This is the easiest post I’ve ever written.
Go buy some ballet flats.
Actually…no, wait. Come back. I’m not doing either you or Audrey any favors by restating that well-known trope. Yes, Audrey loved a good ballet flat.
But if you’re going for the Audrey Hepburn look, you do have other options to mimic the style icon/goddess.
Audrey Hepburn’s Shoes: The Flat
There’s no denying it: Audrey Hepburn did love a ballet flat.
Maybe because she also loved ballet?
But actually, Audrey wore flats of all kinds. Pointy-toed flats…
And even, of course, sandals…
Sometimes they had a bit of lift to them, maybe a quarter-inch or so, sometimes they were really actually flat. Patent leather, matte leather, who knows what—she was into all kinds of materials.
And actually, unlike a lot of us, the older she got, the less Audrey was into flats.
That’s right: as she got older, Audrey Hepburn actually wore (or was photographed wearing) high heels a lot more.
This could be for any number of reasons. Audrey was pretty tall, especially for Hollywood in the ’50s: 5’7″. She also had relatively large feet, though not disproportionate to her height: 10.5. It’s possible that she was self-conscious about her height and/or foot size and wanted to minimize attention by downplaying footwear. It’s equally possible that the studios she worked for wanted to do that, to make her look “daintier” around her leading men.
But I like to think as the ’60s came around, Audrey was like, wait, WHO CARES? And then decided to wear heels to her heart’s content.
Audrey Hepburn’s Shoes: The Heel
On the other hand: if you want to get Audrey Hepburn’s look but still want to wear high heels, you do have options, too. Well, mostly one option…
What I’m about to say is a little polarizing, so I don’t blame you if you flinch or drool.
…it’s the kitten heel.
Now, don’t blame her (you can tell how I feel about them already, I’m sure). It was the style. And in some cases, such as the top image from the set of what I think must be Two For the Road, they’re not so much kitten heels as just low heels, which I can get behind.
One thing you almost never see, though, is Audrey Hepburn in towering high heels. In all of the photos I’ve seen, I don’t think her heels ever get higher than maybe two inches.
Again, this could be self-consciousness, it could be comfort—who knows? All we do know is that’s what she wore.
Audrey Hepburn’s Shoes: Takeaway
At the end of the day, I’m pretty sure Audrey would get behind the idea that you should wear whatever the heck you want on your feet. Makes you comfortable? Makes you feel sexy? Great. Go for it.
Because after all, we always have this reminder that even the queen of elegance knew wasn’t above a good pair of sneakers every now and then…