Professionally Keira Knightley might be known for wearing her fair share of corsets, but when it comes to her personal style, the actress is anything but tightly laced. The British beauty's off-screen wardrobe choices are an enviable mix of Parisian tomboy-meets-prim sophisticate, as she tends to favor understated boots, slouchy beanies, and modest lines (of both the hem and neck variety). Rather than tackling every trend that comes rolling down the runway, Knightley plays with fashion in a more nuanced way. She experiments with texture, favors modern classics with a twist, and prefers to wear a sober palette (think: gray, blue, and beige) with an occasional pattern or bright red accent. Accordingly, for today's What Would She Wear story, we sought out subtly interesting pieces that embody our subject's coolly casual taste. From a textured top to a tremendous pair of tortoise sunglasses, we think you'll enjoy the selection of Knightley-inspired pieces we pulled for your shopping edification!
1. Sam Edelman Venice Ankle Boots ($180)
While we picked very current pieces for Knightley's W.W.S.W. story, we wanted to showcase at least one item that winks at her cinematic wardrobe, hence our inclusion of this ankle boot. The lace-up style has a slightly old-fashioned vibe, but the soft brown leather and peep-toe silhouette is totally timely. In honor of today's muse, wear them with an unexpected accessory┬--patterned socks┬--and a pair of loose tap pants in a masculine burgundy hue.
2. Burberry Leather Trim Trench Coat ($1095,800.2284.8480)
Like many of her stylish peers, Knightley is known to support Burberry and can often be found wearing one of Creative Director Christopher Bailey's designs for the British brand. While there are loads of lovely offerings from Burberry and Burberry Prorsum this spring, we decided to include this gorgeous double-breasted trench because we love its dark leather piping details. It's just the sort of natty, personal detail that Knightley seems to appreciate. Ring Burberry directly to order this exact style, or check out their Washed Canvas Jacket With Leather Trims, a similar style in a cropped length, or the Cotton Contrast-Trim Trench ($1095), which has quirky black rubber trim. Don't want to invest or looking for a simpler style? Don't miss Gap's Mid-Length Trench Coat ($88), a surefire pick at a stellar price.
3. Karen Walker Eyewear Number One Sunglasses ($170) in Crazy Tortoise
Our next piece in today's story is also one that the entire WhoWhatWear.com office has fallen madly in love with: Karen Walker's Number One Sunglasses. We depend on the brilliant New Zealander to design the best sunnies each season and she never fails us. This super-chic tortoise pair is totally perfect in every way; there's no doubt that Knightley would love them as much as we do!
4. Talbots Vine-Floral Trouser Socks ($9) in Grey Multi
Our choice for patterned socks, period: these marvelous poesy-print pair from Talbots. Though they are available in three shades┬--the Grey Multi, shown, as well as Neutral Multi and Blue Multi too┬--we think this soft dove pair is perfect for our Knightley ensemble. The socks would add a jaunty air to any look; just make sure to let them shine by wearing them with peep-toe ankle boots or a sturdy pair of platform sandals.
5. Hourglass Prodigy Hydrating Lip Gloss ($26) in Surreal
Hourglass is one of our favorite boutique beauty brands, thanks to its top-notch products like the new Prodigy Hydrating Lip Gloss. Amazingly, it makes your lips feel super silky and it stays on forever: two qualities we think Knightley would approve of! The gloss comes in a handful of flattering colors (also check out Pulse, a warm berry, and Opium, a deep plum) but the pale pink tint of Surreal is our shade du jour. It's perfect for a naturally polished lip look!
6. Rachel Leigh Zelda Crystal Stud Earrings ($132)
Knightley may steer clear of any obnoxiously girly-girl outfits, but she's certainly open to adding a little glamour to her ensembles via a couple of judiciously restrained pieces of jewelry. These small and stylish crystal earrings from the wonderful Rachel Leigh are just the ticket: they'll give any outfit a little glitz, but their petite size means they won't take over the entire look.
7. 3.1 Phillip Lim Off Shoulder Ruffle Blouse ($375)
In our search for the ultimate Knightley-inspired outfit, we chanced across this divine 3.1 Phillip Lim sweater and immediately knew we'd found the perfect top for today's story. The wool-cashmere knit comes in the most gorgeously stern charcoal/smoke color and has just the right amount of texture. The short ruffle details give the sweater a hint of movement without looking too precious; in short, it's perfect for our girl!
8. Topshop Boutique Silk Shorts ($60) in Burgundy
As an ode to Knightley's unfussy personal style, we decided to forgo a skirt and instead selected these superb shorts! They offer a non-literal interpretation of spring's boudoir trend, plus, the combination of the deep burgundy hue and lack of lacy trim make them seem more modern than most iterations we've seen thus far. All in all: they're a fabulous fashion choice.
Photo of Keira Knightley, from Getty Images.