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4 Fearless Style Tips From ’60s Film

The first time I watched “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” was, for lack of a better word, transcendental. Was this due to the personal connection my gangly, pre-pubescent self felt with Audrey Hepburn? I, like her, had thick, bushy eyebrows in a world that glamorized the overly-tweezed. Maybe. I do know, however, that a large part of my admiration was largely due in part to Hepburn’s character, Holly Golightly, and her fearless, rather cinematic sense of style.  

Rampant social movements abound, the 60s was a decade where breaking rules was welcomed with open armsparticularly in the fashion world. Holly Golightly, along with several other characters from this era of film, mirrored that sense of fearlessness. You don’t have to be afraid to bend the rules when it comes to expressing your style. This experience ultimately became the launching pad for my fascination in drawing inspiration from film. Sourcing fashion knowledge from movies produced over 50 years ago, I’ve come up with and abided by these sartorial golden rules. 

1. Sometimes all you need for added chicness is a leopard print coat.

Recognized as a coquettish femme fatale, it makes perfect sense for Mrs. Robinson from “The Graduate” to sport this bold fur. Although a statement piece as loud as this can appear a bit daunting, this look is easily accomplished without appearing overly-eccentric by pairing it with muted pieces such as black cigarette pants and a low ponytail, like Mrs. Robinson herself.

2. Tartan skirts will never go out of style.

In the French film “A Woman is a Woman” starring Anna Karina, there are several instances where her playful character, Charlotte, perfectly emulates the heavily sought-after and elusive vibe of je ne sais quoi. Tartan skirts are timeless, and they are seen on runways season after season. Pair one with a beret, knit stockings, and a chunky turtleneck like Charlotte for a preppy, polished look.

3. Don’t be afraid to rock loud, oversized accessories.

Holly Golightly captures this concept in just about every outfit throughout “Breakfast as Tiffany’s.” She opts for borderline-gawdy costume jewelry, wide brim hats with huge bows, and chunky sunglasses, all while looking fabulous.

4. High-waist anything is ultra-feminine and smartly retro.

Sue Lyons’s appearance as Dolores Haze in Stanley Kubrick’s “Lolita” doubles as sweetly girlish and vintage. In this iconic scene, she achieves a bohemian look, with natural hair, a wide-brim feather hat (yes, please!), retro sunnies, and a patterned, high-rise bikini. High-waist bottoms, whether they are bikini bottoms, pants, or skirts, will always be a wardrobe staple for any smart-dressing Collegiette.

Let’s be real though. When it comes to dressing, there are no rules. Be fearless, be bold, and get inspired.

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Elizabeth Beanland

U Mass Amherst '18

Elizabeth is the editor-in-chief of Her Campus UMass Amherst. She is a journalism major with a French minor. Her passions include writing and editing, sustainability, style, living plant-based, and shopping vintage. Location-wise, she is partial to cities and anywhere on the West Coast. You can follow her Instagram @Bean._
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