Celebrity outfits are, by nature, inaccessible. Designers loan one-of-a-kind gowns, the latest shoes and millions of dollars of jewelry to big names, leveraging the publicity to sell their products to a large audience. It’s an entire ecosystem devoted to the idea of aspirational luxury — and one that Jennifer Garner has managed to escape.
Sure, the 47-year-old actress has had her fair share of red carpet looks (put together as of late with the assistance of stylists Jill Lincoln and Jordan Johnson). But it’s the paparazzi shots of Garner in her everyday life, at her children’s school pickup or out running errands that seem to have the biggest, most ferocious audience of viewers (on this site and others).
In those shots, where she’s often shuttling around 14-year-old Violet, 10-year-old Seraphina and 7-year-old Samuel (who she shares with ex-husband Ben Affleck), Garner is self-styled, wearing things that are comfy and practical for her lifestyle. Her easy formula of mom jeans and flat shoes is not so different than what non-famous moms are wearing across the country.
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Garner’s mom jeans may be the touchstone of her personal style — and the very reason that everyone loves to look at her.
The mom jean has gone through waves of chicness and out-modishness over the past few decades. In the late ’80s and early ’90s, the high-waisted, straight-leg jean was very much in vogue. But by the early ’00s, the silhouette had fallen out of favor among the fashion-forward. The demise of the shape — and the moniker “mom jeans” — was cemented with a 2003 “Saturday Night Live” sketch by Tina Fey. In the decade to come, mom jeans were seen as the ultimate uncool, as a unflattering, elastic-banded choice of an unstylish suburbanite.
In recent years, stars like Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner have embraced the mom jean, subverting the item’s past lack of coolness as a trend that is now as mainstream as the skinny jean was not so long ago.
In contrast, Garner’s general style ethos adheres to a certain cannot-be-bothered philosophy — a philosophy that other moms can certainly relate to. She’s often spotted with wet hair, straight out the shower, a reusable coffee cup in hand; her outfits feel effortless in a “running late and threw this on” way; not in a carefully planned, preening-for-the-paparazzi way.
Admittedly, Garner’s wardrobe has more designer labels — think Prada sneakers, The Row loafers, Chanel sandals — than the average woman’s might. Her typical style ethos, though, feels more Midwestern mom than Hollywood starlet. And maybe that’s why we all keep clicking.
Click through the gallery to see more of Jennifer Garner’s style.
Jennifer Garner Wears Mom Jeans + Sparkling Brown Loafers in LA
Jennifer Garner’s Most Stylish Moments of 2019 Span the School Pickup Line to the Red Carpet
Jennifer Garner Wears Classic Ballet Flats to Church With Ben Affleck and the Kids