There is always the age old question, are you Jackie or Marilyn? I can honestly say that I am neither because I am an Audrey. I have always admired Audrey Hepburn for her classic, impeccable style, intelligence (she could speak 6 languages after all), charm and grace. Watching her in movies is like watching poetry in motion as she moves so gracefully and speaks so lightly and eloquently. She was a true classic that inspired the world over.
So why not learn some basic lifestyle tips from the queen of classic elegance herself? I have read many books and have watched documentaries about Audrey Hepburn and I am constantly inspired by the way she lived. Here are some of the lifestyle tips that inspired me and will maybe give you some classic Audrey Hepburn inspiration too.
Look The Part
Audrey had a style all her own and I am not just referring to her clothes (though we will get to that below). I am talking about her decorum, the way she carried herself and the way she spoke. Audrey may have had a rough childhood, but from looking at her you would have never known it. Audrey was always very well aware of how she presented herself to the world and took impeccable care of not only her appearance, but also her mannerisms. She kept good posture while sitting and standing, she looked people in the eyes and gave her full attention when she was talking to them, she spoke softly and eloquently careful of her voice’s tone, pitch and modulation. She not only did things that came across as classically elegant, she always looked the part too.
Keep it Light
Audrey had a sense of lightness and playfulness in the world and although there were plenty of times Audrey was serious (with her work, for example), she was known to keep things light and comfortable for herself and those around her. She didn’t complain, make diva demands or have rude or heavy conversations. She approached with world with a playful, easy manner to put herself and others at ease while in her company. She wanted to delight and charm those around her and she did so effortlessly just by being her sweet, playful authentic self.
Be Smart and Articulate
Speaking one language seems to be hard enough for most people, so imagine someone who could speak 6 (English, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese in case you were curious). Audrey took exquisite care of her mind and constantly indulged in and enjoyed the arts. She loved to read, watch films, listen to music, visit museums and see live shows. She had a deep curiosity for the world and loved the knowledge that she gained over the years. Audrey never thought of herself as ‘pretty”, but she worked hard and cultivated her mind and fell in love with learning new things. She never dumbed herself down and was very articulate when having a conversation or getting her point across. She believed in discovering all the world had to offer.
Develop Your Mystique
We live in an age where we basically showcase our every move and thought on social media. We almost have no secrets or private thoughts of our own and therefore we have almost no mystique. To cultivate a sense of mystery is an art form that takes time and discipline. We are so used to divulging everything about ourselves to almost anyone that we forget to keep some things to ourselves. We should be like a book that takes time to read, not a 30 second video on youtube that you lose interest in within 15 seconds. Audrey kept a lot of things to herself, that was part of her charm. Many people tried to figure her out, wanted to know more about her and was just fascinated by her. This is because she never gave too much away about herself. She was the ultimate book to read where she might divulge a piece of information here, maybe a few years later she would give another there. She never just came out and told anyone every little piece of information about herself . She kept her secrets and kept things just for herself and no one else. She basically defined what it meant to have personal mystique.
Enjoy Your Own Company
Audrey Hepburn was a true to form introvert. One of the hardest roles she ever took on was Highly Go Lightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s because the character was such a social butterfly extrovert…the complete opposite of who Audrey was in real life. She enjoyed more intimate gatherings with close friends and family versus the bustling nightlife of Hollywood. Audrey took plenty of time to be by herself to indulge in the things that she loved to do. She loved to stretch out and read a good book. She also loved playing records on her record player or being at home watching a good film. Audrey enjoyed her company above any others and she reveled in having “me time” where she could enjoy her favorite things quietly and alone.
Create A Beautiful Home Life
Kind of going in hand with enjoying your own company, Audrey believed in creating a beautiful home life for her and her family to retreat to away from the world. She loved creating a space that was her own and invested in the beautiful details that that made life a charming affair everyday. I can imagine that Audrey’s at-home must haves included things such as scented candles, music, flowers, beautiful china and delicate stationary (to name a few). She wanted her home to be her sanctuary and she wanted to enjoy this space for both herself and her family. She knew that a beautiful life started and ended at home.
Invest In Classic Style
While we may not be able to count Hubert de Givenchy as our personal friend and stylist, we can still be inspired by Audrey’s love of fashion and invest in classic style just as she did. While she may have had many stylists create beautiful dresses for her movies and events, she herself could often be found wearing a pair of classic black skinny jeans, a tailored button down top and a pair of ballet flats. She would occasionally wear pretty statement jewelry, a bold red lip and often had that classic pixie cut. These are all simple, yet classic details, but Audrey knew how to wear them. When we see pictures of her today her outfits still look chic and elegant, not dated, trendy or out of style. No matter how many years pass we still emulate her style because it was timeless. She invested in classic pieces that could be worn year after year and had them tailored to fit her perfectly.
Give Yourself Grace and Be Optimistic
If you have ever read Audrey’s personal life story then you know that while she had a charming life, it was also filled with many tragedies and heartbreaks. From her father leaving the family at an early age, going hungry as a child due to war and famine, suffering from affairs, divorces and even a miscarriage, Audrey’s life was far from perfect all day everyday. However, despite all these things that had happened to her she was always an optimist at heart and always gave herself grace to recover and heal from these heartbreaks. She never gave up on seeing the beautiful moments in life and believing that good things were always coming. She enjoyed the highs of her life and embraced the lows as she understood that this was all part of being human. This may be her most enduring quality to emulate as it was her grace and optimism that turned her into an active humanitarian in where she would go on in her older age to help UNICEF raise money to feed starving kids in third world countries.
There is a reason why we always come back to Audrey Hepburn as a timeless icon. She emulated many things that are worth aspiring to and incorporating into our life. She was an inspiration for not only her time, but for generations after and we can all benefit by learning from Audrey’s way of life.