Julia Roberts Has Been Following This One Fashion Rule Since the ‘80s

Which is all the more reason to try it ourselves.

Julia Roberts black and white style
Photo: Getty Images

Whenever a new trend pops up, we pride ourselves on being the first ones to try it.

We've invested in shests, welcomed back popcorn shirts, and added babydoll shoes to all our outfits. At the same time, however, there's something to be said sticking to a signature aesthetic and following the same rules for years. For example, Julia Roberts has been pulling one signature fashion trick since the '80s: ensuring all her best outfits stick to the same black and white color scheme.

The actress' love of neutrals might not be too obvious at first. It's a sleek and timeless combination, and plenty of other stars enjoy black and white clothing, too. However, when looking back at some of Roberts' standout fashion choices over the years — award shows, red carpet events, the occasional Instagram post — it's hard not to notice this common thread.

Whether intentional or not (which might be a question for her stylist, Elizabeth Stewart), it's something we'll think about the next time we're in a jam and can't figure out what to wear. If a simple black and white pairing is good enough for this style icon, it's definitely good enough for us.


Julia Roberts 1989, Black and White Outfits
Steve Granitz Archive/WireImage)

It's been over 30 years since Roberts wore this oversized sweater with knee-highs and oxford shoes, but we doubt anyone would question it if we copied this black and white outfit in 2020.


Julia Roberts 1990, Black and White Outfits
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A white tee, a pair of jeans, and black jacket or sweater is still a no-fail choice for any casual outing.


Julia Roberts 1993, Black and White Outfits
Ron Galella Collection via Getty Image

Another bonus of a black and white look? It's even easier to mix prints, or in this case, combine types of stripes.


Julia Roberts 1993, Black and White Outfits
Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Roberts' bold pinstripe suit really wowed us when she stepped out at the 31st Annual New York Film Festival.


Julia Roberts 2000, Black and White Outfits
Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

In theory, a white button-down and black suit sounds boring. However, with a bit of tailoring and a fun collar choice, it'll create a show-stopping moment.


Julia Roberts 2001 Academy Awards, Black and White Outfits
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Roberts' curve-hugging Valentino gown definitely made it way into Oscars history. Just look at that train!


Julia Roberts 2009, Black and White Outfits
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Even while falling for questionable early aughts trends, such as cropped cardigans and platform heels, Roberts stuck to her go-to color combo.


Julia Roberts 2011, Black and White Outfits
Jeffrey Ufberg/WireImage

An oversized blazer is one staple to keep in your closet year-round. It'll look great when styled over a dress and also amp up a laid-back pair of jeans.


"Jesus Henry Christ" - Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals
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At the premiere of Jesus Henry Christ, the actress pulled a preppy Wednesday Adams move with a black and white collared dress.


Julia Roberts 2013, Black and White Outfits
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Some black strappy sandals gave this office-like outfit a fresh new vibe.


Julia Roberts 2014, Black and White Outfits
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

At the Golden Globe Awards, Roberts reminded us that a little bit layering can truly transform a look.


Julia Roberts 2016, Black and White Outfits
JB Lacroix/WireImage

While pairing a black suit with a white shirt is pretty common, Roberts switched things up for the world premiere of the movie Mother's Day, styling a white shorts set with a black button-down.


Julia Roberts 2016, Black and White Outfits

The actress sure does love pinstripes! She broke them out again for a Money Monster photo call at Cannes Film Festival, this time in jumpsuit form.


Julia Roberts 2018, Black and White Outfits
ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Roberts went with her favorite colors once again at the premiere of Ben Is Back, layering a white jacket over a ruffled, black and white polka-dot dress.


Julia Roberts 2019, Black and White Outfits
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Consider this a reminder to invest in a cropped and tailored pair of white pants, which clearly go with a variety of tops — even asymmetrical, statement-making ones.


Julia Roberts 2019, Black and White Outfits
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Roberts' white accessories and shoes really popped against her polka-dot set, giving her look a lighthearted twist for the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic.


She may be staying home during the pandemic, but Roberts hasn't forgotten about her love of black and white. On top of posing this picture in a classic striped shirt, she shared a shot of a gown in the same color scheme ahead of the Met Gala.

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