April 20, 2012 10:00 PM


For a star like Jessica Chastain, who only became a household name a year ago, adjusting to fame is still a bit difficult. “The red carpet takes a while to get used to,” she tells the
New York Times’ T Magazine
. “The photographers, the yelling aspect of it. But I get to wear something very beautiful.”

In fact, for her very first red carpet — the Cannes premiere of The Tree of Life (above) — she got to wear three beautiful things: a custom Zac Posen gown and what she calls “the best accessories — Sean Penn on one hand and Brad Pitt on the other.”

Though the Zac Posen gown is now safely tucked away — “I cleaned it and stored it for a daughter someday,” she shares — there have been dozens of equally gorgeous gowns since. In fact, the actress admits she built a closet in her garage to hold all of her new goods.

Life wasn’t always so full of fashion, though. “Growing up, a big expense was a fashion magazine,” she reveals. “I got $100 for clothes at the beginning of the year, and I had to be very careful about what pieces would last — I bought thrift and vintage.”

And though these days Chastain is buying older items on purpose — recent purchases include a pair of antique earrings found in London and custom-made hats from a Parisian atelier — she’s not looking to her past for style inspiration.

“I was awkward,” she admits. “I looked like a boy when I was 8 years old — lanky with short red hair. You know that book Ramona the Pest? I felt like that.” Somehow, we just can’t see that! Tell us: What’s your best accessory?

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