Amal Clooney is a high-flying human rights lawyer, wife to Hollywood actor George Clooney, mother to twins… and serious style inspiration. As she celebrates her 40th birthday, we look back over her catalogue of wardrobe hits and glean 40 valuable fashion lessons that anyone can take on board…
1. Go vintage
There’s one way of ensuring your look is entirely unique – opt for vintage. The human rights lawyer is a big fan of London boutique William Vintage and has worn several pieces from the house. Whether she’s channeling 1960s style by day, or doing head-turning 1920s glamour by night, Amal is the perfect poster girl for vintage done well.
2. Say yes to mother-daughter glamour
A recent red carpet outing demonstrated exactly where Amal inherited her sense of glamour, as the 40-year old posed with her equally elegant mother. In floor-sweeping gowns, the pair illustrated the impact of a style double-act.
3. Opt for a mega-watt blow-dry, at all times
Amal’s glossy espresso-coloured waves are the finishing touch to every perfectly-compiled outfit. Usually left loose, and in a side parting, her shiny, bouncy locks are much talked about, and much emulated, for very good reason.
4. Pick a power suit
Whether with trousers or pencil skirts, Amal is someone who understands the impact of coordinated tailoring. From the UN to the high court, in classic black, or a bold colour, she ensures every pairing is perfectly suited to the occasion, and perfectly fitted to her proportions.
5. Don’t be afraid of colour
Though Amal’s working wardrobe often steers towards neutrals and understated tones, she isn’t immune to the lure of a pop of colour. Vivid pink is a favourite, as is zesty yellow.
6. Khaki and tan is a classic combination
A carefully curated palette is a cornerstone of Amal’s wardrobe. Whether donning top-to-toe colour, understated neutrals or bold tones, each shade is considered. The stylish barrister seamlessly weaves in timeless matches – khaki and tan – alongside her more adventurous combinations.
7. Wow the red carpet in floor-sweeping pastels
Dressing up comes naturally to Amal, who has delivered a series of best-dressed-list-worthy red carpet looks over the years. Soft pastels are a signature option – she has been photographed in both pale yellow and lilac creations by Atelier Versace. Amal’s lesson in pastels? Gathered layers of silk and a draped, asymmetric silhouette.
8. Red lipstick is your secret weapon
For work or weekend, red carpet or downtime, there’s a beauty staple that Amal returns to again and again – a bold red lip. Her make-up bag contains a variety of shades, each tone providing the perfect punctuation for any look.
9. In fact, red anything
Not only confined to make-up, vivid red is a wardrobe go-to hue for the human rights lawyer – she wears the timeless, high-impact shade on repeat – coats, dresses, bags, shoes and colour-pop details.
10. Vertical stripes are always flattering
It’s one of the most commonly touted fashion tips – vertical stripes are lengthening and slimming. And it’s a rule that Amal regularly follows (in spite of the fact her perfect proportions require no help). Amal opts for bold, statement-making stripes in contrasting colours.
11. Believe in the enduring power of monochrome
Black and white is a match made in style heaven, as Amal well knows. She is a dab hand at a monochrome look – from striped jumpsuits to dress and jacket pairing – wearing the timeless combination regularly.
12. All-in-one dressing = instant style
Jumpsuits are a go-to for all-in-one dressing, and a regular silhouette in Amal’s style arsenal. Case in point, the white Stella McCartney design she wore with a wide-brimmed hat for her civil ceremony.
13. Travel in style
When you travel regularly, your long-haul wardrobe is crucial. Amal has it down to a fine art, opting for sleek luxe essentials in-flight – neutrals and monochrome define the palette, in cashmere layers and loose-fit silhouettes.
14. Wear florals for modern chic
The choice of floral print can make or break an outfit. For the best way to wear, follow Amal’s lead and seek out styles cut to a minimal silhouette, which let the print make the impact.
15. Trust Gucci for directional workwear
When she needs to mean business, Amal looks to a stable of designers she can can rely on to create directional workwear with a side of serious style. Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Chanel are all regulars in her work wardrobe, and she always likes to challenge the norms ever so slightly, even if via the twist of a colourful pussybow.
16. Find silhouettes that work for you
Every wardrobe needs a line up of trusty pieces you can return to time and again. Amal regularly turns to silhouettes which have worked for her in the past – one shoulder styles for red carpet, fitted shift dresses for work, straight leg denim for weekend.
17. Go mini when you have killer legs…
One crucial, and enviable, part of Amal’s style formula – long, slim, impossibly toned legs. And like every savvy stylista, she is not afraid to put them on display, choosing elegant, usually a-line mini silhouettes that reveal one of her best assets, and remain sophisticated.
18. And strapless when you have amazing shoulders
Strapless silhouettes are not an easy style to pull off, and yet, Amal does it with aplomb. Her secret? Sculpted shoulders and defined upper arms, emphasised by sweetheart or straight necklines. We’ll assume they’re honed on the tennis court – she and George are known to be regular players.
19. Workwear demands a classic palette
As an prominent barrister, Amal’s work wardrobe needs to be taken seriously. She is a dab hand at showcasing a line of of sleek, elegant, and entirely appropriate looks, centred around a palette of black, navy, cream and red.
20. Statement shoes can make a look
Never one to overlook accessories, Amal’s shoe wardrobe is as enviable as her ready-to-wear. Understanding the impact of dressing from the feet up, she understands that sometimes all a look requires is a pair of shoes that demand attention.
