Celebrity Jessica Alba Reveals Her "Appropriate But Playful" Summer Style Staples By Kim Peiffer Kim Peiffer Kim Peiffer is a New York-based editor, writer, digital media expert, and on-camera talent who covers beauty, wellness, travel, fashion, and women's lifestyle topics. She was previously a Senior Editor for InStyle, and is currently the Lifestyle Executive Editor for Forbes. InStyle's editorial guidelines Published on July 1, 2014 @ 08:22AM Pin Share Tweet Email Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty No matter where Jessica Alba surfaces, whether it be at a red carpet event or a cafe to grab a latte, she always dresses the part. How does she manage to always look so perfectly put together, yet make it look completely effortless? She starts with the basics, and works her way up. We chatted with Alba and got the scoop on the method to her functional fashion choices and how she takes one item and turns it into an enviable look. You're so well known for your fashion. How would you define your style?Appropriate, but playful. I like to wear whatever fits my mood. Sometimes I’m really feeling ’90s grunge, and I’ll wear my Doc Martens every day for a week, and that’s a certain look you’re going for. You have to commit to the Docs, and everything builds from there! So, that’s your starting point?Yeah. Usually my outfits do sort of revolve around the shoe. Then sometimes I feel like doing casual dress pants and a T-shirt and a blazer, and trying to be business-y. It’s all over the place, but it’s for sure appropriate for what’s happening. If I’m going to the office, it’s more appropriate for that environment, versus if I’m going to a tech conference or a press conference or hanging out on the weekend with the kids. It’s usually functional for that occasion. What are your summer staples?I am for sure wearing Birkenstocks again. They are so comfortable. I’m not sure what to say about it. I’m not sure if it’s a good choice. Some of my friends think it’s the worst thing on the planet. And some of my other friends are down, so I’m not sure. I am committing to it, so that’s happening. And those Ancient Greek Sandals—I have a few pair of those, and I am for sure wearing those. And I have these white Vans. This trip, I built my entire going-to-the-airport outfits around my white Vans. I really do. If the two things, my bag and my shoes are white, then everything else can be colorful. It can be a mess as long as the bag and the shoes are white. There’s no better airport shoe as far as comfort goes. Vans, pashmina—any other airport essentials?Yeah. Always have a blankie. My Zico coconut water on the way to the airport. And of course my phones. That’s how I stay connected to my family. I consider my tablet a phone [laughs]. I do FaceTime on this thing, and that’s how I stay connected with my kids. I have all of their silly apps, and of course my phone. That is how I stay connected to my office and my family. See more of Jessica Alba's style in our gallery!