Audrey Hepburn: Then & Now

February 1, 2010

Our style icon has been Audrey Hepburn for years and years now. Many of you have seen our posts on her here, here and here. Why the love of Ms. Hepburn? She, like few women in our history exuded a quite and simple elegance that left those around her breathless. She did not understand her beauty or her impact and she spent her life trying to bring joy to others through her work both on the silver screen and off.

As a result, we wanted to share a few simple steps we’ve put together on how to pull together both the traditional, simple looks for which Audrey was famous, as well as modern updates you could substitute to update the look should you wish to do so.

Ballet Flats:

When ballet flats first became popular, many attributed the rise of their popularity to Audrey. Audrey would have told you the choice was not stylish, rather practical given her 5’ 11” frame she couldn’t wear heels without towering over those surrounding her.

Traditional Audrey: A simple pair of black ballet flats. Patent, leather or suede would suit Audrey. Try this pair: J.Crew Kelcey suede ballet flats.

Modern Audrey: We’re pretty sure Audrey would have loved Tory Burch’s popular Reva flats for their versatility and comfort. Given their durability and variety of colors, we think Audrey would have gone for the black patent ballet-like Revas. Simple in design, yet with an air of class and fancy enough for those events Audrey needed to be dressy, but wanted to avoid heels at all costs.


Audrey loved turtlenecks throughout her life and wore them more often as she aged.

Traditional Audrey: Audrey would choose a turtle neck or v-neck sweater that could be placed over a white oxford button down. While not huge fans of the turtleneck (why not show of your neck and profile while unplagued by wrinkles, right?!), we think Banana Republic offers some good options. Better yet try a white structured piece with a solid colored sweater to achieve Audrey’s every day look. Try this Banana Republic cashmere blend cardigan paired with the heritage collection tunic.

Modern Audrey: Given her love of simple, yet beautiful clothes, we think Audrey would have loved the rebirth of the cardigan we’ve been loving the past year. We’re sure the boyfriend style like this J.Crew Corwin cardigan or this elegant and sophisticated Catherine Malandrino cashmere and chiffon cardi both would have suited her tall frame.

Oversized Sunglasses:

Audrey and Jackie O. pioneered wearing large sunglasses both outdoors and indoors (much of which is still employed by celebrities in attempts to avoid the paparazzi)

Traditional Audrey: Given her work with Hubert Givenchy, Audrey rarely strayed from fashions not cultivated by Monsieur Givenchy. Therefore we think glasses like the Tom Ford Raquel would have suited her style and designer preferences.

Modern Audrey: Bigger isn’t always better, but we think Audrey would have loved the classic and simplistic Ray Ban Wayfarers that have a modern shape, but still serve the proper function.

Do you ever channel Audrey? How so?

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photos courtesy of J.Crew, Banana Republic and Bloomingdale’s

comments +

  1. Sonja says:

    Love Audrey’s style! And love ballet flats but unfortunately look terribly silly in them. 🙂

    • mdono615 says:

      Silly in ballet flats? I can’t imagine that be true about you, Sonja! However at least you have great reason then not to be lazy and throw a pair on like I so often do 🙂

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