27 Times Jane Birkin Inspired Our Wardrobes

Alice Watt

Renowned for her signature effortless style, relive Jane Birkin's most iconic looks here...

Jane Birkin, dubbed the original rock chick and whose affair with French heartthrob Serge Gainsbourg symbolised the Sixties, has inspired the wardrobes of the women the world over.

To celebrate the legendary style icon’s birthday on 14th December, we chart her style history, and the way in which her effortlessly cool, unique brand of Parisian-meets-boyish style has inspired us for decades. 

1970
Before the likes of Cameron Diaz and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Jane Birkin was leading the way in off-duty airport style. Flared jeans, a luxe knit and of course her trademark straw bag were the style icon’s travel essentials.

1969
Anyone who can look this cool on a go-kart gets our seal of approval. Birkin’s tonal mix of army greens with brown leather boots and belt is a trend-leader in its own right and gives a fresh spin on the present-day military trend.

1970
Way before crop top and bras as outerwear were on the catwalks, Jane was doing it her way with low-slung wide-leg pants and forever-classic ballet pumps.

1971
Jane Birkin’s cosy yet sultry mix of roll neck jumper, shorts and knee-high socks looks as fresh and relevant today as it did then…

1974
A Breton stripe jumper with cut-off jeans may be our default weekend look but Jane was one of the pioneers of this oh-so effortless and elegantly cool look. Everything you’d expect from the style icon. 

1971
This tried-and-tested shorts, pea coat and roll neck jumper is a fail-safe off-duty look for women the world over.

1985
The tried-and-tested look of fashion editors the world over came from the way Jane pulled off an unbuttoned laid-back luxe shirts with serious sass. 

1977
Jane Birkin has inspired everyone from Alexa Chung to Keira Knightley in how to master the fine art of undone eveningwear. Here, her metallic disco-ready pants and straw basket is a genius mix of high-low style.

1994
You know that over-sized coat with tailored trousers and white sneakers you’ve been rocking this season? Look who was at it first…

1994
Ever since the Hermes Birkin was created in her honour, Jane has used it to maximum effect – here showing how to give a power-woman spin to mannish tailoring.

1996
Jane was the pioneer of the fail-safe cashmere sweater with straight leg (never skinny) jeans combo. And of course, adding a luxe leather Birkin to this off-duty power pairing.

The 1970s
Trust Jane to pull off the tricky knee-high boors trend. Leading the way in styling a killer red pair, Birkin dresses down the bold colour with denim and opts for an awkward length of cropped trouser for a catwalk-ready look that can be worn today just as well is it could be in the 70s…

1979
Don’t you wish you looked like this relaxing by the pool? Jane’s all-white look and borrowed-from-the-boys white shirt is timelessly elegant.

1974
Cut-off jeans? Check. Ballet pumps? Check. Relaxed cotton shirt? Check. Our off-duty wardrobes were inspired by this fail-safe look.

1969
The originators of matching couple style, Serge and Jane also give a masterclass in the art of styling a neck tie and scarf.

1969
What to wear with an heirloom diamond necklace? In the case of Jane Birkin, it’s a simple V-neck cardigan and mini skirt. Luxury meets laid-back – it’s a style lesson to still draw on today.

2008
An advocate of a loose, over-sized silhouette, Jane Birkin still provides an endless source of inspiration for anyone looking to skew skinny in favour of skilful layering.

1970
How many times have you balanced out a super-short dress with flat pumps? Jane was there first…

2009
Just like modern day style icons, Jane’s never been one to follow red carpet style rules. And this achingly cool look shows just what a pro and inspiration she is. Cue an elusive mix of over-sized mohair jumper, revealing a subtly sexy glimpse of skin, teamed with a perfect-length fitted pencil skirt and all topped off with a killer pair of heels – it’s all just so right.

1969
A daringly cut-out evening dress paired with off-beat jewellery has been the inspiration behind many a bohemian red carpet look…

2009
Aside from endless off-duty styling tips, Jane’s understated eveningwear is an eternal well of inspiration. This slim-line (never tight, you see) cocktail dress, sexy courts and no make-up or jewellery is our go-to for formal occasions.

2011
No A-list wardrobe is complete without a designer handbag, even when off-duty and headed for the gym. The person behind this? You guessed it…

1978
Borrowing your boyfriend’s blazer - or your dad’s for that matter - and throwing it over a loose white tee is a catwalk and A-list approved look we’ve channelled a million times over. And just like Jane, we never tire of it.

2011
Attending the Stella McCartney show with daughter Lou Doillon, Jane gives a lesson in mastering the art of understated eveningwear. Effortlessly sexy in her satin tux and heels, it’s Birkin’s signature no-make-up and bags of attitude spin that we admire so much.

1970
Looking as good today as it did in 1970, this paired-back maxi dress blends together Jane’s unique ability to add ‘I just threw this on’ vibe with covetable accessories. The mini Louis Vuitton bag our case in point...

1974
This classic mix of crew neck tee and stonewash jeans is central to Birkin’s style DNA. Peep-toe red shoes and signature straw basket give the ultimate off-duty summer look that oh-so-cool French spin we all so admire.

1969
Leading the way in home-customisation, Jane is an advocate of the cut-off, raw-hem look.


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