Olivia Wilde Says She Dresses Like a "Teenager from the Early Aughts"

Her style inspiration is essentially her character from The O.C.

While Olivia Wilde's red carpet style is the epitome of glamour, she insists that when she's not posing for the flashbulbs, things are much more low-key. Her favorite outfits are so casual, in fact, that you might be able to re-create them if you didn't Kondo your entire closet. In her interview for the cover of InStyle's Badass Women issue, she told Booksmart star Beanie Feldstein — Wilde directed her in the comedy — that her style hasn't changed much since she was playing teenagers in the early aughts.

In 2004, Wilde made waves and cemented herself a place in everyone's nostalgia files when she played Alex Kelly in Fox's The O.C. And even though the actress and director has since moved on to film and more work behind the camera, her wardrobe is stuck back in the days of the Bait Shop, Seth Cohen, and low-rise jeans.

Olivia Wilde
Wilde in a Dior blouse and skirt. Verdura earrings. Max Mara tie. Socks, stylist’s own. Roger Vivier pumps. Photo by Pamela Hanson/LGA Management.

"I'm still pretending to be a teenager from the early aughts. My most comfortable state is when I'm wearing low-rise jeans, sneakers, and a sweatshirt," she said. "In that, I am unstoppable. And if I'm in a high-waist jean, I can't let my gut expand."

Olivia Wilde Fox TV
Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images
Olivia Wilde Fox 2004 Fall Lineup - Red Carpet
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Olivia Wilde Premiere Party for New FOX Show
Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Wilde's O.C.-era wardrobe is well-documented and she's not exaggerating when she said she loves a low rise. She was photographed in hip-hugging denim over and over and was a definite product of the time. She wore flowing ponchos, skin-tight T-shirts, and going-out tops. With a '00s-era Mischa Barton and Rachel Bilson as her co-stars, it's no surprise she embraced the casual, Cali-cool looks that defined an entire generation of mall shoppers.

Growing up doesn't mean giving up your bellbottoms, however. While Wilde still loves her fashion from the aughts, she's happy that some things have changed, like her pivot into directing.

"It was that as a director I finally felt that I was being listened to because of my ideas," she said. "It was the first time my brain had been isolated as the valuable element, which was satisfying."

While her experience playing the "bad girl" of The O.C. is behind her, she's definitely a badass. But it's not just tattoos and adrenaline-pumping experiences that make someone a badass, she explains, although she's got ink and has been skydiving.

"Directing a movie is the most badass thing I've ever done because it is the scariest thing I've done," Wilde said. "It forced me to tap into my inner strength, and you know what? That may be the most badass thing of all."

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