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As the tough-as-nails superhero Jessica Jones in Netflix’s Marvel universe, Krysten Ritter wears basically the same outfit in every scene. But while the actress and her character share a love of leather jackets, worn-in jeans, and moto boots, Ritter’s got a softer side — a fact evident in both her passion for knitting (#krystenknitter) and her preference for sparkle on the red carpet.
I caught up with Ritter at Saks Fifth Avenue’s 10022-SHOE salon in NYC — where we kept getting distracted by stilettos — to discuss her Jessica Jones uniform, her most recent fashion splurge, and why you just might catch one of her knitwear creations on Netflix next year.
You’ve said before that Jessica Jones will never wear heels. But will you?
When I get dolled up, I’m rocking a heel for sure — and I’m 5’10”! I don’t typically do a platform; I like a good, skinny stiletto that’s not too high. Because if I get too tall, I kind of get Tall Girl Syndrome and start to slouch. As weird as it sounds, I’m more of an introvert, so when I get too tall I feel like, ahhh, everyone’s looking at me!
Any shoe-shopping hacks you can share?
So I have a new trick as a grown woman — this took a lot of time for me to figure out — but when you buy heels, you have to size up. I wear a 9.5 or a 10, and I get it: It’s not fun when the shoes come out in your size and they look like boats. But your feet will thank you. And nobody knows [what size they are] — and also, who cares?!
Hard agree, as a size 10.5. Okay, so what’s your absolute favorite pair currently in your closet?
I have some Prada boots that I bought myself as a present this past fall before going to work on The Defenders, which was going to lead right into Jessica Jones season 2; that’s one full year of production. And I don’t normally splurge like this, but I found these Prada boots that were just the epitome of Krysten as a teenager, wearing Hot Topic, except all grown-up and high fashion. They’re like a combat boot meets a motorcycle boot, and they’ve got three buckles across them...
Kind of like Jessica Jones’s!
Yes, but more feminine. Because Jessica’s had hers for, like, 10 years, and these have a little bit more of a heel; they’re a little bit more fashion. They look good with skinny jeans — and of course, Jessica doesn’t wear skinny jeans. She sticks with her relaxed-fit pair, because she’s gotta kick ass! But they’re everything I ever dreamed of in a boot.
If you could trade closets with either Jessica or Chloe from Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23, who would you choose?
Both of them have such fantastic, iconic looks, but they’re polar opposites. So what I’d do is take a little bit from each. Like, I’m a jeans and boots and leather jacket kind of girl, and I actually brought a lot of those ideas to the character and how I wanted her to look. But I’ve kind of ruined it for myself, because now if I’m walking down the street, people are like, “Oh hey, it’s Jessica Jones!” [Laughs]
So I’d mix Chloe’s cool high-waisted skirts and off-the-shoulder stuff with [Jessica’s] cool boots and leather jackets. Because I’m somewhere between the two myself.
Wait, tell me more about your input on your Jessica Jones wardrobe!
When I’m getting into a new character, I start with her physicality and how she carries herself, how she holds her body. And I’ve got to put on the right shoes — or boots! — to make me feel like I’m not still Krysten. So I had a real image of how I wanted Jessica to look.
In the comic books, she wore this leather jacket that’s more like a trench, which to me looked a little period. So I was like, “Let’s put her in this armor-like moto jacket, and beat it up and soften it to make it look like it actually lived on the floor.” I fought pretty hard for this look. I said, “I promise, if we nail this look, it’ll be a Halloween costume.” And that’s exactly what happened!
You’re an avid knitter — and conveniently, Jessica loves a good snood. Any chance we’ll see some of your work make its way into your show wardrobe?
I did knit this really great, cute little sweater that I’m hoping we can get on Rachael [Taylor, who plays Trish Walker on Jessica Jones]. She’s a dear friend, so I’m always knitting stuff and giving it to her. I made her a sweater, I made her a little T-shirt — and it’d be awesome to get something on the show.
Practically speaking, I can’t really knit Jessica Jones’s snood, because I’d have to make seven of them! I have a stunt double, I have a No. 2 double, I have a photo double, we have a stand-in, there’s me, and then there’s a backup. And I don’t have that kind of time! But that’d definitely be #goals.
Season 1 of The Defenders is now streaming on Netflix — as are seasons 1 and 2 of Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23, which you should also definitely watch.