How to Hepburn – a book

Kate Hepburn Composite


I read this little book over the Christmas break. Kate Hepburn is – no surprise here – one of my style, life touchstones. The sub-title of the book is Lessons on Living from Kate the Great. At the back of the book is a list of tips for getting your Hepburn on …. Here are a select few –

2 Find Yourself Fascinating

Hepburn said, “Stone –cold sober, I find myself absolutely fascinating” As most of us are very far from feeling this way, its safe to lift the ban on being sober, I should think. You may think yourself fascinating after a glass of pinot. The important thing is that you view your qualities and quirks, your challenges and achievements, with real interest. Appreciate yourself. This sounds easier than it is. Most of us secretly feel about ourselves as did Groucho, that we would never want to belong to a club that would have us as a member

3 Find a Sport (s)

Hepburn was the living example of the benefits of regular exercise. Long before there were special hundred-dollar shoes to run in and special exercise classes in which you could pretend you were a stripper, there was Hepburn, swimming, golfing and playing tennis. She was rarely sick, never fat, didn’t seem to suffer any chronic ailments and always looked younger than her years. Spencer Tracy, in comparison, never got any exercise except what Hepburn forced on him, suffered from emphysema, heart disease, and other problems related to his preferred activity: sitting around drinking Irish whiskey. He died of heart failure at sixty-seven. Should you remain unconvinced about the benefits of regular, lifelong exercise, consider this: Both Tracy and Hepburn were big smokers. Hepburn smoked two packs a day for over twenty years and she still almost lived to a hundred.

12 Find Danger Exhilarating

In The African Queen after the drunken Charlie and prim Rose survive the rapids, Rosie is flushed and breathless. She blots her cheeks with her hands and breathes, “I never dreamed that any mere experience could be so stimulating”. It was old news to Hepburn, who was taught to ride her bike by Hep (her father), who took her to the top of a hill, plopped her on the seat, and let go.

16 Find the type of Clothes You Feel Best In and Never Take Them Off

Hepburn revolutionized the way we dress. You are probably wearing what you are wearing right now because Hepburn refused to be a good girl and put on a dress. The thing is, for you, wearing a dress might be what you’re all about. A mini-skirt and tights might say “you” more than slacks and button-down shirt. If that’s the case, reject the slacks. The same holds true of make-up. Hepburn never wore a stitch, with the exception of that devastating red lipstick.

18 Surprise the World and Yourself by Enjoying a Good Cry

Hepburn was both tough and emotional. At Humphrey Bogart’s funeral she wore a dress, and when she glimpsed a model of the “The Santana”, his cherished sailboat, on the altar, she burst into tears and wept like a three-year-old.

21.Care for Someone Who Doesn’t Deserve It

No one will ever know the truth about what went on between Tracy and Hepburn. She, who refused to live five minutes in the past, who believed that when something was done it was done, continued to rent Tracy’s guesthouse on George Cukor’s estate for eleven years after Tracy’s death. Unlike Hep, who couldn’t get rid of Kit’s (mother) things fast enough, Hepburn kept everything in Tracy’s cottage exactly as it was. Perhaps Hepburn’s devotion was like the Tin Man’s journey with Dorothy to Oz; in the process she earned herself a heart.

22 Make it Count

The book is How to Hepburn : Lessons on Living from Kate the Great by Karen Karbo

The images above are from google images.




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