Queen Elizabeth: Fun Facts About Her Wardrobe

Updated on October 3, 2019
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Margaret Minnicks is an online writer who writes about the royal family.

Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth | Source

Queen Elizabeth is one of the most recognizable people in England and around the world. She is also one of the most fashionable. Everything she wears has a significant meaning behind it.

She wears bright colored outfits so she can be easily spotted in every crowd. No other person in the royal family is allowed to wear the same color that the Queen of England wears when they attend the same function.

There are many other fun facts about what Queen Elizabeth wears. See how many of them you already know.

Not a Fan of Pants

Queen Elizabeth is very particular when it comes to how she looks in public. There is something she has worn in public only eight times. The 92-year-old monarch favors dresses or suits for her formal engagements and is known for her love of bright colors with matching hats and coats.

Queen Elizabeth wears pants during her private time, for leisure activities, at sporting events, or while she is on a holiday. Of course, she wears pants when she rides her horse.

According to tradition, royal women don't usually wear trousers while on duty. The Duchess of Cambridge follows the Queen's example and doesn't wear them that often during public appearances. The Duchess of Sussex has worn pants on many official engagements.

Bright Colors

Queen Elizabeth has a rainbow of neon colors so she can stand out in a crowd. She wouldn't be seen in a thick crowd if she wasn't wearing bright colors because she stands only 5 feet 3 inches. She said nobody would know who she is if she wore beige.

The Queen and her staff pay close attention to her surroundings when choosing what she wears. For example, if she is planting a tree during an event, she would not wear green because she would blend into the background.

Matching Waterproof Umbrellas

Did you know the monarch has umbrellas that are trimmed with the color to match the outfit she is wearing? They are clear so she can see and be seen when she carries them.

The $21 transparent Fulton umbrellas have handles and edges trimmed that also matches whatever she is wearing. All the umbrellas are waterproof.

Hats

Queen Elizabeth has hats to match all her outfits. Her milliner, Rachel Trevor-Morgan has special instructions for designing those hats. The brims must not be too wide to obscure her face. They must also not too tall. This is to prevent her from getting stuck when she gets out of a car.

The Queen wears each one her hats only about ten times.

Scarves

The Queen wears only silk Hermés scarves for sporting and outdoor events. They, too, match her outfits. She is often photographed in floral scarves instead of in a solid color.

Handbags

Her Majesty is rarely seen without one of her handbags on her arm. She owns over 200 Launer bags by the British designer. The minimal cost starts at $1,000.

According to The Telegraph, she prefers the Royale and the black patent Traviata because they have long handles that allow her to shake hands easily. Don't think the handbags are empty. She has some surprising items inside that she actually uses.

Gloves

The Queen is often seen wearing brushed cotton gloves that are 15cm in length. The washable gloves are from Cornelia James Ltd that has been providing the gloves since 1947.

She has gloves in different colors and she changes them several times a day. In the evenings, the gloves she wears are made of lighter nylon.

Shoes

Queen Elizabeth is not seen wearing very high heels. She always wears a practical heel that is 2¼ inch. She hasn't changed her shoe style in over 50 years.

All of her black patent work shoes have an added insole for comfort. She never wears tight shoes even if they are new. She gets one of her staffers to wear her new shoes to break them in first. This prevents her from getting blisters.

She wears the same shoes over and over and gets them re-heeled when necessary.

Brooches

The Queen of England has hundreds of brooches. She is almost never seen in public without one on her left shoulder. Someone carefully puts them in the same place on her suits.

When the Queen wears a particular brooch, it is not because it was selected without much thought put into it. She does not merely wear a brooch for decoration. Every brooch she wears has a special message attached to it.

Her many brooches have been given to her or are ones she has inherited. She has favorite ones she has worn more than once.

Handkerchiefs

The monarch has a strict handkerchief policy. She always keeps a fresh one in her handbag. During the day, she carries a plain white one with the Royal motif.

Recycling Outfits

Yes, Queen Elizabeth recycles her outfits because she is thrifty. Many ensembles are worn more than once. Sometimes they have been altered to look a little different. Her staff keeps a wardrobe log to make sure there is significant space between the wearings.

In order to stagger her garments, staffers keep a spreadsheet of everything the monarch owns. They name the pieces and keep notes on them to prevent her from wearing the same outfit or the same color so close together while on official duty.

