Fashion

10 Style Lessons We Learned From Audrey Hepburn

The style icon's photos are chockful of useful tips to looking elegant.
IMAGE VAP+VYK / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
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Audrey Hepburn's fashion style is timeless. In both her life and her films, the style icon always looked impeccable while embodying beauty, grace, and a certain kind of elegance. In fact, she's been the source of inspiration for one of the most famous women today: Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex.

There's a lot we can learn from her as one of the most stylish women in the world. Read on for some style tips courtesy of the actress, model, dancer, and humanitarian.

1. Pick a signature pair of sunglasses.


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Audrey Hepburn's portrayal of Holly Golightly will always be iconic for her cat eye Oliver Goldsmith sunglasses and like Golightly, Hepburn, too, had a preference for the ultra-chic accessory. In her day-to-day life, Audrey preferred dark sunglasses with an interesting shape. You can try to do the same, but not all pairs of sunglasses are flattering for everyone. When picking a signature pair of sunglasses, try on as much as you possibly can. It all depends on your face shape, size, and overall style.

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More: 7 of the Most Iconic Sunglasses in Pop Culture

2. Go for a striking neckline.


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In the way she dressed, Hepburn always put forward her best assets. In this case, she played up her neck through her dress' neckline. A striking neckline not only adds an interesting element to your dress, it also has the ability to elongate your neck and make it seem longer than it is. Go for either a structured dress for a more contemporary look or something softer for a feminine effect.

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3. Trust in an all black outfit.


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Black is always elegant and not to mention, flattering. It's an easy way to chic—a move that the actress knew all too well. Hepburn always relied on a chic combination of a long sleeved shirt and cigarette pants which she finished off with ballet flats. On days where you don't know what to wear, pull out an all black outfit. Remember to dress as you would for your body type and the types of pieces you regularly use.

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4. Finish a look off with a neck scarf.


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Whether it was an all black outfit or a simple shirt and skirt, Audrey Hepburn dressed in a way that was classic and minimal. Simple as these looks were, she always knew to elevate them. The neck scarf is one of Hepburn's favorite tricks, and here, she used to add some color to the outfit. 

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More: Audrey Hepburn Through the Years

5. In jewelry, more can be more.


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Most times, Audrey Hepburn gravitated toward simple dressing. When the time came to dress up, however, she knew to go all the way. Through time, too much jewelry has always been seen as vulgar but with the appropriate way of styling (and a proper occasion), it can be an amazing fashion moment. You don't have to wear a jewelry set complete with a tiara, an exceptional Cartier necklace will be enough to stop anyone in their tracks.

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6. Cinch your waist for more shape.


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Putting on a dress and stepping out was never enough for Hepburn. Here, she opted to top the simplicity of the dress with a belt. Not only did it create a break in the plain look, it also brought out her waist and gave her shape. Try this if you have a dress that makes you look dowdy or even with a blazer or a coat.

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7. Borrow from the boys.


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Most of the world's most stylish women such as Katharine Hepburn and Lauren Hutton frequently borrowed from the boys. To this, Audrey Hepburn was no exception. From preppy to edgy, a collared shirt can be styled as anything. It all depends on the bottoms you choose to wear. You can even take a full page from men and wear it with a slim suit for an unexpected approach.

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More: What Was Inside Audrey Hepburn's Closet?

8. Never underestimate a classic coat.


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In cold weather, a coat is usually an afterthought. If you want to stand out like Hepburn did, pick a coat with a bright color and a fitting shape. This trench style coat from Kenneth Cole will prove to be a stylish match to both black and nude pairings. If you want to go the extra mile, leather gloves are also a sure way to look more dressed up.

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9. Elevate any outfit with patterned bottoms.


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One of Audrey Hepburn's go-to styling secrets was her use of bold patterns. Most of the time, she reserved this for her trousers and skirts. Plain essentials will prove to useful, but why not mix things up a bit from time to time with something bold and colorful? What's more, your essential-filled wardrobe will go with almost every pattern in the sun. Make use of Hepburn's style tip with this Kate Spade skirt with a vintage-inspired pattern.

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10. Believe in the little black dress.


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If all else fails, use every Audrey Hepburn style trick in the book like she did when she met former President Ronald Reagan. The combination of the interesting neckline, all black dress, and statement jewelry made Hepburn look more dressed up than she was. A black dress doesn't have to mean plain. Josie Natori's use of flower elements and sheer sleeve makes this black dress an interesting option.

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About The Author
Paolo Chua
Staff Writer
Paolo Chua is a style writer based in Manila. He writes about everything fashion related for Town & Country Philippines and is a fan of French style, period dramas, and all things preppy.
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