PEOPLE's Most Beautiful Woman 2017 opens up about all things fashion—and her must-have items
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When we met Julia Roberts in a quaint hotel in Verona, Italy — where the award-winning actress and mother of three was on hand to celebrate her new campaign for the European hosiery brand Calzedonia and later attend the company’s annual runway “Leg Show” — she wore a variation on what’s become her signature style: black-and-white, which a menswear twist.

“I do love black and white,” PEOPLE’s reigning Most Beautiful Woman told us of her go-to look in an interview for our new issue, on newsstands Friday. That day, her outfit consisted of tortoiseshell frames by Paul Smith, a white silk blouse by Equipment, a short black skirt by Givenchy, fishnet tights by Calzedonia and black patent brogues by Church’s (shown below, though she switched into booties later). “I love something about the simplicity and elegance of it — and it’s modern.”

And that’s not all she had to say about her style: The star (who, in addition to her Calzedonia partnership is also a beauty ambassador for Lancôme) revealed more fashion confessions during our chat, which took place in the same town Shakespeare had set Romeo + Juliet and just steps away from ancient ruins.

Credit: Calzedonia

“I find fashion incredibly valuable and interesting,” she said during our discussion. Scroll down to find out the actress’s take on trends, date night style and so much more.

I think trends are …
“A game I don’t have enough time to play. I have to stick with my classics.”

One thing I put on that always makes me feel amazing is …
“A scarf. It makes me feel cozy and secure.”

Calzedonia Legs Show
Credit: Venturelli/Getty

When I wear beautiful jewelry, like the 52-carat Chopard emerald at the Cannes Film Festival, I feel …
“Sort of terrified! Like, what if I lost it, or someone just pulled it off my neck? But I think I was surrounded by 75 invisible bodyguards who would protect me. It was so gorgeous.”

Julia Robert, Danny Moder
Credit: Frank Micelotta/Invision for the Television Academy/AP

When it comes to date night [with husband of 15 years, cinematographer Danny Moder] I wear….
“I have so many responses to that, and most of them are wildly inappropriate. Probably something that my husband likes. I get dressed more for him than for me.”

When I see photos of my style in the ’90s, I think …
“There are a few minor cringes here and there, but I think for the most part I feel relatively unscathed. Am I kidding myself? I might be kidding myself. But let me just live in that thought.”

My relationship with my stylist Elizabeth Stewart is …
“Amazing. She is not afraid to disagree with me or force me to try on things that I don’t want to try on. She’s incredible.”

When it comes to shopping…
“I’m not a great shopper, actually. That’s where the great relationships I have with people like [Givenchy designer] Riccardo Tisci have been helpful. He understands me, and he understands what I like to wear. But the first designer I ever felt any kinship or any relationship with was Giorgio Armani. He is just one of the kindest people and such a timeless, incredible, classic designer. And because I’m so attracted to menswear, I was really attracted to him to start with. He really vaulted me into the idea of what fashion could mean, and so I’m very appreciative.”

If I could have one fashion dream, it would be…
“In today’s world, I wish we had the interest in, perhaps, going back in time a little bit and dressing up to travel. Dressing up to go to dinner. Things like that, which I miss. I think, well that was kind of nicer when we did things like that.”

F:PHOTOMediaFactory ActionsRequests DropBox48154#CourtesyPaul Smith Tortoiseshell and 'Artist Stripe' 'Pirroni' Spectacles
Credit: Paul Smith

I love a good piece of eyewear …
“I do. Most of my eyewear is Paul Smith. It makes sense that I would gravitate toward that brand because of my love of menswear. I think you shouldn’t wear the same eyeglasses everyday, so I try to change it up, but they’re all variations on the same theme.” [She wears the Paul Smith Tortoiseshell And Artist Stripe Pirroni Spectacles, $210;]

I own too many …
“Perfect white shirts. Everybody makes a great white shirt and they get you because they’re each a little bit different from each other, and you’re like, ‘Oh, but this color! Oh, but the fabric of this one!’ Dolce & Gabbana makes one of my favorites ones that I have, I have a great Hermes one — but just one — and I have a lot of Givenchy in my closet.”

Credit: Calzedonia

I love a good pair of tights because …
“It always makes the difference—that little bit of extra effort.” [She prefers the Calzedonia Fishnets and the Polka Dot Fishnets, shown above while shooting the campaign commercial, both $14.50;]

F:PHOTOMediaFactory ActionsRequests DropBox48154#CourtesyDE0032_9WD_F0AAB-1.jpg.detail.desktop.jpg
Credit: Church's

My favorite type of shoe is …
“I have a brogue addiction. Church’s makes really comfortable ones.” [She wears Church’s Iconic Burwood w 3 style, which you can get for $610 by calling the Chicago store at 312-649-9425 to order. If you want the same look for less, try BC Footwear’s Sidekick style, which you can snag for $80.]

Credit: Calzedonia

My ‘Me Time’ is …
“The morning. I’ve always been a morning person. Ninety percent of what I’m going to accomplish in the day is probably done before 11 a.m. I like to get up way before the kids, which is getting harder and harder because they are morning people too. I like to just wake up and get some things done for myself and make breakfast.”

For more from our new interview with Julia Roberts, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.