The actress gets candid about costuming at her latest gig, vintage shopping and more

By Brittany Talarico
Updated April 07, 2016 05:35 PM

Olivia Wilde is a constant source of outfit inspiration on and off-screen. For her latest role in HBO‘s drama Vinyl, the actress transforms into a ’70s-era fashionista, playing Devon Finestra, the model turned housewife of a big music label exec, and she masters boho glam in every episode. (If you haven’t tuned in yet, we highly recommend it for your next binge). But Wilde revealed that while she loves dressing for the decade, it’s not always easy to find clothes that flatter her body type.

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“I’ll walk around with the wardrobe assistant saying, ‘I want that one, I want that one.’ I really have been so inspired by all the wardrobe across the board,” Wilde told PeopleStyle at the H&M Conscious Exclusive 2016 Collection event in N.Y.C., adding that not all looks work on her: “I can’t fit into any of the pants because people in the ’70s apparently just didn’t have hips. I guess that’s all the hormones in our food, but I don’t understand it. You pick up the jeans and they’re straight — there’s no butt and there’s no hips. They’re for a straight body.”

The actress added that there’s also a 2016 pants trend she has trouble pulling off: Boyfriend jeans.

“I try to wear the trend, but it always looks terrible, because I have really short legs,” she shared.

Short legs aside (we happen to think they’re pretty perfect), Wilde knows how to dress her amazing figure, often opting for plunging gowns (like her Valentino Haute Couture gown at this years Oscars) and boho-style off-duty looks. And she said working on the new show has taught her a lot about vintage shopping.

“Almost everything we wear on the show is real vintage. And that’s a lot of effort on the part of our designer and on the part of the team,” she shared. “We have a whole kind of workshop to take real vintage items and fix them — because when you buy vintage you sometimes have to do a little bit of tailoring and cleaning. We should just be buying things that already exist as oppose to trying to mass produce everything new. Plus, it’s fun to buy things that have a story so that you can say this is a vintage Halston, a piece that has been around.”

Wilde has also been going to vintage shops since she was 12, so she’s now a pro at repairing old clothes.

“Now I know what to look for and know what to do when I see something that’s messed up. You can buy it, take it to a seamstress and it’s not that expensive fix it, clean it,” she shared. “It’s much cooler to have something that has history than to just buy something new.”

Her passion for recycling old clothes makes her the perfect person to partner with H&M on its latest Conscious collection, hitting stores Thursday. Wilde starred in the campaign last year, and this year she’s continuing to spread the brand’s message of eco-friendly fashion.

“We think that we’re going to sacrifice style in order to be sustainable, and that’s not true as this collection proves,” Wilde said. “That’s what I love about what H&M’s done this year and last year. They are really good at showing that you can wear a piece that doesn’t necessarily scream sustainability, but just happens to be taking advantage of this new innovation that they’re investing in. I think they’re very smart about the whole process and pioneers within this movement, which I didn’t necessarily know before. I think I connected H&M with my idea of what fast fashion meant to the world. I didn’t realize how much work they were putting in to changing that.”

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Wilde teamd a printed silk and hemp dress from the collection with a leather bomber at the launch, and said she’s all about mixing eco-friendly styles with her wardrobe staples.

“I wear a leather jacket almost everyday. It’s like a uniform, but I like the idea of wearing a sustainably made shirt with that or dress with that leather jacket and knowing that I’m taking a small step towards being part of the movement,” she shared. “For festival season I think it would be really interesting to take a few pieces from this collection and mix and match it with things we already own.”

The complete H&M Conscious Exclusive collection is available now online and in stores. H&M will also launch its World Recycle Week initiative in stores on April 18th, offering customers who recycle a 30% off coupon.

What do you think of Wilde’s vintage shopping tips? Are you a fan of her style? Are you excited about the new conscious collection? Share below.

–Brittany Talarico