There is a photograph of Diana, Princess of Wales, taken in August 1997 during a trip to Bosnia. She is wearing one of the most utilitarian outfits she was ever seen in during her years in the public eye, and yet it may be the most perfect: a loose white cotton shirt – cuffs pulled up to reveal bronzed arms – high-waisted, stonewashed jeans, a tan belt and, out of shot, Tod’s loafers.
Diana took to wearing riffs on this ensemble during the 1990s. Often, she would add a tailored blazer in navy or houndstooth. The shirt could be replaced with a cream knit, or she might swap the jeans for chinos or jodhpurs (too elegant to save for riding – which she didn’t enjoy anyway).
It is a way of dressing so timeless and ageless that you are as likely to see it replicated now, two decades later, on a 20-something student as on a 60-something lady from the Home Counties.