Queen Elizabeth Is the Original Vintage-Frump-Chic Style Icon

In Depth

Sure, Kate Middleton has great hair and she can probably find the most tasteful item in Zara blindfolded. And in her day, Princess Diana was widely respected as the reigning monarch of Western fashion. But you know who doesn’t get enough credit for her style skills? Queen Elizabeth II.

Yes, these days she does tend toward the direction of Talbots. But if you peek through the archives, you’ll quickly realize that Queen Elizabeth II is a style icon for every underpaid creative type who’s ever spent a lunch hour combing through Anthropologie to find a rayon dress covered in tiny flowers that’s just the right kind of slightly-too-long. She was the Modcloth clearance section before the Modcloth clearance section existed. She is the secret progenitor of an entire subgenre of vintage style.

For instance, tell me you wouldn’t snatch those pumps (circa 1958) right off her feet:

(Photo by Victor Blackman/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Strolling Bermuda in a frock that’ll probably appear on eShakti within 48 hours:

Basic black is so basic. Alternative: YELLOW! With bonus pom-pom hat.

I want this coat and I want it yesterday:

Speaking of ice blue, this flawless picture of Her Majesty with the Apollo 11 astronauts is so perfectly late 60s I’m not sure what to do with myself:

On very serious Olympic equestrian business:

Do NOT underestimate her casual print dress game:

And caftans? Oh, she’s got caftans, too:


Look, to this day she’s reaching for the stars, stepping out in looks mere commoners like us would never dare. Queen Elizabeth isn’t intimidated by bright purple. She’s a goddamn queen! She doesn’t give a fuck!

All photos (except the first) from AP Images.

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