Tracee Ellis Ross Designed a Holiday Collection for JCPenney, But 'Honestly Needs the Help' with Red Carpet Dressing
Tracee Ellis Ross is no stranger to the best dressed list. But that doesn’t mean the Golden Globe-winning actress gets any less nervous every time she hits the carpet.
“I’m comfortable in my skin, but red carpets [are] bizarre. I still get very self-conscious. I honestly need the help,” Ross told PEOPLE. “When it’s me, for my life, I dress myself. But when I’m working, that’s not something I can handle and when you’re dressing for red carpet and pulling clothes — it’s just not possible.”
When she’s not dressing for event, Ross loves to explore her own off-duty style. And she’s finally sharing her passion for fashion with her fans — at an affordable price point! The Black-ish star created her own holiday capsule collection with JCPenney, with everything retailing under $75.
“One of the things I feel really strongly about is that everyone should have access to style, everyone should have access to beautiful things, everybody and all walks of life,” Ross told PEOPLE of the inspiration behind her line. “So what I did was create a collection, but it’s more of a wardrobe. They’re all pieces that are not items that you’ll buy once and think, ‘Oh god, what am I going to do with that next year?'”
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Her 28-piece, size-inclusive line (sizes go up to 3X) hits stores and JCPenney.com on November 12th, and it includes items of clothing inspired by the star’s everyday life. “It all kind of was based around how I dress and how I pull myself together which has a lot to do with ease and comfort and feeling empowered and also joyful in my clothing,” Ross said. “So there’s a lot of color and sparkle and joy and pattern in everything.”
It was always important for her to make sure whatever she designed, it was accessible to everyone. “I don’t feel like there’s a need to limit it to certain kinds of people and that everyone should have access to joy and great clothes,” Ross said.
One item the Black-ish actress is most excited for her fans to try is her black tuxedo jacket (which will cost just $54!), a must-have staple every woman should have in her wardrobe. “You can wear it over a dress, you can wear it over a gown, over jeans with a t-shirt, over sweatpants,” Ross said. “I think you can kind of clean any look up with the tuxedo jacket.”
Although most of us go through many style phases throughout our lives, Ross says hers has stayed relatively the same since she was a teen. “I’ve been dressing the same way since I was in high school,” she said. “I’ve always loved a high-waisted jean, a high-waisted pant, a high-waisted skirt and I’m still doing that.”
She even sticks to her same favorite lipstick shade she’s been obsessed with since her high school years too. “I’ve been wearing M.A.C Ruby Woo lipstick since I was in high school,” the star added.
A lot of what you would find in Ross’ closet now would likely be something she snagged from her mom Diana Ross‘ closet when she was younger. “I steal a lot out of her closet and have since I was in high school. Sadly for her, we’ve worn very similar sizes since I was in my teens,” she said. “So I’ve been stealing stuff, including advice and a way of being from her for years.”
Are you excited to shop Tracee’s collection for JCPenney? Tell us in the comments below.
–reporting by Brianne Tracy