Julia Roberts Style: An Archive of Her Best-Ever Looks

She may have played some of the most memorable characters in cinema history—think Pretty Woman‘s Vivian and the fiery Erin Brockovich—but to me, Julia Roberts herself is the true icon. Of course, her acting talent has something to do with it, but it’s her off-camera wares that have cemented my fan-ship.

After her career took off in the late ’80s, Julia became a regular on the premiere circuit. Although premieres back then were significantly more casual than they are today, these appearances provided her with ample opportunities to make her mark. And that’s exactly what she did.

From Annie Hall–inspired suiting and her penchant for black to the perfect off-the-clock outfit, every ensemble from Julia’s archives is a winner in my eyes, and many of them feel relevant once again, with fashion continuing to flash back to decades that were not so long ago.

She certainly hasn’t lost her Midas touch, as she’s been treating us to a gorgeous array of looks of late, too. Sporting everything from autumn’s It hue to the perfect party attire, she’s serving up inspiration left, right and center. Keep scrolling to discover Julia Roberts’s style history from 1989 until now.


1. The Ultimate Off-Duty Combo


Time Life Pictures/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Wearing my favorite outfit: jeans, a white tee and an oversize blazer in January 1989 (before I was even born). So much for me thinking I’m so original with this look.


2. Oversize Knitwear After Dark


Photo by S. Granitz/WireImage

Back in the day, premieres weren’t like they are now. Instead of glitzy dresses, celebs wore more casual pieces like oversize knitwear and stockings (which actually look super cute), as demonstrated by Julia at the Great Balls of Fire screening in Los Angeles on June 29, 1989.


3. The New Co-Ord


Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage

As far as I’m concerned, there just aren’t enough matching hat and waistcoat options nowadays. Julia wears hers so well to attend the Back to the Future Part II premiere on November 20, 1989.


4. Androgyny At Its Finest


Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage

Channeling Annie Hall at the 47th Annual Golden Globe awards on January 20, 1990, in a boxy suit complete with a Wall Street–worthy jacquard tie.


5. If in Doubt, Waistcoat


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Back at it again with a waistcoat at yet another film premiere in July 1990, all Julia needs to accessorize her look is her renowned megawatt smile.


6. Smart Suiting


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Picking up the Best Actress gong for her role in Pretty Woman at the 48th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 19, 1991, Julia opted for a chic pinstripe blazer and matching skirt. Sexy suiting at its best.


7. Flirty Can Look Cool


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For lunch in New York City in August 1991, Julia chose a look consisting of a floral dress, brogues, and white socks. This wouldn’t look out of place on Alexa Chung today.


8. Before the Naked Dress Became a Thing…


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Wow, wow, wow. Julia ditched her signature suiting at the premiere of Conspiracy Theory in January 1993, instead opting for a sheer midi dress. Goals.


9. Glam in Velvet


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On January 10, 1993, stars came together at the Screen Actors Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award Salute to honor Audrey Hepburn. Of course, for such a fashionable affair, Julia turned to her trademark blazer—this time, she wore one in luxe velvet.


10. Stripes on Stripes


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This Julia Roberts look circa 1993 is the stuff Breton dreams are made of.


11. Leather Love-In


The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

And so begins Julia’s love affair with all things leather. Throw in some square-toed boots, and this outfit couldn’t be more 1995 if it tried.


12. Getting Fancy in 1995


The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Easily Julia’s most glamorous look thus far, the actress chose a hot pink satin dress and a black faux-fur stole for a fancy industry event in L.A. Just look at that posture—you can tell this was a time before laptops.


13. Giving Good Slip



Slip dresses might be all the rage now, but Julia was already wearing them on repeat in 1997. Because she’s always been that cool.


14. Mixing Things Up in a Mini


The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Channeling the ’60s in a printed minidress and T-bar heels at the world premiere of My Best Friend’s Wedding in L.A. on June 17, 1997. Naturally, co-star Rupert Everett is the only accessory she required.


15. Finding Her Uniform


Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage

Wearing what came to be known as the ultimate ’90s uniform, Julia looks sleek in her camel coat, leather trousers and square-toed boots at a New York City premiere on October 21, 1997. 


16. Dressing the Part


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Once again accessorizing with co-star Rupert Everett, Julia Roberts comes into her sartorial own in this embroidered, halter-neck dress at the 55th Annual Golden Globe Awards in January 1998.


17. Going Backless


Evan Agostini/Getty Images

Understated but sultry in a tie-back top in 1998. Looks like the kind of thing Kendall and Bella would wear now, doesn’t it?


18. The Original It Skirt


Ron Galella/WireImage

Her slip obsession continued into 1998—only this time, she opted for a blue crystal midi, which she paired with an on-trend jersey halter top.


19. Shining Bright in Burgundy Sequins


Fred Duval/FilmMagic

Attending the premiere of Notting Hill on April 9, 1999, a sequinned dress seems fitting attire for the biggest star in the world.


20. The Ultimate Leading Lady


Mirek Towski/FilmMagic

In March 2001, Julia won an Oscar for her portrayal of Erin Brockovich at the 73rd Annual Academy Awards, cementing her status as the world’s most in-demand actress. For the career-changing occasion, she wore vintage Valentino.


21. A Lesson in Chic


James Devaney/WireImage

Ahead of a TV appearance in March 2009, Julia looks the epitome of chic in a belted coat and straight-leg jeans.


22. Working White Top-to-Toe


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At the premiere of her film Eat Pray Love in 2010, Julia once again chose a sharp suit—only this time, in red wine–repelling white.


23. Playing With Proportions


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Giving her feminine, frill-hem dress an edgy overhaul with a black boxy blazer, this is Julia on fashion form.


24. Fresh in Fuchsia


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Her penchant for monochrome takes a backseat for the night as she wears a front-split frock in her favorite hue (pink) for the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2013.


25. Bring on the Beads


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Finding her glamorous stride, Julia looked incredible in a beaded minidress by Elie Saab at the Emmys in 2014. Also, if anyone knows her leg workout routine, please do share.


26. Going Green in Gucci


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Just like the rest of the world, Julia’s obsession with Gucci started in 2015 and hasn’t wavered since. We love how the green lace looks set against her lighter locks.


27. Short Suiting


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As you’re now fully aware, Julia certainly has a thing for suits, and we love how she changed things up with a coordinating short and jacket at the premiere of Mother’s Day in April 2016.


28. Julia’s Feminist Fashion Stance


Gisela Schober/Getty Images)

A classicist at heart, Julia Roberts looks beautiful as she attends the Money Monster premiere at Cannes Film Festival in 2016 in a draped Armani Privé creation. What you can’t see is that she was actually barefoot to stand with the countless women who were turned away from the screening of Carol for wearing flats earlier in the festival.


30. Wearing 2018’s It Hue


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To promote her latest project, Homecoming, Julia looked stunning in her Sandro powder blue suit. The fact this is 2018’s shade of note is no accident, we’re sure.


31. Standing Out in All the Right Ways


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Her love of pink is well documented, so it’s little wonder Julia couldn’t resist this Brandon Maxwell jumpsuit, which she wore to the premiere of Homecoming in October 2018. If you needed any more proof that she’s a bona fide style icon, this is it.

This post originally appeared on Who What Wear UK.

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