A reader wrote in:
“I love Gwyneth Paltrow’s style … especially her casual chic outfits involving blazers. Any suggestions for how to go about reproducing some of these looks in real life?”
I have to agree – Ms. Paltrow does do casual chic very well. You don’t see her running errands in sweatpants, but you also don’t get the feeling that she dresses for these occasions like someone angling for coverage in People Stylewatch (cough, Jessica Alba, cough). In fact, she has a bit of a “uniform” going on – certain key pieces that she evidently feels are comfortable enough to be practical, yet still stylish enough to keep her well out of any “worst dressed” lists. Let’s analyze the evidence, shall we?
As our reader noted, Ms. Paltrow does love her tailored blazers. This is a great piece for dressing up casual ensembles. You will see that she very often pairs blazers with jeans, cargo or boyfriend-style pants. GP is one of those lucky folks who can wear anything, anyhow, but generally the baggier the pants, the more structured and streamlined the blazer; conversely, a less tailored boyfriend jacket looks best paired with skinny jeans.
The next key element is the top – almost always a plain T-shirt. Ms. Paltrow doesn’t do a lot of embellishments for daytime. This is good news for anyone trying to replicate these looks. However, the simpler the elements of a look, the more things like cut and fit matter in terms of getting a stylish result. There is nothing distracting the eye from the lines of your clothes, so you will want those lines to be sharp.
The final key element is the shoe. Here is where you can be as creative as you like. Ms. Paltrow has worn her signature blazer look with everything from riding boots to flats to sky-high heels. Let your preferences and lifestyle dictate your choice of footwear. Generally, heels are definitely more “evening” than flats, but that is not to say that they are not a perfectly appropriate choice for daytime as well.
In terms of colour, Ms. Paltrow sticks close to neutrals – black, grey, brown, white, camel, khaki, blue (denim) – while occasionally using accessories for a splash of colour (love that fuchsia bag!). You can stay true to her minimalist aesthetic by going with solid colours – no patterns – and picking not more than 3 different one per outfit. [Different shades of the same colour don’t count.] I’m really into pink at the moment, especially as an accent colour, so my take on Ms. Paltrow’s style is both a reflection of my current obsession and something of an homage to one of her least successful red carpet forays ever – who can forget the pink Ralph Lauren confection she wore to the Oscars in 1999?
Meanwhile, these jeans ($30 at American Eagle!) are more of a tribute to GP’s recent Vogue spread – and this distressed pair of light-wash jeans. [Also from AE, though GP is either wearing them 3 sizes too big in a boyfriend style, or it’s a different version from mine entirely.] A super light wash is not for everyone (and certainly not for my thighs), but grey is great option. I’m really happy with this particular pair because it doesn’t have a ton of fade, and the denim is soft – very comfy. It’s my first ever pair of distressed jeans, and I’m in love.
Where to find boyfriend-style blazers: Club Monaco ($159-249); Jacob ($159.99); Jeanne Beker’s Edit line ($150, at The Bay); American Eagle ($59.99).
Interested in a celebrity’s style and want to find out how to adapt it for yourself? Send in your nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.