20 Times Caitriona Balfe Made Her Own Fashion Rules

Actress Caitriona Balfe’s path to stardom hasn’t exactly been what you’d call traditional. While packing bags for a local charity in her native Ireland, she was scouted by a modeling agent and then made her way to Paris at 19, where she began a modeling career that touched all the major fashion houses. Balfe continued to work in New York City for nearly eight years, but after deciding that modeling wasn’t her true passion, she eventually landed in L.A. to pursue her lifelong dream of acting on-screen.

Fast-forward to 2013 when Starz was casting the coveted role of Claire Fraser for the highly anticipated adaptation of the Outlander series and Balfe was called in after a second look at her audition tape. Thanks to her chemistry test with co-star Sam Heughan, she won the role right before shooting began, which required her to uproot her life in L.A. and move to Scotland. (Well, we did say it wasn’t the most traditional path.)

This November, she’ll be starring alongside Christian Bale and Matt Damon in the upcoming movie, Ford v Ferrari, where she plays Bale’s wife, Mollie, who is an accomplished race car driver in her own right. It’s safe to say her career is about to shift into fifth gear. 

Just like the non-traditional characters she plays, Balfe tends to forge a sometimes unconventional path when it comes to her fashion choices. Whether earning eyebrow raises or applause, these looks have made her a darling of the same fashion houses she walked for back in the day. With that in mind, it makes total sense that she recently began working with A-List stylist Karla Welch, who is known for encouraging her clients to push themselves out of their comfort zones. As Balfe recently told InStyle, “I always say if I love it, then I’m happy. It doesn’t have to be for everyone else.” 

As huge fans of both Balfe’s career and style, we’ve rounded up some of the actress’s most eye-catching looks to date. From bold colors and prints to unique design details (hello, pockets and cutouts!), check them out below and be inspired to think out of your own style box.

WHAT: New York Comic Con 2019. WEAR: Bella Freud suit; x Karla T-shirt; and Manolo Blahnik heels

WHAT: Golden Globe Awards 2019. WEAR: Moschino dress; Jimmy Choo shoes; The Row clutch; and Beladora hair clips

WHAT: Toronto International Film Festival 2019. WEAR: A.W.A.K.E Mode top and skirt; Christian Louboutin heels

WHAT: Toronto International Film Festival 2019. WEAR: Salvatore Ferragamo top and skirt; Paris Texas boots

WHAT: Starz Fiercely Female panel 2019. WEAR: Miu Miu dress; Stella Luna slingbacks

WHAT: Henley Festival 2019. WEAR: Self-Portrait dress; Le Specs x Adam Selman Last Lolita sunglasses; Jennifer Chamandi shoes

WHAT: Starz FYC Day 2019. WEAR: Marc Jacobs dress

WHAT: Vanity Fair Oscars Party 2019. WEAR: Dundas dress; Ana Khouri earrings; Judith Lieber clutch

WHAT: SCAD Savannah Film Festival 2018. WEAR: Calvin Klein dress, shoes, and clutch

WHAT: Paleyfest NY 2018. WEAR: Khaite suit; Giuseppe Zanotti heels; Jimmy Choo clutch

WHAT: Starz Outlander FYC Panel 2018. WEAR: Rachel Comey dress; Gianvito Rossi boots

WHAT: Roland Mouret Fashion Show 2018. WEAR: Stella McCartney coat; Roland Mouret top and pants; Ganni shoes; Marni clutch

WHAT: Elle’s 25th Annual Women in Hollywood Celebration 2018. WEAR: Calvin Klein dress, shoes, and bag

WHAT: Trainspotting 2 premiere 2017. WEAR: Isabel Marant dress; Maison Margiela shoes; Marni clutch

WHAT: Golden Globe Awards 2017. WEAR: Delpozo dress; Jimmy Choo clutch

WHAT: W Magazine’s Golden Globes Party 2017. WEAR: Louis Vuitton dress and clutch; Kurt Geiger heels

WHAT: 69th Annual Cannes Film Festival 2016. WEAR: Louis Vuitton dress and shoes; Repossi ear cuffs

WHAT: Golden Globe Awards 2016. WEAR: Alexander McQueen dress

WHAT: Outlander Mid-Season Premiere 2015. WEAR: Roland Mouret dress; Halson Heritage clutch; Burberry sandals

WHAT: San Diego Comic-Con International 2014. WEAR: Erdem dress; Paul Andrew sandals

Up next: Caitriona Balfe’s Stunning Engagement Ring

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