Aim for quality over quantity
Although Hepburn had world-class designers at her fingertips, the actress’s outfits were often simple, albeit exceptionally tailored, and perfectly accessorized. Pamela Clarke Keogh, author of Audrey Style, attributed Hepburn’s quiet elegance to her European roots—the actress came of age in the Netherlands during World War II, and was of British and Dutch descent. “A French shopgirl will spend an entire week’s wages for an Hermès scarf, or the ‘perfect’ shoes that last for years. Audrey had much of this extravagant European frugality. She was born in a time when women owned fewer clothes, but they were of highest quality,” Keogh writes. “Audrey’s fashion sense was rooted in this long-standing European tradition, where women invested in a wardrobe rather than bought scattered pieces.”
Build off black and white basics
Off-screen, Hepburn often resorted to a black-on-black or black-and-white uniform, and was known for pairing slim-fitting turtlenecks and sweaters with cropped black pants and matching flats or loafers. Save these simple outfits for lazy days—you’ll look instantly put together in no time flat. Pair the look with a bold eye or lip.
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Accentuate shoulders like this
Hepburn’s onscreen character in the 1954 film Sabrina brought shoulder-bearing boatneck dresses into the spotlight. Master designer Hubert de Givenchy told Vanity Fair the actress loved the neckline because it hid her “skinny collarbone but emphasized her very good shoulders.”