Audrey Hepburn was the epitome of how glamour can easily go hand in hand with a casual look. She’s also considered one of the most iconic style icons and she continues to inspire generations for a simple, elegant look. Audrey was a style maker with the way that she dressed. In a time where heels were considered to be the only shoe that was suitable for wearing outside, she made ballet pumps a chic way to get around – all without the pain that heels can bring. Audrey didn’t just look stylish on the screens (think of the little black dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s!) she was also one of those rare people who always seemed to look fantastic and had her own style. She was poised and charming in equal measure and her beauty endures long after her. Many people think that 1950s style is being dressed up everyday, and always being preened to within an inch of your life. But that really isn’t the case. A casual chic look is easy to obtain and is perfect for everyday wear.
How to dress like Audrey Hepburn – the clothes
The key to Audrey Hepburn’s style and fashion sense is the simplicity. She would often be seen in ballet pumps, slim legged cigarette pants and a black roll neck sweater. Even in her films, she would ooze understated elegance. In Roman Holiday, a masterclass in how to wear a white shirt is shown on the silver screen with the pairing of a simple shirt with a tan circle skirt and flats. Her looks are effortless and chic which is why I love to channel a bit of Audrey’s style when out and about running errands.
Audrey Hepburn clothing – Cigarette pants
One look that Audrey Hepburn helped to bring into the mainstream was her cropped, slim legged trousers – often called cigarette pants. She would often wear them dressed up with a chic cashmere sweater or with a jersey long sleeved top when cycling.
Try to find these in darker block colours, gingham or tweed for Audrey Hepburn style.
When paired with flats and a string of pearls you too can look effortlessly elegant without dressing up too much.
Audrey Hepburn clothing – Black sweaters
First seen in Funny Face, the black roll neck sweater, cigarette pants and ballet flats is an iconic and cool look. It can be worn for so many different occasions too – from a day running errands or watching live music with friends this is one go-to you won’t regret having in your toolkit.
For a more casual take, a slash neck top to wear with your circle skirts and cigarette pants is a must.
Audrey Hepburn clothing – White shirts
Audrey Hepburn, as you can probably tell, was a fan of understated minimalism and would often wear entirely monochromatic looks with the odd patterned piece thrown in to break it up. The look of full skirt paired with a white button down shirt was first seen in Hepburn’s Roman Holiday and was popular from then on. Audrey must have loved how she looked – she would come back to this type of outfit in her personal life too.
Audrey would experiment with many different styles and fits of white shirt – from a short sleeved fitted number to a mans shirt try them all out with your other pieces.
Audrey Hepburn clothing – The little black dress
Who could forget the Black Dress? If you’ve seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s, you’ll know that Holly Golighty wears that dress. The Little Black Dress in the movie is one that Givenchy made just for her.
Audrey Hepburn’s signature look wasn’t just seen on screen, she would also wear them to any place you’d want to be dressed up at.
Look for a simple slash necked dress without sleeves in a solid black. You can have a simple sheath dress or fuller skirt – it’s up to you.
Audrey Hepburn clothing – Silk scarves
Another Roman Holiday look Audrey Hepburn took with her after filming stopped was the silk scarf tied around her neck. These are a fun way to add a little colour and pattern without ovewhelming your entire outfit.
Audrey Hepburn clothing – Ballet pumps
Salvatore Ferragmo first developed the ballet flat specifically for Hepburn, and you can still find new designs today – though they stray from the classic’s Audrey was so fond of.
You can find flats everywhere these days, and I am always fond of an alternative to heels for a day to day look. Try to find one that is plain and unembellished as well as being something that looks great with your circle skirt or cigarette pants. I like to stick to a solid black for a flat that works with lots of looks.
Audrey Hepburn clothing – Statement Shades
I love a big pair of sunglasses, and Audrey did too. She would wear them often – her favourites seem to be a cat-eye shape, but choose what suits you – just make sure they’re HUGE!
