Neil Rasmus/BFA.com
September 22, 2015

We've harbored a style crush on Michelle Monaghan for some time now, and as of last night, we can officially say that it has developed into an out-and-out girl crush. The star is truly charming IRL. And at 39 years old, not only is she a pro at piecing together impeccable outfits (and just having fun with it: "I'm such a sucker for fashion," she tells us), but she's also incredibly humble when it comes to her life experiences. So, we had to ask: What was the biggest lesson she's learned in her 30s? 

"I've really learned how to be assertive, and I think something that has taken me quite a long time," she says to InStyle. "I know what I want, and I'm not afraid to voice my opinion in the most respectful and professional ways. It's something I learned, and I'm very proud of that."

As for turning the big 4-0, Monaghan says that she's looking forward to continuing the path she's on. And the secret to her radiance (if you follow her on Instagram, you already know her complexion is completely flawless), she reveals, is water. "I drink so much water," she laughs. "I probably drink at least three liters of water a day. I also work out, and I think that gives you a healthy glow."

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And glow she did at the Altuzarra handbag launch. Clad in head-to-toe Altuzarra, Monaghan says she's a longtime fan of designer Joseph Altuzarra's genius. "After his spring 2016 show, I said to him, 'I just want you to come to my closet and put that perfect slit in everything that I own," she says, calling out the designer's signature—the sexy thigh-high slit. 

Even though the slit didn't translate from ready-to-wear to handbags, everything else that the brand stands for did. "The brand is about three things: French sophistication, American utilitarianism, and craftsmanship," the designer lists. "And those three elements needed to be integrated in the language of the bag." 

He achieved the blend of all three with a line-up of soft hobo totes and pragmatic saddle purses, each strapped or affixed with an intricate leather braid inspired by American bullriding rope. The clasps, too, were inspired by heirloom French lighters. "I wanted to offer something that felt different, that felt unique," he continues. "In this business you have to have a product that offers something that others don't."

Mission accomplished—the handbag line has already found fans in many, including Monaghan, January Jones (below), and, now, us. 

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