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The Girl Next Door

Katie Holmes Is a Simple Girl at Heart

The actress talks style with BAZAAR.com and says her most prized possessions are her dirty, vintage T-shirts.

Harper's Bazaar
By Rosa Sanchez

It seems like every week, Katie Holmes delights us with a sleek, new street style look while out in New York City, so it's fitting that the actress was a star guest at the opening party for Fashionphile, a high-end reseller for secondhand luxury handbags and accessories, which just arrived in Manhattan.

Holmes took a look inside her closet for BAZAAR.com and revealed what her wardrobe consists of these days, how she shops, and which items she cannot live without.

Fresh off her attendance at The Silver Ball, The Moth's 25th Anniversary Gala honoring David Byrne—to which she wore an airy sherbet-orange gown on the red carpet with boyfriend Bobby Wooten—Holmes says she's actually "pretty simple" when it comes to her style. And if she's being honest, she hasn't always been too interested in fashion.

"It's really come with the job of being an actor," she tells BAZAAR of her relatively recent interest in clothes.

"I directed two films back-to-back this year, and I did the costumes as well, which made me appreciate my friends who are costume designers and all the costume designers I've worked with in the past," Holmes says, speaking of the film Rare Objects and a still-untitled romance movie based in Connecticut. "It made me appreciate silhouettes and cuts and color in a way I thought I had, but when you put it on camera, when you are trying to tell a story, you can see how clothing can do a lot of the work for you."

The actress says storytelling is her true passion, so to have fashion be a part of that and evolve with her throughout her film career has been very rewarding. "And we live in a world where we have a premiere and you want to look nice, and it turns into being a fashion person, and I'm like, 'Well, I just like to look nice, I'm not really a fashion person.' We all just want to look good," she says.

In recent weeks, Holmes has been spotted wearing an ivory suit with hot pink heels, a backless knit crop top with wide-leg pants, and a green raincoat with blue trousers while out in the city. But she tells BAZAAR that what she feels most at home in is an old tee.

"I love my T-shirts, and I love my vintage T-shirts. They're so yummy. They're a little dirty, a little stained or whatever, and that's me," the Coda star says.

It's ironic, really, that the actress known for her elegant style—both on and off the red carpet—would rather hang out in a washed-out tee, but comfort is comfort, and she says giving her clothes a long life is very important to her. That not always means wearing the same clothes over and over again; a lot of the time, it means reselling or donating them, as well as shopping preowned and vintage items.

"We don't have a choice anymore," she says of considering sustainability when she buys clothes and supports new brands. "We have to be smart and conscious, and do the right thing."

Holmes has a personal collection of beloved vintage bags, but she says these days, her most used carryall is a Bottega Veneta. "I feel like that's one of the brands that I always love their pieces, because it's so creative and chic. You feel like you’re wearing a museum piece. So it takes fashion to another level," she says.