For example, the turquoise and yellow flower ensemble that the Queen wore on tour in India in 1997 was worn two years later during a visit to Seoul, South Korea. It was not seen again until 2003 at the polo at Windsor Great Park.

Where the Clothes Are Kept

All of the Queen's clothes and accessories are kept and archived at Buckingham Palace. They are stored in boxes and cotton bags inside mahogany wardrobes with airtight doors.

The Queen's dressier clothes are carefully placed in special boxes that are labeled and indexed. Many outfits worn on special occasions are kept because of their historical value. Periodically her evening gowns from her 67-year reign are placed on display.

Some of Queen Elizabeth Fashion's Secrets

Extra Shoulder Pad
You have probably never noticed, but one of the Queen's shoulders is higher than the other. To get a balanced look, she always wears an extra pad in her clothes on the lower shoulder. Who knew?

Weights in Hems
To keep her clothes from being blown in the wind and showing something embarrassing, weights are sewn into the hem of the Queen's garments.

Sizes
The Queen's dress size has always been a secret. Only her staffers know the size of her clothes. Her clothes are handmade, so she doesn't need to pick a size from a rack in the store anyway. Her outfits are cut and shaped to match a mannequin made the exact size of the Queen's body.

12-Person Wardrobe Staff
The Queen has 12 persons on her wardrobe staff to make sure she looks great while on official business. Included in the wardrobe staff are three dressmakers, a milliner and four dressers whose job it is to help the Queen get dressed and undressed. All 12 persons are not needed for smaller events.

Say Yes to the Dress
Her Majesty prefers dresses to skirts. It is easier for her to enter and exit vehicles.
Dresses and blouses are made with three-quarter length sleeves to make sure they don't fall in her plate while eating.

Zippers
The Queen's clothes are made with zippers instead of buttons whenever possible. It is easier and saves time to zip and unzip rather than to button and unbutton during several changes in a day. This also helps her change clothes without disturbing her hair or makeup.

Dressmaker

Angela Kelly has been the senior dressmaker since 1993. She allows Queen Elizabeth to be quite involved in the clothes that are made for her. The Queen picks the fabric and approves all sketches.

One fitting session usually lasts half a day. To save time, up to five outfits are fitted at each session.

Old Clothes

People want to know what Queen Elizabeth does with all those clothes. She tends to wear her leisure clothes until they are no longer useful to her or anyone else. If more life is left in the clothes, they are sometimes handed down to others.

One of the Queen’s personal staff needed items for a fundraiser at a church. The Queen did not hesitate to contribute a few of her own day dresses for the sale with the stipulation to keep the original owner of the dresses a secret.

The dresses were of the highest quality from real textiles and expensive synthetics. After the event, the staffer returned the dresses to the Queen because no one wanted them.

Comments

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    • limpet profile image

      Ian Stuart Robertson 

      7 weeks ago from London England

      Norman Hartnell by appointment was the Queen's wardrobe creator from the Coronation onward.

    • limpet profile image

      Ian Stuart Robertson 

      2 months ago from London England

      Always garbed to perfection. Not a hair strand out of place. OH ! and the ubiquitous handbag.

    • limpet profile image

      Ian Stuart Robertson 

      3 months ago from London England

      Dame Mary Quant D.B.E. as well as numerous awards for Design.

    • limpet profile image

      Ian Stuart Robertson 

      3 months ago from London England

      When the mini skirt was introduced in the mid sixties, courtesy of Mary Quant, it caused a sensation. So much so that the Queen wore them occasionally.

    • limpet profile image

      Ian Stuart Robertson 

      4 months ago from London England

      ELIZABETH REIGNS.

    • limpet profile image

      Ian Stuart Robertson 

      6 months ago from London England

      God save the Queen.

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      9 months ago from Richmond, VA

      Tim, I like writing fun articles. I didn't know about the lower shoulder either and there is no indication which one is lower because of the extra shoulder pad.

      I was also fascinated when I found out her size is a secret, and she has a mannequin shaped like her body for fittings.

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 

      9 months ago from U.S.A.

      Interesting facts about the Queen, Margaret. I didn't know about her shoulders, and that was quite surprising. The last story you shared was funny: no one wanting the dresses. However, I knew about her preference for bright colors (or should I spell that colours.)

      She is a wonderful lady and I wish her long life and good health.

      Fun read, Margaret and informative.

      Sincerely,

      Tim

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