Red Carpet Confidential: Behind-the-Scenes Secrets from Gwyneth Paltrow's Stylist!

09/13/2012 at 09:00 AM ET

Gwyneth Paltrow Oscars
Michael Buckner/Getty

The editors of PEOPLE may have crowned her the world’s best-dressed woman, but Gwyneth Paltrow can still be surprised by her own fashion influence. Just ask her stylist, Elizabeth Saltzman: “She’s always shocked when a store will call me and say, ‘What was that jean [Gwyneth was wearing]? I’ve had 80 people come in today looking for it!’ Gwyneth will say, ‘Really?!'”

It’s Paltrow’s signature minimalism that makes her a style icon to so many. But don’t expect to find her closets bursting with couture. “She has an edited wardrobe,” says Saltzman, who adds that the founder does most of her shopping online, at sites like After she wears an outfit, “It all gets put away and documented — when and where she wore it — and then it’s gone [into storage] for her daughter. She’s not a hog.”

Whether strutting through the airport in layers of cool-girl labels like MiH (for jeans) and rag & bone (for boots), or rocking a modern Stella McCartney gown at the Grammys, “Gwyneth always relies on really clean lines,” says Melanie Kain, who co-designed a T-shirt with Paltrow for Goop. “That is why she always looks appropriate and comfortable in her own skin.”

She’s rarely looked more so than at this year’s Oscars. The instant Saltzman unveiled Tom Ford’s stunningly sophisticated gown and cape, “It was just, holy moly,” says the stylist. “Everyone was hugging each other. It was done.” Paltrow, who tends to nix busy prints and billowing shapes, immediately loved the look.

“I usually bring no more than four things for her to look at,” says Saltzman of red carpet events. “For the Oscars, I bought her one. I did have a second dress there, but I never even unpacked it.” Confident her client would stand out from the crowd, “I said, ‘Hey y’all, in your sequins and your tulle — side slits, beads, color!’ It was a moment where you just put up your hand and go, ‘I’m sorry,'” says Saltzman. “No one had rocked a cape. No one had gone dead simple. You just knew it was going to change fashion.”

For more secrets of Patlrow’s style, pick up PEOPLE’s Best & Worst Dressed issue, on newsstands Friday. Tell us: Do you like Paltrow’s style? If not, who earns your vote for best-dressed woman in the world?

–Suzanne Zuckerman, with reporting by Raha Lewis


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Katharine on

Paltrow can look great at times, but I think all this fanfare for her is too much. She’s overrated. I prefer Jennifer Anniston, Jessica Alba, Zoe Saldana or Carine Roitfeld.

Lacey on

Best Dressed Woman in the World….hands down….Duchess Catherine…….

Mary on

Does EVERY outfit she wears get put away for her daughter? Please tell me she rewears things?

fanofboardwalkempire on

Gwyneth always so super chic and stylish. While the gown and cape were stunning on Ms. Palthrow- I don’t think it changed fashion. Many other gowns were very special that night as well.

Over it on

She’s “not a hog”, but she puts things away after wearing them once? Well, I do personally consider that rather piggish behavior. I do like her fashion style, but I do not like her excess. I thought she was all ‘green’. What is so ‘green’ about that much waste?

mysonisnamedCLAYPIGEON on

I agree with what Katherine wrote on September 13, 2012. I sincerely think she is overrated. I prefer Jennifer Garner, Natalie Portman, Jennifer Aniston, Zoe Saldana, and Angelina Jolie.

Noneya on

Love Gwyneth! Not so sure about he Best Dressed – but she does look great!

kaemicha on

I loveGwyneth and her look and I don’t know why she gets bashed online, so much.. Keeping a log of what you wore and when is good common sense. I should do that. We all should. When I was in high school, I kept a clothes calendar so I wouldn’t wear the exact outfit in the same month. Got me best dressed.

Katherine on

I like her classic, plain style, but I prefer Jennifer Aniston’s or Jennifer Garner’s to Gwyneth’s. I guess for when she dresses up in gowns she has style, but day to day she always looks like she just jumps on someone’s else’s look. For instance, Jennifer Aniston started wearing really stylish, black, ankle heeled boots with rolled up jeans and then Gwyneth had the exact same look. She (Gwyneth) just gets more notoriety for being “stylish”

Karen on

Um, those are not secrets.

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