In the days since Kelley O’Hara and her teammates of the U.S. women’s soccer team took home the 2015 World Cup, they paraded through the streets of New York, they landed on stage with Taylor Swift, and, this week, they earned the Best Team Award at the ESPY Awards. It was a night to celebrate, certainly, and after a whirlwind 10 days, Kelley O’Hara wanted to make the night perfect.
So when we chatted with the talented player just hours before the award show, we were surprised to learn she still had no clue what to wear. “Cynthia Rowley sent a bunch of pieces, so I am going to go through them and pick out whatever I feel like,” she told us over the phone, calling from her hotel room in L.A., where she had set up her options on her bed (see below). “I don’t want to do like too dressy because it’s supposed to be fun. I want something sporty but also glam, fun, trendy, and a little edgy.”
She ultimately chose a lavender and black floral print tea-length gown with a deep-V front from Rowley’s fall 2015 collection. She topped it off with a textured messy bun by hairstylist Paul Norton and a bronzed look by makeup artist Carrisa Ferreri. “It’s fun to be able to dress up from time to time and pretend that I don’t wear cleats, a T-shirt, and shorts every day."
We were so excited for her big night that we asked her to take us through her day leading up to the ESPYs. Being the down-to-earth, humble star that she is, she happily agreed, and took several pictures to share with InStyle readers exclusively. Scroll down to check out the pictures, find out more about her big award show day, and learn about what life's like off the field.
How has your life changed since winning the Cup?
The experience has been amazing. It’s been exhausting because we’ve been all over the place but I’m so thankful for it. It’s really cool to see everyone rally around this team and women’s soccer. What have I learned? That nothing can replace a good night of sleep. I already knew that—it’s definitely true. Nothing can replace sleep but coffee can do it best. I love coffee.
What’s your typical coffee order?
Cortado—two shots of espresso and the same amount of steamed milk on top. It’s really delicious.
How do you take care of your skin when you work out so much?
During the day, I wear Coppertone Sport. It’s my favorite kind of sunscreen and it works really well because we’re just out in the sun every single day, I’m trying my best to avoid wrinkles at 30. At night it’s just about moisturizing. I wash my face as quickly as possible after practice and then I put on Origin’s Plantscription anti-aging power serum. We do get really sweaty and gross out there so the face does take a beating.
How you keep your hair healthy when you pull it and twist it every day on the field?
I have a ton of broken baby hairs in front. It just comes with the territory of being a soccer player. That would be the most frustrating thing that comes with having my hair in a ponytail and bun everyday. I usually just let it air-dry, so I’m not putting any heat on it.
Describe your off-field style.
Comfortable, sporty, and tomboy-ish. But I like to get dressed-up, be girly, and be feminine. I could wear a dress one day and boyfriend jeans the next. I usually just want to make sure I’m comfortable. I love Madewell, Aritzia, J. Crew, and All Saints.
Do you ever have trouble shopping?
I don’t have the typical girl physique, so sometimes my shoulders don’t fit properly. Leather jackets especially are a problem because the cut on them sometimes is too tight on the shoulders. But really it’s not too bad because I wouldn’t say I’m super bulky, which is nice. Every girl runs into problems with clothes but the solution is to just not buy them.
Everyone has one pair of jeans they love. What’s your fave?
I do! I found them this year. They’re Paige Denim’s Verdugo Ankle jeans. They’re skinny jeans that have good stretch in them but they never get stretch out.
What is your favorite way to pamper yourself?
Pampering for me would be getting to surf. It’s the most relaxing. Spas are nice and my mom and I will always go and get pedicures whenever I’m home. But that’s probably the extent of my pampering in terms of beauty stuff. I’d rather be in the ocean. That’s where I find the most peace and relaxation. Right now I’m based in New Jersey playing for my soccer team Sky Blue, so I like to go to Manasquan to surf.
What was your workout like this morning?
I go up to work out at 7 a.m. this morning. I love to run. I try to run outside as much as possible. But this morning I just did a treadmill workout and then did some pull-ups and then some core and some leg, body weight stuff. It’s really aobut getting in a quick workout when you can. Then, I had chocolate milk right after. I’m sipping it right now. (No wonder she’s the face of builtwithchocolatemilk.com.)
What is the secret to being a good team player?
It’s really just being a positive person and lifting the people up around you. If you want the team to do well, you need your teammates well. By supporting them and encouraging them and just giving them your all, then everyone will succeed. To be able to win something together and to do it together—that’s what’s special.
What was it like being on stage with Taylor Swift?
It was so cool. Winning a World Cup is up there on my list of favorite things ever and then Taylor Swift being on-stage with her is like right next to it—maybe just a tiny bit below. She is such a sweetheart. It was a moment I’ll never forget.