While we scramble to copy her exact outfits every time, it turns out she didn't even realize they were cool.
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katie holmes
Credit: John Lamparski/Getty Images

When Katie Holmes wears something cute, it's hard to convince us not to buy the item. The actress and director just knows how to find the happy medium between fashion-forward, versatile, and practical, whether she's slipping on a comfortable pair of white sneakers or carrying an oversized bucket bag that's literally packed to the brim.

The funny thing about that, though? Holmes seems to have no ideas she's a style icon, or that the outfits she apparently stumbles into effortlessly make us want to swap what we're wearing on sight.

For instance, we'll never forget her matching cashmere bra and cardigan set from 2019 — a look that launched Khaite into the stratosphere and inspired a million copycats after she wore it. Did Holmes expect that kind of reaction, simply stepping out of her NYC apartment with a neutral-toned cozy sweater shrugged off one shoulder, just so?

"No, I didn't," she tells me when I caught up with her at Kate Spade's x 2022 event in New York. "I didn't."

She has a similar casually cool reaction about the latest trend she nailed: thick white socks and loafers, which is a favorite among followers of the academia and schoolcore aesthetics.

"I mean, I've always worn socks and loafers," she swears. "Is it a stylish thing? I didn't know that."

katie holmes
Credit: John Lamparski/Getty Images

What Holmes does know, however, is how much she loves Kate Spade, a brand she says she's been a fan of for years and has consistently kept in her closet.

"I remember my first Kate Spade bag," she says. "It was chocolate brown and black, and it had this black-and-white fabric on the inside — I still have it. The phenomenon that was the 'It' bag."

Holmes says that what the brand really achieves is a sense of happiness in its designs, which is much of what we see for Summer 2022. The collection is bright and printed, full of stripes, plaids, and florals.

"I feel like it really celebrates the spirit of women There's a frivolity to it. We all like to have fun, yet we also want to be stylish and chic, and we want to be taken seriously. But sometimes, we also just want to have a great little bag that's pink. I think they do such a good job incorporating all of that, so that's why I'm a fan."

Holmes also knows that fashion can come with a deeper meaning than just being bright and cheerful — especially when it comes to her line of work. While directing her latest movie, Rare Objects, she says it was fun to see how the outfits helped tell the story.

"Our costume designer, Brie Welch, really nailed it. It was so fun because she had a lot of Khaite stuff, a lot of Rosetta Getty, and just beautifully incorporated so many different characters, but there was such a through-line of this poetic color palette. It was really fun to see fashion in that way, and to incorporate it to story."

katie holmes
Credit: Raymond Hall/GC Images

Of course, we couldn't leave Holmes without getting a solid styling tip, so we asked about her winter essentials, hoping for some insight on what to buy before she wears it.

"I feel like it's all about being warm, right?" she says. "It sounds so obvious, but in this city, I do a lot of layering of the Uniqlo puffer that's like the thin puffer. That, under a sweater, then another sweater, then a heavy coat. You can always take the layers off. And always leggings or tights under jeans."