Any color, any cut—Julia Roberts can wear the hell out of a suit. Menswear is her quintessential look for career-defining moments, from her first red carpet appearances in the ’90s to countless premieres and awards shows she’s attended since. She’s worn so many amazing suits, in fact, that you might have missed or forgotten about a few of her greatest ‘fits. (To think I nearly forgot to include those butter yellow cords she wore on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert earlier this year.)
And now, without further ado: the many suits of Julia Roberts.
The look: It all started with the boxy Giorgio Armani suit and tie Roberts wore to the 1990 Golden Globes, where she scooped up her first major award for her role in Steel Magnolias at age 23. Years later, in 2014, Roberts revealed to InStyle that she bought the suit off the rack. “I loved the shape of it,” she said. “For me, this was the epitome of being dressed up.” And that, dear reader, is herstory.
The following year, she wore a navy pinstripe skirt suit and sheer black tights to the 48th Golden Globes, where she won again for Pretty Woman. The proportions of this look are sublime: the mini skirt, dangly turquoise earrings, and delicate brooch balance out the bulk of the double-breasted blazer’s shoulder pads.
A sorely overlooked ‘fit from this era is the chocolate brown suit Roberts wore to the 1991 premiere of Hook, with then-fiancé Kiefer Sutherland in tow. (They broke up three days before the wedding.) Minimal styling with nothing more than a pocket square and a couple of rings allows the tailoring to speak for itself.
But the most underrated suit in Roberts’s multiverse of menswear has to be the number she wore to the 1993 New York Film Festival with her now ex-husband, country singer Lyle Lovett. (The pair married after a month of dating, but parted ways amicably a couple of years later.) The wide black-and-white stripes certainly make a statement, but personally, I think the crisp white button down peeking out from underneath is doing all the heavy lifting. A string of pearls and a sleek blowout provide the finishing touches to an objectively perfect ensemble.
Dressing in black from head-to-toe continues to be a major wardrobe motif for Roberts. But in the early and mid-aughts, we start to see Roberts experiment more with her suiting. I love the feminine-masculine contrast happening in this snapshot from her visit to The Late Show with David Letterman in 2003. And the white Stella McCartney suit she accessorized with a blush-colored pussy bow blouse for the London premiere of Eat Pray Love in 2010 proves that structure and softness can coexist.
In 2018, InStyle honored Roberts’ contribution to fashion with a Style Icon Award. Roberts and her longtime stylist Elizabeth Stewart wore matching pastel suits to the event.
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