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Steal the Look: Jane Birkin Style Icon

The queen of effortless chic, style icon Jane Birkin embodies a timeless style. Simple, understated  yet incredibly fashion forward, pictures of Jane Birkin in the 70’s are easily confused with photos of today. Jane’s look is easily obtained today so let’s dig in to Jane Birkin’s style and steal the look!

Jane Birkin is a London born actress who moved to France in her early 20s. She starred in French movies like La Piscine, Slogan and Je T’aime Moi Non Plus. Her famous 13 year relationship with Serge Gainsbourg brought on a music career with her first album Jane Birkin/Serge Gainsbourg in 1969. She has continued her career with several movies and TV roles as well as several solo albums.

Jane Birkin’s style is incredibly individualistic. She was one to wear whatever she felt good in. She didn’t seem to care about trends and as a result, her style has stood the test of time.

The famous “Birkin Bag” was named after her after being on a flight with the CEO of Hermes. The Birkin bag might be the most coveted (and expensive) bag to date.

As usual with my “Steal the Look” series, I like to find pieces that work for today. While I don’t mind looking kitschy, I want to modernize a vintage look rather than copy it. Jane Birkin was famous for her mile long legs and she loved to wear very tiny shorts and dresses. I personally am not pulling that off so I’ve chosen more modest and age appropriate pieces that still give the look.

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Jane Birkin on a boat in the Cote d'azur
1973-Jane Birkin on a boat in the Cote d’Azur
1970 Mirrorpix Romance of a Horse Thief
1974 Gilles GIRIBALDI Jane enhances the basket bag with a scarf tied around the handle.
Jane Birkin with Ringo Star and George Harrison
1969 Keystone-France-Jane Birkin with Ringo Star and George Harrison
1970 Shutterstock White jeans and red ballet flats.
1968 Wonderwall. Jane posing as Penny Lane wearing a boho dress with a plunging neckline.

6 Pieces that Scream Jane Birkin Style:

  • Basket Bag-Jane carried a basket for a purse for decades. While completely unconventional but 100% unique, Jane carried the basket even when she was turned away from nice restaurants.
  • The Mini Dress-Jane Birkin was 5’8 and had incredible legs. She often was seen in mini dresses as well as short shorts. She was even photographed wearing cut off jean shorts with black tights and heels.
  • Loosely Faded Jeans-Never was she photographed in skinny jeans. She was typically in a high waisted flair or straight leg pair.
  • Espadrilles-Nothing says European summer more than espadrilles-at least in my opinion.
  • Flutter Sleeves Tops & Dresses-While Jane Birkin kept her style somewhat androgynes, she often would wear very feminine off the shoulder tops or ruffled sleeves. A plunging neckline was nothing Jane shied away from either.
  • Ballet Flats- While Brigitte Bardot made them popular in the 50s, Jane continued the trend in the 60s.

  1. Yellow & Pink Mini Dress-This floral mini dress is almost a dead ringer for one Jane wore. It’s darling and it’s extremely affordable.
  2. Green Mini Dress-Love this dress and like that it’s not so “mini” and much more wearable. It would be a fantastic summer staple to keep cool.
  3. Free People Silk Mini-This dress could be worn summer or winter. The model has a lace undershirt and black knee high boots which is exactly how Jane would’ve worn it!
  4. Basic White Button Down-Jane was famous for her classic basics. She was often spotted with a shirt like this with the sleeves rolled up and several buttons undone.
  5. Crew Neck White T-shirt-She was definitely a t-shirt and jeans kind of girl. With hair in a top knot, a basket for a bag and espadrilles-you’ve got the Birkin look nailed.
  6. Flutter Sleeved White Top-Another dead ringer for a top Jane was photographed in several times. She paired her’s with wide legged jeans and platforms.
  7. Basket Bag-Jane wore this bag with literally every outfit. The season did not matter. I love how this really shows that she dressed for no one but herself.
  8. Suede Knee Hight Boots-These boots are an iconic shoe of the late 60’s-early 70’s. Jane often paired them with her micro mini dresses and shorts.
  9. London Fog Trench Coat-Jane Birkin was often wearing a trench coat and is quite possibly credited for making it the stylish and chic iconic coat it is today.
  10. High Waisted Straight Leg Jeans-Never were Jane’s jeans tight and skinny. She also seemed to keep them light in denim wash.
  11. Black and White Stripped Tank Top-Nothing says French style like a black and white striped top. Classic and simple yet somehow fresh and chic every time.
  12. Flared Jeans-These jeans have a vintage wash and a flattering flare that reminded me of a pair Jane would wear.
  13. Wooden Platform Sandals-These platform heels have a bold, vintage vibe to them and would look great with jeans in the summer.
  14. Wooden Leather Clogs-The clog is not for everyone but it does remind me of European fashion in the 70s. She had them on with her wide legged jeans in the move Don Juan.
  15. Straw Bag-This bag is less of a basket and more of a typical bag but it still has the shape without the cumbersome handle.
  16. Espadrilles-Espadrille wedges are another European vintage style staple that has passed the test of time. They can be worn with just about any outfit giving a flattering lift without being uncomfortable.

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1969 La Piscine
Portrait of Jane Birkin in 1970. (Photo by REPORTERS ASSOCIES/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Jane Birkin’s Beauty Style:

Nothing says Jane Birkin more than bangs. Her hair was incredibly young and girly and gave her a bit of a kittenish look.

Her makeup focuses mainly on her eyes. With lots of mascara and heavy eye liner on the bottom lashes, white liner on the tear line, Jane’s eyes were very baby doll like. Lips seemed nude or natural most of the time.

Jane Birkin was an actor, singer, author, mother and philanthropist on top of being a woman who’s keen style has gone down in history and has been immortalized and imitated ever since.

My “Steal The Look” posts are my favorites! I have lots of iconic women on my list to do next but I would love to hear from you! Who would be good for us to steal their look?

xx, Jenni

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Collage of Jane Birkin