21. Towering heels are a must
Even when you have legs worthy of a supermodel, adding towering heels is a power move, and one that Amal make use of. From the classic stiletto pumps central to her workwear wardrobe, to the statement styles she pairs with evening looks, high heels equal high-powered.
22. Over-sized sunglasses go with everything
Amal’s accessory staple? Over-sized sunglasses. Vital when photographers track your every move (and look), face-masking sunnies look elegant, sophisticated, and, when perched on your head, are the perfect accessory to hold a glossy blowdry away from your face.
23. Wear tailored maternity wear
While pregnant with her twins, Alexander and Ella, Amal flew the flag for impossibly elegant maternity dressing. Eschewing over-sized silhouettes and stretch fabrics, she barely deviated from her regular wardrobe, simply ensuring pieces were perfectly tailored to accommodate her growing bump.
24. Go all gold
For classic glamour, opt for shimmering gold, and, where possible, ensure it’s vintage Versace. Amal has opted for Grecian-style top-to-toe gold on more than one occasion, demonstrating the party-ready impact of metallic style.
25. Supersize your earrings
Statement earrings are an Amal staple. The face-framing impact makes them the perfect finish for every look, instantly elevating minimal styles, and adding a final flourish to high-drama looks.
26. Don’t take style too seriously
Even when your wardrobe is packed full of impossibly elegant pieces, there’s always time for all-out fancy dress. For Cindy Crawford’s husband Rande Gerber’s Halloween party, Amal channeled disco style in shimmering sequins by hot designer Halpern, hoop earrings and a serious perm.
27. Know when who you’re wearing is not important
In spite of her impeccable style credentials, at work, Amal is first and foremost a human rights lawyer. When asked by a reporter who she would be wearing for an appearance in court representing Armenia, ‘Ede & Ravenscroft’ was her reply – referring the old established legal robe makers and tailors – demonstrating her attitude to her position, and her sense of humour.
28. Channel Jackie Kennedy
Effortless elegance is an Amal USP, perhaps inspired by style icon, and master of diplomatic international dressing, Jackie Kennedy. Amal is regularly pictured in sleek, tailored pieces, similar to the styles the American First Lady favoured.
29. A classic coat will finish all looks
Colder temperatures bring style dilemmas – finding the perfect coat to finish a look can be a challenge. It is one that Amal navigates with ease. Timeless silhouettes – swing coat, trench coat, overcoat – and classic colours – camel, tan, navy – make for an enviable outerwear wardrobe.
30. Wear couture for special occasions
When your everyday wardrobe is compiled of a hit-list of international luxury labels, how do you up the ante for notable events, like your wedding? Amal’s answer, is to look to couture. Giambattista Valli is a favourite – the French designer crafted the lace and flower applique dress she wore for her Venetian wedding celebrations.
31. Distressed denim makes for edgy casualwear
Even the most glamorous women in the world have downtime, and Amal is no exception. Off-duty, her style favours distressed denim, crisp white t-shirts and a rotating supply of cashmere sweaters and biker jackets. Always accessorised with her trusty over-sized sunglasses.
32. Pinstripes can be versatile
Pinstripes are a common feature in the boardrooms and on the trading floors of the world’s most powerful companies. Understanding the impact of the traditional fabric, Amal remixes it via a Giorgio Armani shift dress that delivers 1980s power dressing with a thoroughly modern twist.
33. A tweed two piece delivers timeless chic
Once again looking to Jackie Kennedy for style inspiration, Amal demonstrated the enduring chic of Chanel’s classic tweed suit. In cream, white or soft pink, the two-piece is polished and elegant – perfect summer workwear.
34. Be inspired by the 1970s
Amal regularly looks to the past to inform her sartorial choices (see her enviable wardrobe of vintage pieces), and there’s one era in particular that seems to crop up regularly – the 1970s. Borrowing from the bold decade, Amal navigates the colours and silhouettes of the decade with ease.
35. Empower women with your accessories
It’s no surprise, given her occupation, that Amal is a strong advocate for human rights. It is a philosophy that extends to her wardrobe – most particularly, her accessories. She is a big supporter of Lebanese label, Sarah’s Bags, an accessories brand and social enterprise, the bags are made by a team of disadvantaged women.
36. Invest in a perfect bag for every occasion
Accessories can make or break a look. For Amal bags are a chic and practical way to add polish to her outfits, carrying a never-ending rotation of handbags, totes and clutches, each one perfectly suited to both the event and the ensemble.
37. All white works, all year round
All white can be a notoriously difficult palette to pull off. Except if you’re Amal Clooney. From jumpsuits to mini-dresses, for daytime or evening events, Amal expertly pulls together white outfits that look fresh and modern.
38. Find your own approach to athleisure
If sporty isn’t your usual style, note that it’s still possible to pull off the vibe. Amal teams her gathered sports jacket with studded high top trainers and jeans, adding a touch of glamour to her wardrobe even when out walking.
39. Don’t be afraid to play with texture
Whether it’s suede over lurex, or maximalist fringing, Amal is never afraid to have fun and go tactile with her style. Imagine the dressing up box that must exist at Clooney HQ.
40. If you love it, just wear it
Amal made headlines at the Golden Globes in 2015 when she teamed her black Dior dress with pristine white opera gloves. There was an uproar; “Too glitzy and you risk comparisons with Michael Jackson; too starched and you look like the Queen,” this very paper warned at the time. Ultimately, though, Clooney styled her gown, her way, and made one of the most exciting and talked about fashion statements of the entire year.