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Film Style Inspiration: Funny Face


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Audrey In Paris style-inspiration-funny-face

I turned 25 in July and had a mini fashion crisis: Am I dressing appropriately for my age and my new career?

I quickly decided the perfect look for me is simple. Dress like Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face. She has always been my biggest icon, but the beatnik style her character portrays in this particular film really speaks to me at this point in my life. Her cigarette pants, sweaters and loafers are the epitome of easy elegance.

How do you feel about Audrey’s beatnik look? Would you wear it?

Rachel Rasmussen   —  

Rachel is a nerdy Oregon native with a philosophy degree and classical dance background. She fancies her personal style to be quirky sophistication, focusing on the importance of fit while adding special touches of handmade embellishments. She is also a connoisseur of whiskey and nap-taker extraordinaire.

Comments 47


Audrey’s look? Yes, in a heartbeat. But we’re talking fit, meticulous attention to fit. Anything less and you’ll look like a frump.

I love looking at Audrey’s butt in pants–compare that to any mallwalker and you’ll see what I mean about fit.


If I had the figure – definitely, effortless chic. Those cigarette pants are just not so good on pear shapes.


I second that. I love the look of cigarette pants, but depending on the fit, they just don’t work on me.


This movie has so many favorite looks for me, though Audrey was always lucky to work with great costume and fashion designers.
I actually like the tweed tunic she wears when she goes into the magazines office for the first time with her little kerchief. Very man-repellent but cute for me!
And then later when they are in Paris and the mag editor and photographer go to the beatnik party, there are some great outfits there too!


I love the tunic, too! Reminds me of some of the Japanese patterns coming out these days.


I’ll be turning 150 later this year, so Audrey’s wardrobe has probably passed me by. But you’ve reminded me that Katherine Hepburn’s style was so graceful and beautiful, I think I’d like to imitate that. As she matured she was always seen with a high neckline or upturned collar because she thought her neck no longer looked like a teenager, but that iconic look was very elegant. She opted for pleated pants and soft, long sleeved shirts for casual wear, which always looked comfortable and flowed beautifully. Even her hair, twisted into a casual bun had a classic wispy look. She was a dazzler in her movies, even as she made her way down the river on the African Queen in her mud spattered Victorian dress. I believe every age is beautiful, and it changes as we move along. Could you imagine Hepburn in skinny jeans or a mini skirt? Audrey is perfection for 20-30’s, and she left us a treasure chest full of fashion that never really goes out of style. I enjoyed my “beatnik” look in my 20’s. Have great fun with it.


I also look up to Katherine Hepburn (more loafers, hehe) and am sure I will turn to her for inspiration in the coming years.


Great..but mine is Charade!

I am fortunate to not have starved during WWII…and will NEVER have Audrey Hepburn’s body!!


She admitted that she and her family really did starve during WWII, and she never got over that.


I agree! I love Audrey’s style in Funny Face, but nothing surpasses the clothes in Charade for me!


I remember when I was a kid we were told to pick a famous person we admired. I remember scoffing at the subject because it seemed dumb to me. Audrey Hepburn had just died, and I have never heard of her until she was featured in the memorial section of Life. I thought she was so beautiful and elegant, so I picked her and wrote about her charities. Fast forward some 15 years, and the internet teaches me the rest of her Bad-Assery, including her work in the Dutch Resistance. If only I had known as a 11 year old! She is now truly a hero of mine.

However, can I pull off the look in Funny Face? Hells no. I’m am not the Petite Gamine she was! Beatnik is too plain for me. Give me flowing, romantic clothes!


Yes!! I’m with you!!! I totally want to channel her style.. not until I started sewing did I truly understand the beauty in this sort of simplistic look, and I’m so glad I realized this before turning 30!! Dressing simplistically like her is like having a weight lifted off my shoulders… I always stressed about wearing what’s “in” and whether the look fits me or not. This sort of style – cigarette pants and trench coats – will, in my opinion, never go out of style, and takes the stress out of dressing each morning!!


Anything Audrey wears I won’t. We have such different body types that all that looks cute on her will look a caricature on my Sofia Loren structure. Hey, I am not complaining, but these gorgeous hips won’t carry that style.


Sofia! She’s another fabulous fashion icon — go for it.


On the other hand, Marilyn Monroe often looked amazing in her off-screen looks of cigarette pants and sweaters!


