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Fashion vs. style ~ Audrey Hepburn

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Fashion says ‘Me too’, and style says ‘Only me’.” ~ Geraldine Stutz

The most fashionable women are not those wearing the most expensive labels, but they are the ones with a true sense of style. This means that what they wear pales in comparison to how they wear it or why. For women, especially, understanding this distinction is as important as understanding ourselves.

Consider for a moment the legacy that infamous style icon Audrey Hepburn left for us to study. Possessed by a bold confidence that was not dependent upon being in fashion, this legendary woman was a purveyor of her own signature style. In fact, Hepburn was fashion in that she helped set the trends that other women followed both then and now. Have a little black dress in your closet? Well, Audrey Hepburn is one of the ladies you have to thank for that fashion staple.

Audrey Hepburn’s Style Defined

Muse to legendary designers like Givenchy and Salvatore Ferragamo, the thought of Hepburn being anything less than confident about her natural beauty is surprising to some. Yet, reports from those who knew her well-- and from the revered style maven, herself-- reveal that she often felt insecure about her looks and could never quite grasp what it was that others saw in her. What these others saw, however, was the way in which she carried herself. Grace, humility and elegance were as much an accessory to Hepburn as were the oversized sunglasses and scarves that she is so often noted for. In an early interview, she is even quoted as attributing her “...forceful and concentrated drive” as her go-to weapons for combating her insecurities.

“I never thought I’d land in pictures with a face like mine.” ~ Audrey Hepburn

As an actress who became famous during Hollywood’s Golden Era, it’s not all too difficult to imagine Hepburn’s insecurities being due, in part, to equally iconic figures like Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Judy Garland and even Katharine Hepburn. Noted for her tiny frame, it would have been easy for Audrey to feel as though she didn’t fit in with the likes of more statuesque and curvy women revered for their beauty during that age. From this screen legend, however, we learn the value of not comparing oneself with others and accepting our own uniqueness for what it is.

Choose Style First

Confidence is not something that can be purchased at Barneys. The forceful and concentrated drive that Hepburn relied upon to carry her elegant grace can’t be found at Bergdorf Goodman. While plenty of fashion can be found in these places, style is another story. Not even the exclusive membership of a millionaire club can offer women that wonderful quality that comes from within.

Style Always Wins

Creating your own signature style involves a lot more than choosing colors or brands or statement pieces. Whether you are a globe-trotting millionaire matchmaker or you work at the corner deli, wear what makes you feel good-- what makes you shine. See, your style comes from an inner presence that is unique to you. It celebrates the fact that you are different from any other woman on the planet and it says that you are okay with being so. Style does not compare itself to others, because it is incomparable. Know this. And while fashion has its place and we enjoy it for what it is, never ever forget that it is your style that will live on long after today’s fashion fades away.

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