“I just turned 30 and I am mother of two, but my dressing is fully packed with tight pants and t-shirts that I hate now, as I recently discovered. They still look great on me, as I am not only a gorgeous bunny, but a hot one as well. Yet I feel like wearing more unrevealing lady like stuff, let’s take Jackie k or Audrey Hepburn style as examples. And I feel bad for my stretch bootylicious jeans and sport funny t-shirts that I infamously broke up with. I would like to let them know that it’s not them, it’s me! And that I will forever love and cherish them.” ~ Michaela
In my early twenties, my style consisted of mostly jeans and tight t-shirts (completed with sneakers) although I always wore dresses and skirts to church. My style started to transition when I was 26, I wore more feminine pieces, but it was not until I was close to hitting thirty when elegance became my goal. I work towards having an elegant style. I can´t say that I have completely arrived because it´s still a work in progress.
I think that when we´re younger, we either follow the trends closely or we just settle for jeans and t-shirts. But when we reach thirty, we start to be classy.
But how do we adapt an elegant style? How can we exude grace, femininity and elegance which were epitome of Audrey Hepburn style?
1. Find a look that suits you.
The reason why Audrey Hepburn is the longest style icon to date is her finding and sticking with a look that suited her – clean lines, simple yet bold accessories, and minimalist palette.
“Once you have found your style, you should stick to it.” ~ Audrey Hepburn.
There´s a lot involved in finding your look. You need to know your body type and find the shapes, proportions and silhouettes that will flatter your shape. Although this is the basic and sole foundation of a woman´s style, I realized that many women are unaware of their body type. In order to help them, I am currently designing an eCourse which will guide women to understand their body type and to dress it accordingly.
You need to find the colors that will complement your skin, hair and eyes. Understanding what color palette suit you, both for clothes and makeup, will make a big difference to your overall look. A friend of mine has dark complexion and yet she prefers wearing brown, maroon, and dark green most of the time which make her look old and dull.
2. Choose tasteful but minimalist style.
Today´s fashion is generally about the most striking and the most attention-grabbing patterns, styles and details. They´re usually hard to resist because to be honest, most of them are beautiful, not to mention trendy. However, if you want to keep your look elegant, you should choose simple but special designs. It may be a cliché but really, less is more.
“Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.” ~ Coco Chanel
Let´s have a short quiz. Which of these three sheath dresses is the most elegant? And which is the least? Which body types look great in a sheath dress? Which sheath dress will flatter which particular body shape?
- The first dress on the left, the dark blue twist sheath, is the most elegant. It has a minimalist look but graceful with its twist knot accent. It can flatter any body type except the boyish and the short waist shape.
- The color block sheath dress in the middle is smart and modern. It´s not as elegant as the first sheath dress but it will do well in the office. It looks powerful. Its white side panels may slim down a voluptuous shape but it flatter not a figure with broad shoulders and narrow hips. Its blue vertical line in the middle will add length to a petite frame.
- The third dress is not elegant at all in my opinion, although the black waist band detail will slim down a big tummy.
3. Avoid overly revealing clothes.
Most style experts advise to show what you´ve got especially if you’re curvy, but there´s a difference between embracing your asset and giving away everything. It´s not elegant to show too much cleavage, to wear a dress with too much cutouts on the sides, on the chest, and everywhere else, to wear mini skirt or shorts that are almost there, and to wear overly fitting tights and pants exposing the bum and front area uncovered.
Unless you have toned arms, avoid cap sleeves and sleeveless. Opt instead for the more graceful three-forth sleeves. If you wear sleeveless dresses, add a cardigan or a jacket.
4. Pay attention to fit and proportion.
Go for clothing that skins the outline of your shape. They should not cling or pull. Avoid too oversized pieces which hide your body´s natural outline and overwhelm your shape.
Choose knee-length skirts. Hems that hit around the thinnest area of your legs such as the knee make you look taller and elegant. If you go for above the knee skirts, make sure it´s proportionate to your height. Your middle finger should reach the hemline of your skirt while standing.
5. Wear the right shoes.
Because elegant women wear more casual outfits than dramatic combos, it´s important to be as choosy with your casual shoes as with your standouts. Audrey Hepburn wore ballet flats, sometimes sneakers, and mostly Ferragamo Italian driving shoes, with slim fit jeans, slacks and capri pants.
Invest on kitten heels, they´re the most versatile and they have precious appeal. If you´re petite, go for pointed toe with medium height heel, 2 inches.
6. Wear fewer accessories.
Hepburn said, “What is more beautiful than a simple sheath made an extraordinary way in a special fabric, and just two earrings?”
We´re used to seeing women who wear lots of accessories at once – dangling earrings, necklace, bracelet on one wrist and watch on another, and three rings on each hand. It´s too much. Avoid dangling earrings if you can. And choose only one jewelry to accent an outfit at a time.
7. Keep a sleek hairstyle.
Audrey Hepburn always sported a neat and sleek hairstyle. She often wore her hair short with bangs. The key is finding the hairstyle that suit the shape of your face. Keep your hair clean and healthy, and always in place. A layered cut with body is generally advised for women in 30s and 40+. No pink or green highlights, no hair extensions, or half shaven haircut.
Adapting Audrey Hepburn style is about finding your style and sticking to it, knowing how to flatter your shape, keeping your look simple but neat and graceful, and investing on quality, classic items over trendy, overly attention-grabbing pieces.