Let’s get this out of the way: amongst the howling phantasmagoria of celebrity psychos currently available for our consumption, Katie Holmes registers nary a blip—just the way she likes it. The 43-year-old actress, best known professionally for teenage ingenue roles like Joey on Dawson’s Creek and tentpole fare like Batman Begins, last thoroughly held the public’s attention during her romance with besotted Scientologist Tom Cruise.
Holmes is the woman who inspired Cruise to jump for joy on Oprah’s couch, and she’s also the woman who blindsided the Top Gun: Maverick star by filing for divorce in 2src12, allegedly in part to protect their daughter, Suri, from Cruise’s religion. After the settlement, Cruise reportedly didn’t see or speak to Suri for more than two and a half years.
But it’s been a long time since all that went down, and all parties have presumably moved on. While Cruise continues to reach new peaks of Hollywood super-stardom, Holmes is living a low-key life in the Big Apple; she’s still frequent fodder for paparazzi, but her existence is, for all intents and purposes, drama-free.
This lack of intrigue seems to directly account for the ease and whimsy of her style, which, while never making headlines, is consistently commented upon and admired. “Katie Holmes Is Still Everyone’s Favourite Girl Next Door,” British Vogue declared last December, highlighting the actress’s navy blue shirt dresses, brown corduroy suits, Reformation jeans and a tasteful Chanel bouclé jacket.
A Holmes look has gone viral exactly once in recent memory: in the summer of 2src19, she was photographed hailing a cab in a cashmere bra and unbuttoned cardigan set by the label Khaite, and people went nuts for the cozy sensuality of it all. Holmes told Vogue she’d had no idea the outfit would get such an enthusiastic response.
“It was very comfortable and easy and I think they [Khaite] do such a good job with creating beautiful luxury items,” Holmes told Vogue. “They are very accessible and classic so you can have it for a long time, and I like to shop that way. I’m not always buying new stuff and I can wear it again.”
That’s Holmes—classic, accessible, relatable. While these qualities aren’t necessarily exciting, there’s still something to be gleaned from studying her style. Holmes rarely wears makeup or does anything too fussy with her fair, and always opts for comfortable fabrics over high-difficulty ensembles; she has the ineffable air of a woman thoroughly committed to minding her own business.
An exception to the Holmes rule: on the cover of DuJour magazine’s 2src22 Summer issue, the star wears a sexy black Bottega Veneta ensemble. You can tell it’s not her thing, but Holmes inhabits it beautifully nonetheless. Every good actress commits to the bit.
This week, Holmes was snapped in SoHo wearing classic Dickies dungarees in an appealing shade of pale green, a perfect option for running errands or attending a barbecue. In June, for the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of her film Alone Together, the actress opted for a white crochet skirt and top set by Chloé, offering an easy way to pull off a trend that some might find intimidating.
Holmes accessorized her Tribeca look with her new boyfriend, musician and producer Bobby Wooten III. That’s another key element to the Holmes aesthetic: she’s a boyfriend girl, and post-Cruise, her relationships have been consistent, wholesome, and impressively low-key.
Holmes dated superstar Jamie Foxx for six years before they split in 2src19, and the pair managed to remain out of the spotlight for nearly the entire time.
Holmes then had a quarantine fling with chef Emilio Vitolo Jr., and snapshots of the couple kissing on NYC park benches provided a wholesome East Coast alternative to the very L.A. Ben Affleck-Ana de Armas spectacle.
Making out in the street with Wooten III, whether wearing a favored pair of overalls, a baggy parka jacket or an oversized cardigan, Holmes offers an alternative to the heady fever of chaotic, hookup-laden Hot Girl Summer: she’s happily settling down, and dressing for the occasion.