Audrey Hepburn and Fashion

When it comes to Audrey Hepburn and fashion, you don’t need to have seen a single one of the star’s films (although you should treat yourself to a few) to understand why she remains a style icon long after her heyday. Like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Coco Chanel, she had a strong fashion sense that captured the imagination of millions of other women and continues to have an impact.

Understanding Audrey Hepburn and Fashion

Audrey Hepburn was a great beauty – tall and slim, with a pixie haircut that drew more emphasis to her strong cheekbones and big, dark eyes. She was naturally slim, not starved like so many modern actresses. Her grace was born of a dancer’s training and it meant that she wore even the simplest item of clothing with extra flair.

Simple was, in fact, the byword by which Audrey Hepburn lived when it came to her look. She favored clean lines and a slim fit in plain colors. Many of her clothes were inspired by the look of men’s wear, but it all had a distinct and absolute femininity.

The Little Black Dress

The first visual many people will have when thinking about Audrey Hepburn and fashion is of her iconic outfit in the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Wearing a body-skimming, sleeveless black dress worn with white opera gloves and accessorized with a big hat, sunglasses and a long cigarette holder, she is the embodiment of glamour. These days, a wise woman would forgo the cigarette holder and the cigarette, but the rest of the look is timeless and beautiful. She also wore some classic and elegant new look hat in some occasions.

Coco Chanel had originated the idea of the little black dress, that perfect item that every stylish woman had to have, and Audrey Hepburn showed women how it could continue to be worn to great effect in a new era.

The 1950s are famous for colorful dresses in bold patterns cut in wide skirts. The excess of fabric and femininity was a natural response to the forced austerity of the war years in the 1940s. But as the decade went on, artists and Beat poets embraced another look, which Audrey Hepburn then made world-famous. In a black turtleneck, black capripants and black ballerina flats, she was breathtaking. She first made the Capri and ballet flat look popular in the film Sabrina and it’s a look women continue to adore and try to emulate. In the 1950s, especially for younger women, it was exciting to opt for something so simple and elegant, rather than wear all the heavy foundation garments and layered dresses that had ruled the day till then.

These days, women often still gravitate towards simplicity. A good pair of well-cut capris will go with almost anything – you can even throw a dress over them. They have become a wardrobe staple, the only season in which they don’t work well is winter.

From Men’s Closets

Capris, flats and slim black dresses are the epitome of Audrey Hepburn and fashion influence, but long before Diane Keaton set new fashion standards in the 1970s with her own iconic looks in Annie Hall, Audrey Hepburn was wearing button-down men’s style shirts, first in the film Roman Holiday. Her easy look of a plain white shirt worn open at the collar and accessorized with a jaunty scarf became a sensation. It remains a great look today. A classic tailored button-down shirt worn with a scarf can be dressed up with a skirt or wool trousers and a jacket, or dressed down with jeans and a cardigan. Either way, it’s very chic.

The Boatneck Cut

The designer Givenchy developed Audrey Hepburn’s costumes for Sabrina and was immediately impressed with her sense of self and style. With her help, he designed the famous boatneck dress she wore so beautifully. For women with prominent collarbones, it’s a very flattering style.

To the end of her short life, Audrey Hepburn was all about sleekness and sophistication in fashion. Trends come and go, but the Audrey Hepburn style remains in vogue.

Five Most Iconic Audrey Hepburn Hat With Inspired Replicas

Hats – As we know, Audrey Hepburn was no stranger to style.  The first lady of fashion almost single handedly established the concept of dressing minimally to emphasize the female form, in a time where women’s clothing was designed to stand out and bare all (think Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor).  Her custom designer, Hubert de Givenchy, became attuned to her preferences for unique pieces that fit a certain standard for style.  She had preferences for the type of fabric, how it felt and how it fit.  No media personality since then has had such a definable style that was simultaneously so neat, minimal and smart.

That being said, the many suits, gowns and outfits of Audrey would be nothing without the accessories she paired with them. Most notably, Audrey Hepburn was a fan of hats.


Sure, you can question whether or not a tiara is technically considered a hat.  It doesn’t cover the hair and it’s not made of fabric.  But who are you, the hat police?

What is not debatable is that this is an iconic fashion statement that Audrey made her own.  The tiara is so fitting of Audrey’s brand that costume designers chose to feature the style in several of her movies including some of the most notable: Roman Holiday, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and My Fair Lady.

The tiara, a delicate but flashy piece of head wear, accentuates Audrey’s striking cheekbones and thin neck and jawline that so many designers adored.  Multiple styles of the tiara have been documented on the fair lady’s head, but all of them had some outstanding similarities: thin metal frame, covered in jewels, and as reflective as possible.  Without the tiara, the timeless image of Audrey as fashion royalty (and actual royalty in some cases) would not be the same.


