“I am a product of the early-’90s."

By Laura Norkin
Updated Oct 19, 2018 @ 6:00 pm
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Julia Roberts
Credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

From wearing bow-fronted strapless gowns onscreen to piling on the pink floof to scale a mountain in a recent editorial, Julia Roberts appears to be a person with zero fashion missteps in her 50-year history. But when asked over email if there’s any particular outfit, style era, or past look that she now laughs about — or straight up regrets — the iconic actress responded somewhat evasively, “Oh yes there is!” Has she ever suffered an undergarment-related SNAFU on the red carpet? “Oh yes, I have!”

What these were, we may never know. But she did let us in on one surprising tidbit about her style evolution over time. The celebrity style icon Roberts looks up to, is none other than Blake Lively, the "A Simple Favor" star who’s been out and about in a wild array of suits like a fashion Willy Wonka this season. “I dream I am as wonderful and stylish as Blake Lively,” Roberts says. “Hey, a girl’s got to dream.”

When Roberts isn't dreaming, she's considering the trends. I personally think the age you are when a trend first comes around impacts how you feel about it when it comes back. I came of age in the ‘90s, and thus have strong jaunty-hat associations: Roberts in Pretty Woman with the fascinator at the polo field. Blossom (being Blossom) and LL Cool J circa ‘91 also come to mind. Some of these exact hat looks are back around now, and I can’t bring myself to open up to them a second time. Roberts, though, is more relaxed about the seasons going 'round and 'round.

“Shoulder pads seem to be sneaking back in, which are fun,” she says. “I see girls wearing jean shorts with cowboy boots, which takes me back to the early-’90s completely.”

Julia Roberts Calzedonia
Credit: Courtesy

The '90s are when she says her own personal style really took shape, and it’s something she’s stayed true to.

“I am a product of the early-’90s, with Herb Ritts girls — great jeans and T-shirts, and boots.” But right now she’s breaking from that uniform, at least as far as undergarments are concerned, to partner with Calzedonia tights, an Italian hosiery brand she's done four campaigns with now. “This is a family company, which really appeals to me,” she says. “I love that our campaigns are always approached with humor.”

Now as a mom of three with husband Danny Moder, Roberts is as family-focused as ever. When feeling down, or after a long day, Roberts says she feels “lucky to have lots of choices,” as far as how to unwind.

“Playing games with my friends and family is always a happy place. Exercise for sure. Participating in my community. There is lots to be grateful for if we’re looking in the right direction.” Surprisingly, that can sometimes include Instagram, which she just joined this June. “I have had a fun experience with it,” she says of the platform (which she had previously likened to eating cotton candy. "It looks so appealing and you just can’t resist getting in there, and then you just end up with sticky fingers and it lasted an instant," she told Marie Claire back in 2013.) She's come around, if tentatively. “It is nice to have a place to share things that interest me with others, to support charities I believe in, and the endeavors of friends, as well,” she says.

If it seems like she’s being secretive, well, maybe she’s learned a thing or two from her character on Amazon’s upcoming show Homecoming, which finds her working as a therapist in a veteran’s hospital — but it’s clear from the trailers that all is not what it seems.

“It is hard to talk about specifically without giving things away,” she says of the show, complete with the emoji of a monkey covering its mouth. Roberts will say she’s looking forward for the rest of us to get to watch the show once it comes out on Nov. 2. “I am very excited for people to see this. It holds a special fondness for me as a producer and an actor, but the camaraderie on this show was unique.”

While some react to the news of a mega-star like Roberts signing on to do Amazon TV as if its a step down, she confirmed recently that, there is no “small screen” in her house. But, she tells me, there was a time she may not have taken this job (or any job), which caused some momentary panic in her early career. “There was a time early in my career when I passed on a lot of work, and felt that the offers may stop coming. That was for about two years,” she says. “I was lucky to have trusted my instincts and have it work out in such a positive way.”

Her instincts did not steer her wrong when it came to cowboy boots and outlandish hat adornments (at least the kind she wore onscreen). Let's see how this whole Blake Lively thing plays out.