I’m nearly… twice your age, and I’ve loved Audrey’s Funny Face look as long as I can remember. While I don’t try to copy it exactly, it definitely influences me in my taste for very simple, non-frou-frou pieces. If only I could find the perfect pair of loafers…


I was looking on Zappos and almost splurged on a $135 pair. Then I decided to check out Etsy and found my dream pair for less than $45 including shipping! They have a ton of vintage re-sellers and you can search for your exact size and color. The dealers are usually really nice about showing the wear of the sole and all that, too.


Turning 25! Sob! I’m going to be the inverse of 25… 52! Audrey style is classic any age, IF you have that body shape. But even not, you can take some hints from the simplistic styling.

But I’m with the others, more Sofia Loren or Rosalind Russell than Audrey. If I wore a turtleneck, not so good. Great post! Keep it up!


Thanks, Helen! I agree that the main take-away is the magic of dressing simply, something we’ve always enjoyed at Colette. I am excited to share many more style inspirations, I know we all have our favorites :)


May I nominate Lauren Bacall? LOL

Although for a personal style icon, I’d probably have to search harder. I like tailored, but flowing (LB’s or KH’s silk blouses with tailored trousers for example), but I’m also a bit of a girly-girl. And somewhere between a pear and an apple, lol. If I had the figure and was a bit braver, I might dress like Katy Perry, lol. Emma Stone always seems to look good….

Oh, wait, Grace Kelly! Always feminine and classy. But there’s an element of me that wants to be Doris Day in Calamity Jane (flannel shirts and jeans), lol!

Or to be more modern but still retro, maybe Gertie. But I’m not that brave. That’s why I love the Hawthorn – it’s got the retro vibe, but no one is going to think it’s a costume.


I, too, loved her style. But, I think for me, it isn’t the close so much as that she seemed comfortable in her shape/body. Just like Sophia Loren (previously mention) seems to be comfortable with her shape/body. For me, that’s what I admire. At 25, I wasn’t all that comfortable with my body but now almost 25 years later (it will be 25 years later in December) I think I have accepted my body and now sew clothes that ‘fit’ me my life style and my personality.

I do, however, love those loafers. Gosh! I wore loafers like that in the ’80’s. I think I still even have a pair in the back of my closet.

Betty Jordan Wester

When I was 25 and had my first management position I definitely channelled Audrey Hepburn. Lots of cigarette pants, mock turtleneck sleeveless tops for hot days, pencil skirts, & lots of loafers.

5 years later I had gotten into a 70s neo victorian look, kind of the opposite of 60s minimalism. And now, at 40 I’m transitioning into an early 80s, unfussy new wave look.

It’s really fun to play around with style and not be afraid to explore new looks. I always look to the past for style inspiration., especially from actresses who had a similar body type- although if I really loved a certain style, I’d still try it out. Sometimes I’d surprise myself & it’ll look great on me no matter which body type made it famous first ;)


“Sometimes I’d surprise myself & it’ll look great on me no matter which body type made it famous first.” Yes!


I struggle with the age/career appropriate question myself (I’m 30 and in a corporate environment for the first time). Tilly of Tilly and the Buttons recently wrote an awesome post about sewing for your style, which inspired me to analyze my best outfits and how I derive my style inspiration (the resulting mood board is on my blog). Audrey is definitely among my sources, and fortunately I can still get away with cigarette pants, sweaters, and loafers. I like to doll looks like this up with a few romantic touches, like a scarf or sparkly stud earrings.


I love that you have perfume on your mood board! I wore Clinique “Happy” when I was in middle school for special occasions (my mom worked at Nordstrom) but didn’t experiment with perfume again until last Christmas (when I worked at Nordstrom, haha). It’s so fun!


Haha, I’m usually quite anti-perfume, but I love a subtle jasmine or gardenia (also Pacifica’s gorgeous packaging is a mood board in itself!). There is something about the act of daubing on a bit of perfume before leaving the house that can make you feel quite sophisticated :)


Yes, at 25, I would have absolutely worn that stuff. It’s a fun, yet pulled together look. I don’t envy her figure, as she had a difficult life. In general, though, I prefer the breakfast at Tiffany’s look. I absolutely love the magical way she, after a night of partying, pulls clothes and earrings and hat from all corners of her messy apartment and in a snap, completely pulled together and supremely chic. So while I’m too old now for the Funnay Face look, in just three years, I’ll be old enough to wear diamonds without being tacky. :)


Find a look you love which is simple and classic and it will carry you throughout your life. Instead of cleaning out the closet on a yearly basis just keep adding to it. Keep the bones of your wardrobe classic and add more trendy touches with sweaters, scarves, things which will not break the bank!


