Ever since her portrayal of the flighty yet fanciful Holly Golightly inspired women everywhere with her unique perspective on life — and breakfast — Audrey Hepburn has become one of the most emulated style icons in history. Often described as gamine, yet feminine chic, Hepburn approached fashion with a clear consideration of what worked best for her physique, what exuded her own unique style — and what was comfortable. She made it okay for women to surrender their heels for flats and replace skirts with trousers. Her low maintenance fashion philosophy made it easy for anyone to mirror her style.
It Starts With a Little Black
The black Givenchy dress worn by Hepburn in the classic “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” may be the first thing that comes to mind when you consider her style. The LBD — or little black dress — became the signature of Holly Golightly and the best way to mimic Hepburn’s iconic style. Beyond the LBD, Hepburn was also fond of black slim pants and black crewneck sweaters. To get her look, pick high-waisted slim trousers that end just at the ankle and pair them with her other signature item — black ballet flats. Add solid color full midi-skirts, plain white button-down shirts and striped crewnecks to completely Hepburn-ize your wardrobe.
Begin with the Usual Accessories
Accessories are a must to achieve Hepburn’s style. She favored the usuals — belts, sunglasses, headscarves, hats and, of course, jewelry. Slim, waist-cinching belts were her preference, as were oversized sunglasses with a subtle cat’s eye shape. Her headscarves displayed simple, mono or duo-tone prints and her hats were often oversized and sophisticated. Jewelry was simple and classic — a string or two of pearls and pearl stud earrings.
Then Go for the Unusual Accessories
Every so often, Hepburn would add something unexpected to her style — and so should you. Satin gloves, although not out of place when worn with a ballgown, certainly add a “je ne sais quoi” to the woman who wears them on an average Thursday afternoon. Hepburn also knew that crowns weren’t only for royalty, nor are bow ties just for men. Throw on a tiara with your LBD and a pair of oversized sunglasses. Or wear a suit with a bow tie, and finish the look with subtle makeup and a bold red pout. Audrey Hepburn would approve.
You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile
Confidence is key to making any look work, and Hepburn was nothing if not confident and secure in her sense of self. She offered a smile to everyone she met, and as a result, developed a reputation for tremendous kindness, optimism and happiness. To truly achieve Hepburn’s style, don a little black dress, pearl earrings and necklace, white satin gloves, oversized sunglasses, black ballet flats — and finish your look with a big, bold smile.
References and ResourcesWho What Wear: 12 Pieces For An Audrey Hepburn-Inspired Wardrobe
Babble: 10 Fall Basics For Easy Audrey Hepburn Style
Lucky: 11 Ladylike Style Lessons From Audrey Hepburn
The Week: Girls on Film: The Hidden Feminism of Audrey Hepburn