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.
THE ROMAN HOLIDAY TIARA
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.
THE CHAPEU DU MATIN
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.
THE CHIFFON TURBAN
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.
THE STRAW / WOVEN HAT
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 HAT
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.