, the Queen’s sleek white and red coat grabs everyone’s attention. The coat showcases a modern look while maintaining the traditional, modest style royals are known for. 

The red bordering adds a nice contrast and pop of colour to the look, while the white gives a cooling feeling. With eight buttons on the front of the coat, there’s a nice symmetry brought into the mix, which makes the design minimalistic but full. 

Red with a white border, the hat is basically the inverse of the coat. It’s seemingly woven pattern gives it some character.

Her coat sleeves are worth commenting on, as they’re a nice arm length, adding balance to the coat while maintaining practicality in a warmer time of the year.

To accessorize, the Queen went with her classic pearl necklace and earrings, keeping the look simple, yet very elegant and welcoming.

Bonus points for the Canadian colours.

Fur lining, ruby set

I think this is an iconic look because of the jewellery alone.

Here, the Queen is wearing a silver gown with a lot of shine. Her gown is adorned with floral patterning, embroidered in a light gold thread. The bracelets, necklace, and tiara are from the “Burmese” ruby tiara set.

The jewellery has a colonial past as the diamonds of the Queen’s tiara were taken from India by the British empire, which is a stark reminder of the relationship between the British empire and colonialism.

After the crown was passed down through generations, it was then given to Queen Elizabeth on the occasion of her wedding. In this outfit, the tiara and ruby set add an interesting contrast to the fur lining the Queen has on her gown.

The silver seamlessly blends in, and there’s a nice continuity in her outfit. The handbag is a simple silver bag and blends in without grabbing too much attention.

Trench Coat

This look comes from Canada in the 1970s, where the Queen, accompanied by—now—King Charles, is wearing a classic, camel-coloured trench coat. 

The Queen’s coat goes over her arms and breaks the traditional style of trench coat sleeve design, allowing her arms to peek out a little. This detail allows for a nice balance between modernity and traditional design. 

The outfit is accompanied by a headscarf, a simple necklace, and a watch. The overall feeling of this outfit is versatility and comfort. Overall, this is a timeless look that can be worn by all age groups.

Flowers, flowers, and more flowers

So far, flowers seem to be a theme in the Queen’s clothing, but this outfit takes it to another level.

Here, the designer combines lime green, yellow, and pink in a very interesting mix of flowers of varying sizes. The Queen is hard to miss with this outfit, and she stands out with this calf-length dress.

The elegance of this outfit comes from the pop of colour and unique simplicity. The black bag and heels are a nice balance of colours and are a classic staple. 

The hat may be confusing to look at—but that makes it iconic.

The front of the hat gives it depth with the edges shooting off in different directions. The shape is a little bit peculiar, but the brim and top of the hat are symmetrical. Thankfully, the hat didn’t have more flowers. 

Regal and lots of fluff

This outfit gives Queen in every sense of the word.

It has a lot of fabric, and it’s nicely balanced in terms of colour but takes up enough space physically to leave an impact. The gown itself is a testament to the craftsmanship of the person who embroidered it because wow, is it intricate. Gold is the central theme of the outfit, with the shoes and bag matching. 

The highlight of this outfit is the fur “shawl”—it’s a whole blanket. 

Whatever it's classified as, this accessory adds a unique flair and makes the Queen look regal. It's surely the showstopper of the outfit. 

The Queen is wearing the Diamond Diadem, the primary choice when attending state functions of parliament. This is the Queen’s most recognizable crown since it’s on the banknotes of over 20 nations around the world.

Beyond the Outfits

Although these (totally iconic) outfits are fun to laugh about and remark on, it’s important to remember the Queen and British monarchy represent a lot of pain for people around the world.

For Indigenous peoples and many groups around the world, the passing of the Queen is a forced reckoning with a lot of 20th-century history—this includes, but isn’t limited to, colonialism, resistance, uprisings, racism, and modern independence movements.  

There are also many who are deeply saddened by the Queen’s passing and are deeply mourning the only monarch they’ve ever known. For many, she represented a sense of strength and stability, and many were inspired by her long reign.

Whether you choose to mourn Queen Elizabeth’s passing or not, it’s interesting to look at her fashion choices and, in many cases, analyze the cultural influences behind them.

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