There’s a reason fashion brands with a classic bent love to reference Audrey Hepburn: True style is more than wearing a couple of ballgowns to a few red carpet events—and Audrey Hepburn had style in spades. Onscreen, Hepburn floated in custom-made dresses by Givenchy founder Hubert de Givenchy. Offscreen, Hepburn made wearing pedal pushers and simple, unadorned tops into an art. So many Audrey Hepburn style moments made history, she was inducted to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame.
Casual fans know Audrey Hepburn style as the black dress she wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. But Hepburn’s style was so much more than the costume for one of her iconic roles, however—and Audrey Hepburn style moments are still influencing how we dress today. Just revisit the next several outfits from Audrey Hepburn’s illustrious career for proof.
The Black Sheath
Black sheath dresses figured prominently in the Audrey Hepburn style lexicon. Like this one, they included a handful of chic details including a sleeveless silhouette, a belted waist, and a midi hem. We see echoes this Audrey Hepburn look in the bateau necklines and mid-calf length dresses worn by modern style icons like the royal family today.
The Bold Pattern
Fashion authorities recognized that Audrey Hepburn style was special in her time. The spiral-decked dress she wears in the photo below came courtesy of an Amsterdam fashion show she modeled in. As far as Audrey Hepburn’s outfits went, bold patterns like the one on her runway look weren’t the norm—but the curved collar and A-line waist could be spotted in outfits throughout her career. Then there’s her accessories: Elbow-length gloves were the Hepburn must-have for a touch of elegance.
The Floral Dress
Oscars fashion hasn’t always been swan skirts and tuxedo-ballgown hybrids. In 1954, Audrey Hepburn attended the 26th Academy Awards in a much more understated look: a tea-length floral dress with another bateau neckline. Hepburn accepted the Oscar for Best Actress in Roman Holiday that night. Maybe it’s just us, but her belted dress wouldn’t have looked out of place in the movie.
The Sailor Shorts
With all the love Hepburn’s Givenchy dresses receive, you could assume the actress wore them exclusively. But high-waist sailor shorts played a starring role in Hepburn’s offscreen wardrobe. It’s not clear when a photographer captured this glimpse at one of Hepburn’s downtime outfits, but the combination of her crisp shorts, plaid blouse, and raffia slides are easy summer dressing inspiration. Tuck a breezy long-sleeve top into pleated shorts, and you’ve nailed the look.
The Travel Dress
Today, celebrity travel style usually involves leggings, hoodies, and sneakers. In Audrey Hepburn’s day, the tarmac was a runway—and demanded more formal attire. She touched down in London on this occasion in a long-sleeve travel dress, worn with—what else?—gloves and pumps. The woman’s style was nothing if not consistent.
The Twisted Top
Suiting tops and ankle-grazing skirts were always Audrey Hepburn style staples. But for this photoshoot, Hepburn chose an unexpected statement piece. Her black skirt and ballet flats draw our eyes straight to her long-sleeve wrap top. It’s a playful choice in an otherwise buttoned-up outfit, and an outfit that’d look at home on the streets of New York Fashion Week.