Audrey Hepburn clothing – Trench Coat
As with the black dress, Audrey Hepburn would also take inspiration from Breakfast at Tiffany’s for her outerwear too. You’ll think of her in the buff trenchcoat with headscarf and sunglasses if you’re anything like me.
As trenchcoats are a timeless classic, it’s likely you’ll find these on the high-street when the A/W ranges hit the shelves. Snap one up – I promise you’ll get lots of use out of it.
Audrey Hepburn clothing – Full skirted dresses and skirts
At the time, a circle skirt was considered to be the staple of femininity, so this matched Audrey Hepburn’s personality perfectly. As with the white button-down shirt, she would begin to wear a full skirted dress or skirt in her personal life. And, as she was petite with a nipped in waist, the silhouette only made her look more demure with that signature effortless elegance.
Audrey Hepburn style – the makeup
Audrey Hepburn’s iconic and strong brow is one of the things people remember most about her. You would be better off having these consistently as you’ll need to let your natural brows grow out to get the most authentic look.
The first half of the brow is quite thick and straight with it tapering off toward the edge of the eye. The brows are often blocky looking and are extremely bold and dark to help frame the eyes. Make sure that the arch starts over the pupil for a balanced look.
If your eyebrows are lighter or not as thick as Audrey’s fill them in with a powder and short sharp strokes to keep them natural.
Neutral and subtle eyeshadow
A natural and groomed look is key to channeling Audrey Hepburn’s beauty in an everyday setting.
Use shades of cream, taupe and light brown to gently emphasise your eyes. Having a subtle cut-crease helps to define your natural bone structure and work with your beauty – not against it.
By doing this effective make up, you will provide the illusion of having Audrey’s large doe-eyes.
First take your lightest shade and sweep right up to the brow bone. Then take a taupe shade and pat gently over the eyelid. Finally, take the brown colour and an angled brush to contour your eyecrease. Blend well to ensure it’s not too strong.
Cat-eye liner and lashes for days
Audrey Hepburn’s almond eyes became synonymous with the winged liner she would wear and the perfectly defined lashes that would flutter.
Legend has it that her make up artist would painstakingly separate each and every lash with tweezers or a pin after applying mascara to make sure there were no clumps.
To get Audrey’s eyeliner, use a liquid liner with a flexible brush. Look straight on into a mirror with your chin lowered. Look at your eye shape, and make with a dot where you’d like the wing to finish. For this look, don’t make it too long. I usually do mine at about a 45 degree angle from the edge of my eye to lift it.
Next, tip your head back so you’re looking down into the mirror and line your lashes staying as close to them as possible. Remember you don’t want it to be too out there – just something to flatter and emphasise.
When you reach the end of the lashline, stop and look straight into the mirror. Then join the end of the liner to the end you marked earlier. Then thicken the flick slightly remembering to keep to that 45 degree angle.
Pale pink and matte lips
If you love a pale pink lip and Audrey Hepburn then I have wonderful news for you. A similar pink shade to the one she wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s is still available to buy today.
Revlon’s Pink in the Afternoon is a matte shade which goes on smoothly. The colour pay-off is also good with a subtle pink shade on the lips. This shade is one of my favourites and is an essential for my casual make up looks.
Audrey Hepburn style – the hair
Audrey would lead the way in the 1950s with her pixie cut in an era where long hair was seen as the only option. This short cut with a side-sweeping fringe was perfect for her delicate gamine features and she often wore it slicked back or slightly tousled.
A pixie crop or pixie cut is usually half an inch to 3 inches in length. The fringe was the standout feature of Audrey’s hairstyles. She wore this side fringe throughout her life and during her younger days she would wear blunter, shorter fringes.
Although this look wasn’t the most popular in the 1950s and Audrey Hepburn was considered to be something of a fashion outsider, there’s something so effortless and simple when it comes to her casual chic look I simply had to feature it. These looks are perfect for slightly cooler days ensuring that you look wonderful all year through.