Audrey Week: Learning to Audrey

All this week we are looking at Audrey Hepburn — but in way other than just how she looked or dressed or what her movies were like. We’re looking at her impact–especially her style. Yesterday I introduced the verb “to Audrey”–which essentially means to live with real style. Today we’ll look at a god tool to help us “Audrey.”

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This little book, How to Be Lovey: The Audrey Hepburn Way of Life, is simply …. well… “lovely.” It’s a book of quotes, advice, remembrances and photographs that add up to the Audrey Way to “Audrey.” It’s a perfect graduation gift for your favorite lovely young woman–the gift that will help her glide thru life as Audrey would. What could be better? Especially at the start of adult life?

Topical chapters such as Success, Fulfillment, Happiness and Style help this function as the essential “How to Audrey” book for any newbie. Sort of like wearing a WWAD? bracelet only more stylish–though how anything connected to Audrey could be less than stylish, I don’t know! As mother to a young woman with Audrey’s measurements and a bubbly personality I wish I’d seen this last Spring. Good advice on every page.


Two of my favorite quotes from the book:

Opportunities don’t often come along. So, when they do, you have to grab them.

I‘ve had so much more than I ever dreamed possible out of life.

I love that, like most women of her time, she felt her family came first and that family mattered far more than career:

My greatest ambition is to have a career without becoming a career woman.

I’m afraid that would get her a bunch of “haters” today. I imagine she wouldn’t say that today–the pressure would be too intense to agree with career building.  But, I like to think she’d stick to her guns on this one.

I’m not a city person…I’m very bored by cement.

This surprised me–and showed me how little I knew of her real life. I picture Audrey in a Paris cafe. How wrong I was! She lived in Switzerland with lots of fresh air. She thought cities were the not conducive to a happy life. I must say I agree–an occasional visit or short stay in a city is fine. Give me (and Audrey) fresh air and space.

Every word shows that, even though she could eat anything she wanted and not ever really gain weight (like my daughter) and even though she was a very successful actress and had a fabulous designer do many of her public clothes,  Audrey was a very well-grounded woman who lived according to common sense and moderation. Rare qualities in anyone ever to step foot on a movie sound stage.

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Funny isn’t it? In large part it’s her clothes–well her costumes–that make us remember her, yet in her real life she lived in slacks and sweaters–albeit very tasteful ones. She said in her real life she had two dinner dresses and slacks and “horrible gaps in between.”  She had no time for “Audrey clothes” as she called them.  You could say that  Audrey had a capsule wardrobe that, well, defined the “capsule wardrobe” before any of us knew it was even created!

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Her style timeless–a successful young woman today would have similar items in her wardrobe even today. After all, who hasn’t need a little black dress at some point? The thing was created for–who else? Audrey.

Timeless. Common sense. Moderation. Style.

Simple, refined, elegant.

Good manners. Kindness. Hard work.


Isn’t that what being a lady–what to Audrey–really means?




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