K A T I E   H O L M E S :
The Girl Next Door

Katie Holmes On Style Regrets, Paparazzi & Great Advice

By Gina Marinelli

"I actually think Iíve always been dressing the same version of myself," Katie Holmes tells us. Instantly our mind goes to the red carpet, both past and present. We think of her sleek silhouettes with subtle, intricate detailing and her obvious penchant for classic, elegant shapes, as well as the many times she unabashedly pushed the limits of what that means. But in this moment, dressed in a striped tee and patent skirt, sitting on a couch ó shoes off, feet tucked up ó she goes on to explain her love of cozy basics with a smile so big we feel inclined to crack one ourselves.

As much as her star's risen over the past couple decades, Holmes exudes some of that girl-next-door charm that we initially felt when the Ohio native got her big break as the perennial dream girl across the creek, Joey Potter. And that can be seen in her personal style, too. But if, as she claims, her closet only knows one version of her, it's still one that's grown with the actress. And in chatting with Old Navy's new Style Tastemaker, we went about figuring out the real style evolution that's lead Holmes to this moment. Because one thing that's not a matter of opinion? This moment is a big one.

Not only is this bicoastal star a regular on Showtime's Ray Donovan, but her SXSW feature, Touched with Fire, is set to be released by Roadside Attractions. And though she's staying quiet about it today, she's optioned Annie Weatherwax's All We Had and has been working to bring it to the big screen. But first, she takes us back ó back to her first red carpet, to her first fashion show, and even to the '90s trends she once made popular ó in order to understand the present. Ahead, 10 things you never knew about Holmes' style, from the starlet herself.

One of her first stylists was her dad.
"My dad got me this beautiful shawl for my first movie premiere. I still have it. It's this beautiful, black, timeless piece."

Normcore is not just a trend for her.
"Iíve always been pretty simple. I love my Acne jeans with a sweatshirt and tennis shoes. It makes me really happy. Itís comfortable, and I know I can get a lot done in it. And a good flannel ó I love Old Navy flannels."

Her eye-opening moment was at Fashion Week.
"I remember going to my first fashion show. It was Alexander McQueen in 1999, at the piers in New York. I was blown away at such artistry, and I really developed a great love and respect for fashion and the process of design. That show was just very theatrical. I remember the models were walking through water and there was a lot of black [clothing] done in a very sophisticated and elegant way. And I realized the power of a perfect fit. You really gain an appreciation for style once you understand all of the work that went into it."

She's inspired by some of the greats.
"The people I love being around are great wardrobe designers, stylists, and fashion designers. I think when the [styling] idea comes from a piece of art or a movie or something, it makes it more fun to wear. Iíve been really influenced by Ali MacGraw, Lauren Hutton, Kate Moss, Audrey Hepburn, and Kate Hepburn ó different characters have influenced my style."

Sheís totally over those Joey Potter, '90s-era cropped tees.
"In my early 20s I was not afraid of a cropped T-shirt, and I think I could have rethought that choice. It was the '90s. Iím not doing that anymore."

She doesnít subscribe to the hide-your-flaws mentality.
"Know what your strengths are and highlight those. Weíre so used to, as women, focusing on whatís not our favorite part of ourselves. No, just focus on whatís good and highlight that. Draw the eye to that and forget about everything else ó thatís what I say! No oneís perfect."

Her trick is all in the mix.
"Itís always fun to mix and match high/low, like putting Old Navy pieces with designer pieces. For fall, I like big, oversized, patterned coats, and there are lots of bright colors ó greens, wine reds, oranges, browns ó that are exciting. And turtlenecksÖif worn the right way. Just pick a turtleneck or a sweater; donít do it together."

She's not afraid to get it wrong (even for the paps).
"I think Iíve failed more than succeeded in paparazzi photos. You never know when they're going to be out there. I usually stick to what I like [to wear] and donít really worry about it. Itís about knowing the silhouettes that work on you. If I do a skinny jean, Iíll do a big top; if I have on trouser jeans, Iíll do a tinier top so itís all balanced. Sometimes I get it right, and sometimes I get it very wrongÖwell, itís a choice that maybe you would make differently."

That thing you do before bed? She does it, too.
"I find the schedule that you keep really influences [your style]. What function Iím going to, whether itís a work function or a mom function, dictates what I pull from the closet. Sometimes I lie in bed at night and go through my stuff. I also go through magazines and pull stuff that I like. I donít go out and specifically get those things, but Iíll find pieces that are similar."

Her outfits are dictated by her time zone.
"My style shifts with the city that Iím in. In Europe, itís a little bit more dressy. In Paris, I love pulling out a good boot, a high boot. It makes me happy even though the streets are cobblestone and it could be very dangerous. I always feel like in New York, you can be very fashion forward and get away with it. And you can get away with being dressier during the day, at least for me. In L.A., itís a little bit more relaxed. In Asia, you can play with patterns ó I have fun with it."