In her role as Joan Holloway, Hendricks says she has learned the most she ever has about style, primarily from the stylist made famous for her keen eye on the retro-themed set. “Janie Bryant has taught me that anything can look good on you with the right tailoring,” says Hendricks. “The best fashion tool you can arm yourself with is a talented local tailor. It doesn’t matter if what you buy is designer or from a discount store, if it fits you perfectly, you will look great.”
As for basics that are worth spending your money on, Hendricks also takes her inspiration from the famed TV set. “Mad Men has converted me into a pencil skirt fan,” she says. “Pencil skirts look professional, but they’re also sexy, and you can literally go from the work into the evening in them. And a good white silk blouse is always timeless.”
It’s confidence and a sense of feeling comfortable in her skin that Hendricks is even better known for, pulling in Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Alive title in 2010, as well as a high ratio of female fans across the country who often cite the actress’s refreshingly healthy body image as a positive respite from typical Hollywood stereotypes. The actress emphasizes that it’s the things she takes the time to do to feel good on the inside that make her feel more confident about the outside.
Unlike most celebrities who claim to lead a travel-heavy, nearly sleepless existence, Hendricks says that sleep tops her daily indulgence list, and that she can easily capture up to 12 hours a night if left to her own devices. Gardening in the peaceful outdoors also keeps her spirits high. “I love playing in my garden and really getting into the earth, and I can be lost out there for hours on end,” says Hendricks.
Yet it’s charitable work that Hendricks says has the greatest impact on her sense of self—an observation that has some scientific backing.
In a study of 29,000 people across 29 states, researchers found that regular volunteers had significantly greater rates of stated health and happiness than non-volunteers, and that people view altruism as a highly desirable trait.
It’s this heart-to-self-esteem connection that Hendricks says makes her work with the Latisse Wishes Challenge all the more satisfying.
“These children are going through very adult and traumatic situations that children shouldn’t have to deal with,” says Hendricks. “Granting a wish helps them be kids for a little bit and bring a smile back to their faces. When you see that, and know that you did that, nothing makes you feel more beautiful.”
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