This famous wide-brimmed marvel is responsible for some of Audrey’s most recognizable photographs.

The Chapeu du Matin was featured on Audrey in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, paired with her oversized sunglasses and pearl earrings.  This Audrey Hepburn hat has proven desirable for many women and to this day is considered to be quite fashionable.

The wide, curved brim provides contrast from the small, delicate features of Audrey’s noggin.  Her nose, mouth and chin come far from protruding out of the headpiece.  Adding to the effect is the overly long silk scarf tied around the hat’s base.  It contributes to an air of mystery and superiority when paired with her form-fitting alluring black dress, designed for her by Givenchy.  She certainly fits the part of Holly Golightly as she strides around Manhattan, seducing men without so much as a glance!  This one is my favorite one out of the all the Audrey Hepburn hats… i think it has a bold look but it’s timeless.


Fitting snugly on her spritely crown, Givenchy’s chiffon turban in Sabrina sparked a slew of inspired designs that are still in vogue to this day.  The delicate layering of the fabric and the low profile draws attention to the symmetry of Audrey’s features, and conveys both independence and sophistication.

Sabrina, unlike Holly Golightly or Princess Ann, is not a wealthy or royal personality.  When she is finally sent to Paris, where she is seen with the turban, she has achieved the role of cultured, desirable movie vixen.  The look is a staple of Paris fashion in the Golden Age of Hollywood film.  Fun fact: while the film’s costume director was infamous industry figure Edith Head, Audrey chose the hat and the associated wool suit herself! This was when she first met Hubert de Givenchy, the designer that would help define Audrey’s image for much of her career to come.  I believe this one is the most chic out of the Audrey Hepburn hats.


Okay, Audrey Hepburn actually wore many straw hats.  They varied greatly in size and style.

Perhaps the one that was most iconic is that which is featured in a portrait for Funny Face, the double-banded wide-brimmed straw hat that so perfectly frames Audrey’s.  She carries herself with elegant poise in the photo, channeling Princess Diana with her high chin and knowing eyes. Actually, Princess Diana would have had to be channeling her! With their shared enthusiasm for fashion, we can be sure that they would have had a lot to talk about.


The pillbox serves practical (NOT as a box for pills) as a comfortable hat for women who wear their hair up, as Audrey often did.  It is beautifully textured and unique in its profile, fitting of a woman who too was unique in her features.  This fashion, which Audrey by many accounts made her own, has become quite popular even to this day, with the Duchess of Cambridge herself Kate Middleton being seen with one more than once in recent years.

Seven Things You Can Learn From Audrey Hepburn

May 4 marks Youth Day in China, and is also the 89th birthday of the queen of elegance, Audrey Hepburn.  Known as a film and fashion icon, Hepburn was active during Hollywood’s Golden Age. She was ranked by the American Film Institute as the third-greatest female screen legend in Golden Age Hollywood, and was inducted into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame.

As the spirit of the young is connected with endless vitality, Hepburn’s style is evergreen, in fashion for more than 50 years.

You can choose to follow fashion trends, or learn from Hepburn and be timeless.

Here are seven iconic styles from the actress, which may give you some inspiration.

And no matter what you wear or how old you are, the most important thing is to have a generous heart and an open mind. That will help you shine from inside out.

Then, let a smile seal the look.

Little black dress

It is said every woman should have a little black dress. It can work for many occasions — parties, formal gatherings or work. Jewelry is recommended to pair with the dress if you don’t go for bright lipstick or bags.

Slim black pants & ballet flats

Hepburn was a lover of ballet flats. Her own collections included many unusual hues, such as bright yellow and teal. And slim black pants are a good choice to appear to lengthen your legs. If you want to have a taller look, remember to show instep and ankle when wearing such a combo.



Hats & large ear pins

Hats, though not often wore by women nowadays, are actually a wonderful aid to your whole ensemble. Large ear pins, in simple shapes, will give the wearer a more elegant touch than tangled long earrings.



Large sunglasses

The magic of sunglasses is they can take a plain look to a higher level. Even pandas look cuter with “sunglasses.

Dress suit & pointed pumps

A dress suit is a timeless look that can work on everyone. It can give the wearer a touch of elegant simplicity. The best partners to a dress suit are pointed pumps, to enhance the beauty of such a look.

Silk/cotton scarf

A scarf can be worn on your neck, head, in a bag and even on your waist. Silk scarves can go with an outfit made from any materials, and cotton ones are better paired with more casual dresses.