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Looking Like Audrey: How to Dress with Class and Timeless Style in a Trendy World

Updated on May 5, 2012

In a world of constantly evolving fashion, the clothing super stores, and onslaught of imported goods that are an incredible 'deal', it's always good to review some fashion basics. In the past century there are a few women who have influenced style and stand out because the looks that they started have become classic and timeless. Jacqueline Kennedy, Grace Kelly, and Marilyn Monroe all come to mind, but no one has stood the test of time like the ever-wonderful Audrey Hepburn.

Feminine and graceful, understated and classy. These are all things that describes the look that Audrey Hepburn was famous for, and she is still considered one of the most influential fashion icons. Here are a few ways that you too can dress with the beauty of Audrey Hepburn and the confidence of a modern lady.

Think Feminine

Feminine means pretty. Women were created to be different from men, and the differences are a wonderful thing. There's nothing wrong with wearing pants, but why would you always want to be in pants when there is so much variety with skirts and dresses?

Just think of the choices you have. Pencil skirts, gored skirts, straight skirts. And for dresses there's sheath, tunic, full skirted, straight skirted, fitted or loose bodice, and that's just a few of the options. Differences in colors, patterns, and details are countless, and accessories can make any outfit perfect for any occasion and a stand-out.

In your business life, you may think that the powersuit makes you feel like you can take on the world, but never underestimate the power of a skirt. There are plenty of great suits out there, retro or not, that are professional, impressive, and above all make you still feel and act like a woman.

The beauty of the skirt suit, or even the dress with a jacket is that it gives you a lot more variety to choose from. Style, color, look, your options are a lot more open than just a basic suit.

Think Modest

I know that 'modest' has become something of a controversial word in the past years with the prevailing attitude of "anything goes." And I'm not here to tell you how to dress or what is appropriate. But I do know this. God made women to be beautiful, and that beauty is a wonderful thing, but it's not something to take lightly or treat cheaply.

Far be it from me to mandate hemlines to the floor or necklines to your chin. But if you wear a skirt that covers most of your leg, and definitely your derriere, it doesn't mark you as unattractive it makes you look like a lady. When a neckline doesn't plummet too deeply it doesn't mean you aren't sexy, it shows the world that you a woman that respects herself and her body, and everyone else will too.

So be feminine. Be beautiful. Dress in a way that expresses your taste, which is always impeccable as long as it's what you like. But don't ever, ever sell yourself short.

Think Unique

You are the only you ever, with your particular tastes and preferences. Sure, somebody else may have a similar style, but it the little touches, the added bits of flair that makes a look uniquely yours. So love it! If you can't stand frills and ruffles, go for something more streamline and understated. If even the thought of pink makes you happy, make it your color. Personally, I adore polka dots. Not of the juvenile variety but rather the classic, womanly kind that still have that wonderful hint of fun. I would wear any one of the dresses shown and absolutely love it, but I know women who wouldn't dream of being seen in public looking like that.

And that's fine. In fact, it's more than fine, it's wonderful!. If I were to dress the same way that my two sisters do we would be a drab bunch when we're together. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said "To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." Always remember that you have been fearfully and wonderfully made, so don't settle for anything less, and don't try to be something you're not.


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      Martine 4 years ago

      I seem to remember her wearing a lot of pants. She justabout invented ankle crops together with Jackie O.

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      whowas 5 years ago


      Yes I appreciate that you were going for the underlying principles and you made a very fine job of it - I was just rambling off at a tangent!

      The movie you refer to is 'How to Steal a Million', I think. Thank you so much for your kind words regarding my articles, I do appreciate that very much.

    • collegatariat profile image

      collegatariat 5 years ago

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, whowas. I was going more for the underlying principles that seemed to govern Audrey's taste than the specifics, but I completely agree with you. I do love her little details and special things she did, and Roman Holiday is one of my favorites.

      Givenchy had to be some kind of genius with everything he managed to create over the years. One of my favorite lines from an Audrey Hepburn movie was when Peter O'Toole told her that she had to dress like a maid "to give Givenchy a night off." So funny if you know the backstory. But she had the class and poise to pull it off with flair.

      Thanks so much for stopping by! I've enjoyed your articles, and look forward to reading more.

    • profile image

      whowas 5 years ago

      That's an interesting article on fashion and it caught my eye because I have always been a great fan of Audrey Hepburn - who was altogether a remarkable person as well as a style icon.

      Her particular look, of course, came out of her long-term professional friendship with the designer Hubert Givenchy. They were an extraordinary creative match.

      Audrey also had a real flair for picking out the detail and personalizing an outfit with the addition of just the right accessories. For example, in the film 'Roman Holiday' the skirt, broad belt and shirt that she wears were designed for her but it was her idea to add the little neck scarf. Go back and check out the movie and you'll see that it is that little detail that gives the outfit the style that she brings to it.

      That said, it takes more than clothes to have that kind of style, you need poise and grace which is very rare these days.

    • collegatariat profile image

      collegatariat 5 years ago

      Hi kschimmel! Those '50s styles are so feminine and flattering for so many different body types, which I absolutely love. I'm also glad that Butterick expanded their line, since my summer resolution was to become a better seamstress, and Vogue's line is a lot more complex. Thanks for the visit!

    • kschimmel profile image

      Kimberly Schimmel 5 years ago from North Carolina, USA

      I have noticed recently that Butterick patterns has expanded their line of vintage styles. I picked up some of their 50's style dress patterns because they flatter a smaller waist and larger hips. Those full skirts do take a lot of fabric, though.