Week 4: Little Black Dress (LBD) and Breakfast at Tiffany’s

It’s week 4 of the BusiChic Black Dress Project and I’m looking to Audrey Hepburn for some sun-smart chic as I accessorise my Bento Ruby Little Black Dress (LBD) with a hat kindly loaned to me by American Rag.

Those of you who have been BusiChics for sometime now, will know that one morning last year I had Breakfast at Tiffany’s – the relaunched flagship Melbourne store.

There I photographed the hat-i-licious Alison Waters of Hat Matters. Alison was resplendant in a feathered hat that paid perfect tribute to Audrey Hepburn’s iconic role as Holly Golightly which she called “the jazziest of my carrier” and one that has had fashionistas in a tizzy ever since.

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Screengrabs from Breakfast at Tiffany’s

The Givenchy black dresses that Audrey wore in the film set the benchmark in timeless dressing and is referenced in just about every self-respecting piece on the subject of LBDs. I found myself thinking “What Would a Modern-Day Office-bound Audrey Do?” when I planned the 52 ways I wished to style my Bento LBD for the workplace.  So over the course of the year, there will be various Audrey-tribute stylings of the dress. In this installment of the BusiChic Black Dress Project (#LBDproject for those of you following on Twitter), the accessory I’ve chosen to focus on is the hat. Considering the state of our ozone layer, it is something that we really should be doing more of for our own good.

However, how can we wear hats to work and in a BusiChic fashion? I think so and that the key is to find a style that suits you and keep things simple. As such, inspired by Alison and Audrey, I’ve paired this week’s black dress with a vintage hat.

A broad brim hat is a stylish shield from the sun in this to-office LBD ensemble.

hat and bag American Rag LBD Bento Ruby Dress shoes Naturalizer – remember to check your sound is down if you’re going to open this last link in the office, it has a rather loud autoplay clip.

Can I just remark how rather charming it is to have a hat perched on your desk? I remove it once I get to my desk and I’ve found that prepping my hair with volumnising sea salt spray (I use David Babaii for WildAid Bohemiam Beach Spray) after I’ve washed my hair in the morning is the trick to help me avoid having the dreaded hat-hair.

Close-ups of the accessories I used to style my LBD tribute to Breakfast at Tiffany’s both  à la Audrey and in Melbourne:

  1. earrings Lost and Found Market – these are actually upcycled vintage buttons!
  2. ring Edenborough Evans – an emerging jewelery designer whose work I’m wanting in both gold and silver, thank you!
  3. beaded flower attached to bag Beads for Wildlife

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In my researching Audrey Hepburn, I came across this quote below that I thought was appropriate to share with modern professionals.

I probably hold the distinction of being one movie star who, by all laws of logic, should never have made it. At each stage of my career, I lacked the experience.
I was asked to act when I couldn’t act. I was asked to sing ‘Funny Face’ when I couldn’t sing, and dance with Fred Astaire when I couldn’t dance – and do all kinds of things I wasn’t prepared for. Then I tried like mad to cope with it.
~ Audrey Hepburn
I think it’s applicable to each and everyone of us who seeks or is faced with stretch opportunities. Sure you might doubt yourself but dig deep, do your best and most importantly, make that opportunity your own. That’s what I’ve taken away from the quote, what do you think?
Are you inspired by Audrey’s example to pair your workwear with a hat? Check out the BusiChic hat overview , tell us how you’d wear a hat to work or simply share your thoughts on Audrey Hepburn’s legacy as a fashion icon!


  1. Uh, can you say STUNNING? Cheryl, this is an outfit bursting with old fashioned glamour and I love it. You certainly pull it off! The bag keeps it young and cute too. Gorgeous. x

  2. tres chic – I am loving this look classic and full of old fashioned STYLE!!

  3. Brilliant quote. Love the hat, dress and shoes combo.
    Matching ring and earrings are cute too.

  4. Channeling your inner Audrey – love it. I love how you’ve broken up the ‘black’ with that bag. How did you feel wearing a hat in an environment where people don’t? I’m sure I’d feel pretty self conscious, especially here in Canberra!

    • What a great question, thanks Vanisha!

      I do like to wear some outlandish things on my way to and from work (don’t even get me started on my weekend gear!) but think it’s important and professional to remove one I get into the office. That said, when out and about and wearing something that is unusual, like this hat, I think it’s important to try and “own” the look without coming across as too much of a tosser. It’s a fine balance and I am working on it but I hope that answers your question! 😉

  5. Ooh! I like. A LOT. x

  6. I love how you have accessorised the LBD with the hat 🙂 Looks so stylish! 🙂


  7. Great quote! I also like ‘jump, and the net will appear’. Fabulous outfit and you’re getting so much use out of that Beads for Wildlife flower – I’m going to have to start getting craftier with mine! xoxo

  8. Fantastic hat! It looks perfect with that dress. The little basket handbag is a bit of a winner, too.

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