Things Audrey Hepburn Taught Me About Style

Audrey Hepburn style

If you’re a regular visitor to, you’ll already know that I’m a huge fan of Audrey Hepburn and her classic style.

I know, cliché, much?

Clichéd though it may be to cite Audrey Hepburn as a style icon, however, clichés  become popular for a reason – and so, too, do style icons. Here are some style lessons I’ve learned from Audrey Hepburn…


I’ve never been particularly adventurous with style, and when I started fashion blogging, I became a bit embarrassed about that, and started feeling like I should be constantly experimenting, and “mixing it up” all the time. I’d occasionally get comments from readers telling me they wished I’d try something different every now and then, rather than sticking to the same kind of style in every post, but any time I tried to do that, I’d just end up feeling uncomfortable and self-conscious – almost as if I was wearing a costume rather than “real” clothes. Can you imagine anyone telling Audrey Hepburn her style was “boring”, and that she should start experimenting, though? Er, actually, scratch that question: people like to judge each other, so someone probably WOULD tell Audrey she should buy herself something more “on trend”, now I come to think about it.

Even if they did, though, I can’t imagine Audrey Hepburn would’ve taken that advice to heart, can you? Unlike me, Audrey learned early on that having a “signature” style is just as valid as constantly experimenting, and that one you find a style you like, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with sticking to it. Audrey Hepburn stuck to the same basic outfit formulas for most of her life – and you could argue that it’s those formulas that make her style so iconic: if she’d been constantly following fashion, after all, we wouldn’t look at certain items or outfits to this day, and say, “That’s SO ‘Audrey’!”, would we?

There’s nothing wrong with changing your style either, obviously – it’s all about working out what’s best for YOU – but the first and most important thing I learnt from Audrey Hepburn style dressing is that you don’t have to be constantly following fashion or changing your look: and what a relief that is!


During my “must try to experiment and follow fashion!” stage, I spent a lot of time thinking about accessorising, and layering, and all of those other things fashionable people do. I seemed to always been reading advice about how a statement necklace, or a spot of pattern-mixing would “elevate” an outfit, but the truth is, I feel happiest and most comfortable when I’m wearing something super-simple. Jeans and a t-shirt will almost always work for me, as will a simple dress with a great pair of shoes. What I came to realise is that while elaborate outfits, that have had a lot of thought put into them, can look fantastic if they’re done right, simple looks are ALWAYS stylish – maybe not exciting or innovate, true, but I’m not too worried about that – give me simple style, any day!


Well, ALMOST everything – and by “cigarette pants” I’m basically referring here to any kind of ‘ Audrey Hepburn style’ slim-cut pant, from capris to the classic “cigarette”. There’s just something about a pair of cropped black pants that always looks stylish to me – and stylish in that effortless, “I just threw these on” kind of way: which is the BEST kind of stylish, as far as I’m concerned. I can wear these with everything from a white t-shirt to a slouchy sweater, make them look retro or modern, casual or dressy, and I can never have too many pairs of them: thanks, Audrey!


I wear makeup every day, and have done since I was in my early teens. Left to my own devices, I’d spend a small fortune in Sephora – every single week.  Despite this, I’m no more experimental with my makeup than I am with my clothes: I pretty much stick to the same look, all the time, and while I’d love to be able to do all of the techniques I see on You Tube tutorials, I can never seem to find the time to perfect them. One thing I DO know how to do, however, is an eyeliner flick: that classic, Audrey Hepburn style cat-eye flick. And honestly? That’s all you really need. A cat’s eye flick and a slick of red lipstick and you instantly look polished, stylish, and like you’ve made an effort – even when you haven’t.


I get a lot of questions about the sunglasses I wear almost all the time, and a lot of the time, I get the distinct impression that the people who ask those questions are assuming I wear them in some kind of strange bid to look mysterious and glamorous, or something like that. Actually, the truth is a lot more banal than that: I wear sunglasses all the time because I have super-sensitive eyes, which start to water and squint even in conditions which other people would consider “dull”. While I wear my sunglasses mostly to protect my eyes (and stop myself developing REALLY bad frown lines from all that squinting!), though, I’m not going to deny that they’re another easy shortcut to style for me: a pair of over-sized sunglasses will hide tired eyes, dress up a dull outfit, and, like the makeup mentioned above, generally create an impression of “polish”, even if you’ve just tumbled out of bed and thrown on the first thing you could find. And, as you can probably tell, I’m all for that, so a pair of Audrey Hepburn style dark glasses will always be part of my closet.


…and the most stylish, too. Perhaps the most important style lesson I’ve learned from Audrey Hepburn comes from this quote:

“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” – Audrey Hepburn

Whatever you wear, it should make you feel happy, confident, and ready to take on the world. Clothes that make you feel uncomfortable or self-conscious, on the other hand, will NEVER look stylish, no matter how beautiful they look on the hanger, or how “bang on trend” they are. You know those times when you find yourself twisting and turning in front of the mirror, thinking, “Should I wear this?” The answer to that question is always NO: because the fact that you even have to ASK it shows that you’re not going to be comfortable if you do talk yourself into wearing it. That doesn’t mean you’ll look bad in it, necessarily – but it does mean that you’ll probably FEEL bad, and that will come across in your body language, and the way you keep tugging at your skirt or wobbling on shoes you weren’t sure you should wear. Remember that happy girls are the prettiest girls, so wear what makes you happy, and you’ll look a whole lot better as a result.

Oh, and P.S. – If you’re a fan of Audrey Hepburn style clothes, you’ll find a guide to buying them here, and an Audrey Hepburn style capsule wardrobe here.


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