It doesn't matter how old you are, dressing post-break-up is a complicated, liberating matter. In the same way that a lot of women gravitate towards a new haircut after a painful split, heartache often gives us cause to experiment with our wardrobes as a symbol of a new beginning.
After the initial mandatory period of wearing nothing other than your comfiest, most warming sweatshirts and jeans, there comes a new feeling of wanting to show the world - and probably your ex - that you're ok, that you're confident and free, that you have seamlessly, effortlessly distanced yourself from your previous life and are looking much better for it. As Coco Chanel, who was well-versed in the areas of heartache, said, “If you are sad, if you are heartbroken, make yourself up, dress up, add more lipstick and attack.”
She may not be following Chanel's heavy-on-the-lipstick rule, but Katie Holmes has mastered the art of post-split style. It began with the viral 'bradigan' moment in late August which came in the months following her break-up from Jamie Foxx, her boyfriend of six years. The actress, who was previously known for her preppy, wholesome look, was pictured casually hailing a cab in New York, wearing a slouchy cashmere cardigan by New York label Khaite. One of the sleeves had fallen from the shoulder just so, revealing a matching oatmeal cashmere bra. The images were circulated far and wide instantly, and the bra - priced at a luxury price tag of $520 (about Dhs1,904) - sold out within an hour and has since been restocked to meet demand. Holmes looked confident, laidback and insouciantly chic.
Her next style triumph came just weeks later in New York when she was spotted in navy Gabriela Hearst tailoring. The designer is known for her impeccable power suiting with a feminine edge, and this wide-leg trouser look came cinched in at the waist with a belt. Her hair was left loose, but styled in waves, and she added a dash of pink lipstick and a pair of heels to finish off the outfit. The result was one of empowered femininity.
To complete Holmes' stye hat trick, we were given the floaty ensemble worn to the Global Citizen Festival this past weekend in New York. Dressing for festivals beyond the age of 35 is a fraught scenario - few want to stick with the denim cut-offs and flower crowns that pervaded our twenties - but Holmes achieved it with confidence, choosing an embroidered Chloé dress with flower jacquard detailing. The piece was originally designed as an evening dress, but Holmes gave hers a pared-down appeal by styling with gladiator sandals from Giuseppe Zanotti. This was a grown-up take on bohemia.
What these looks have in common is a calm, low-key glamour, and - given her big smile in all three outfits - the feeling that Holmes feels as good as she looks. Whether her new wardrobe has boosted her mood or not we'll probably never know, but perhaps heartache and fashion are likely bedfellows, after all.
From Harper's BAZAAR U.K.