Mastering the art of a perfect wardrobe is trickier than it sounds. But by the looks of Gemma Chan's street-style lineup, it appears the British actor has got it figured out. While the 2019 awards season proved the Captain Marvel actor has serious red-carpet prowess (who could forget her neon-pink number from the Oscars?), Chan's street style is just as strong. If you've been looking for simple outfit formulas to look put together on even your busiest of days, Chan's wardrobe is a fantastic place to start.
Creating an amazing wardrobe means relying on a few basic items to throw on when you feel uninspired by what you already have. Each of these simple elements can be worn alongside trendier seasonal pieces, or worn together to create a more functional wardrobe. With this in mind, The Zoe Report rounded up the five essentials Chan relies on time and time again, below.
Black Trench Coat
Chan wears her trenches over everything, from trousers to skirts to dresses. Preferring simple, timeless silhouettes over their trendy counterparts, the actor often uses her trench as a chic finishing touch to any look. Case in point: Chan threw a longline black trench over a yellow, floral-print dress at The National Board of Review Annual Awards Gala on Jan. 8.
Thanks to their lightweight nature, trench coats are the perfect transition piece (think: you can layer a heavy sweater underneath in the winter, or opt for a tee in the spring). As Chan knows well, trench coats are also ideal for pairing with summer-ready dresses. Wear your trench coat like Chan with all-black accessories, or swap the shoes out for a sandal heel to make it more daytime appropriate.
The British star relies on midi skirts regularly, whether it’s on date nights or press days for any number of her blockbuster hits. Including both flowy, pleated designs and structured versions, midi skirts are an essential to Chan’s style lineup. The actor doesn't play favorites when it comes to color, either, sporting an array of hues, like yellows and creams in the spring and purples and grays in the fall.
Try styling your brightly colored midi skirt with a neutral turtleneck when going to work, then throw on a graphic tee shirt for the weekend (a trend Chan has also given her stamp of approval). Midi skirts generally have a higher rise, which makes it even easier to wear a top with a slightly cropped hemline, like Chan did last Aug.
Crisp Skinny Jeans
Tailored jeans are an off-duty essential for Chan — she loves them so much that she's hardly ever been spotted in any other denim silhouette. Chan typically styles her denim in a more relaxed way, usually opting for an oversized graphic tee and punchy sneakers. However, she's been known to dress up her jeans with a blazer or a sweater for daytime press events, too.
Finding the perfect pair of jeans is easier said than done, but experimenting with a variety of rises, washes, and brands is a surefire route to success. While you might have relied on your black jeans all winter, a lighter pair is perfect for the summer months ahead. To make the lighter wash more office-appropriate, try pairing them with a white tee and a blazer in a lighter color, like gray or a pastel.
When Chan opts for leather bottoms (which she often does), she keeps the rest of her outfit relatively simple, letting the trousers do most of the talking. This was particularly evident in early March, when Chan styled the coolest pants with a sleek, monochrome look for a press day in New York City. And Chan isn't the only celebrity who's kept leather pants in constant rotation this season, the likes of Olivia Culpo, Jennifer Lopez, and model Shanina Shaik have all worn their fair share, too.
Looking for something a little more daring for a night-out look? Try opting for leather pants à la Chan. Pair your leather trousers with a white or patterned blouse in a softer fabric like silk for some contrast.
Whether it's on the red carpet or for a date night, Gemma Chan always opts for a mile-high, pointed-toe pump. It makes sense, too, considering just how versatile a classic black pump (or even a bold metallic) can be.
Need something for work? A lower heel (think: 2 inches or less) is perfect for days when being on your feet is inevitable. If you’re looking to invest in any item in your wardrobe, a pair of comfortable, classic heels in a neutral color is a smart choice.