Audrey always will be my biggest fashion icon! my figure is certainly not straight like hers but correct fit is the key! One of the many reasons I began sewing again. It is so difficult to find anything off the rack that fits well. I am no size 0 stick!! I think its great at 25 you are more inpisired by Audrey than so many popular culture stars today who will never have the class or staying power Audrey has/had!

cynthia gehin

Love her look but I’m more like the matron in the background


From the pictures you’ve shown of yourself, you could totally pull off the look and give the appropriate attitude to make it work. I think clothes are more about fit and your attitude to the look than their look.
Also, while she looks fabulous in that movie, I can’t help but always be more than impressed at how absolutely cool Fred Astaire is! He truly was just amazing!!


I always love Audrey’s style and would easily emulate any of her looks :) I went through a similar age / dressing crisis a few years ago and actually tried to dress with what ‘fashion’ dictates is appropriate for me. I quickly became swamped in a sea of black, severely tailored, and essentially boring clothes that made dressing a depressing exercise.

I decided wear what makes me feel happy. And if that means I’ll be an old blue haired lady in a monkey dress, so be it!


Yes, but only with the white socks! Audrey and director Stanley Donen got in a fight about that.


Audrey Hepburn has been my style inspiration for years! Cigarette pants can now be made in stretch woven fabric, and that makes them perfect! And those loafers! YES!


I agree with everyone about wearing what suits your body type etc, and yes Audrey had great style (Charade gets my vote).
Funny Face is such an interesting film in what it says about style. The beatnik sequence was actually making fun of that look. The serious brooding, monochrome palette was a joke, just as much as the ‘Think Pink’ number was taking the mickey out of the fashion/trend crowd…what they were actually trying to say was don’t take your queue from anyone who would dictate what you should wear, or something like that. Even Audrey’s bookstore clothes were to some extent dictated by her own low self-esteem. So follow your heart and wear what feels good is probably a good place to start… :-)


How to steal a million or Two for the road. Mid sixties at its best and the inspiration behind my sewing projects. I always ask myself ‘what would Audrey wear….?’


I love the orange-red coat she wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s!


I will risk going against most of the comments here. I adore Audrey Hepburn, but her style in the movies was very specific to her figure and the movie style. I am a curvey 60, and have just begun in the past couple of years to dress like I want to, and to flatter my figure. Before i was very much about what was in style or looked good on someone else. I think very few women could pull off Audrey’s style, and besides that, I would get bored with the lack of texture and color and pattern….black is awesome, but it has to have a counterpoint: a scarf or jewelry etc. to really shine.


Audrey’s strength was knowing her body and the occasion plus some good altering. That’s what I am really trying to emulate. As a full-time mother, Charade- style is unfortunately not appropriate for me- although it’s my dream. I am working hard to find (and sew) comfortable tailored clothing that moves and breathes.
I definitely steer towards implicitly and black, white and gray- that’s Aurdrey’s influence too.




Audrey’s style was perfect for her — who’s going to look bad in Givenchy? However, as others have said, my body type is too curvaceous to look well in such linear lines. I’m at a place right now that has me bawking at many of the rules I’ve allowed to limit my dressing dreams over the years. I love her style in all her films but that gamine look will never transfer for me. I find personal inspiration in the fashions worn by Cyd Charisse, Sophia Loren and Doris Day in her earlier films. Then again, maybe I should be looking at what they wore off screen rather than in the movies. lol


I’ve always loved her look but can anyone point me to a style icon who’s 1.59m tall (about 5 foot 4 for you Americans), has a DD cup size, wears a size 12-14, and has very well developed calves so tight trousers are a no-no? I’d like to dress like her then! Oh, and she must be well over 55 years old! All the styles I love seem to look good on tall women with small breasts.


I love Audrey Hepburn style. I had the enormous chance to look like her, and I had also (at one time in my thirties/forties) to havec the budget to buy Givenchy’s clothes. But it is over : the ressemblance and the money. Anyhow I am now 70 and Audrey died at 64.
I also love Laureen bacall’s style, specially her shouldered (?)jackets .
Difficult to keep a style when we are old. I noticed that american women succeed better than the Frenchs


My favorite Beatnik outfit (and I WAS a beatnik) was a pencil skirt to the knee, slit in the back the way it was supposed to be, moss green mid weight cotton, with a black and white stripe pullover, raglan sleeved, probably rayon jersey. Very cool.

I really admired and still admire Hepburn in any movie, and in her later work as UN Ambassador.

Sherri S.

LOVE her in anything…but let’s not forget Sabrina! Givenchy, again…


YES, that white dress, “With yards or skirt and way off the shoulders.”

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