The last two falls, thousands of Longhorns football fans have marveled at Loreal Sarkisian’s chic game-day looks. Loreal, who is married to University of Texas’s head football coach, Steve Sarkisian, has turned the turf into a runway since moving to Austin from Tuscaloosa in 2021. But the professional wardrobe stylist’s vibrant fashion sense predated her role as the “First Lady of Texas Football”: “[My mother] was a strong believer that you wore what looked good on you, what enhanced you, not necessarily what was trendy or popular. I live by that to this day,” she says. Sarkisian shares her philosophy with her diverse styling clients, which include CEOs, entrepreneurs, and musicians of all genders.
As she’s become more entrenched in the world of burnt orange, a western flare—cowboy hats, fringe, cowboy boots—has seeped into her aesthetic. Texan style is growing on her: “I’m kinda trying to make it my own,” she says.
Still, Sarkisian’s natural mode leans more refined than spirited game day attire. Her affinity for boxy silhouettes and neutral color palettes points to her muse, Coco Chanel. “I am someone who likes elevated essentials for sure,” she says. “Chic. Classic, yet structured.” Here, Sarkisian shares the building blocks behind her timeless looks.
As a former track athlete who now spends significant time on the football field, Sarkisian often prioritizes the comfort of a pair of trainers. “As long as you have a black one and a white one, I think you’re set,” she says. “And then a fun pair.” But anyone who follows Sarkisian knows she doesn’t shy away from a heel. The “super comfortable and classic” Christian Louboutin one-strap heel is her go-to in that department. “I didn’t always [wear Louboutins], I will say, because they weren’t always comfortable,” Sarkisian says. “But over time, he has changed the style of some of his shoes.” If they’re not easy to wear, Sarkisian isn’t interested. She’s a firm believer in changing the outfit, not the person in it. “You end up having to do those hacks [such as insoles], typically, when you’re wearing a shoe that really doesn’t suit you,” she says. “And I will say that about any garment, too.”
An unexplainable bout of cystic acne gave Sarkisian trouble around the time she moved to Texas in 2021. The experience made her more intentional about her skin. “For forever, I didn’t do anything with my face. I didn’t have any skin-care routine, ” Sarkisian says. So when the condition hit her in her thirties, she sought a solution. In conjunction with medication, Sarkisian found relief in products from two natural skin-care brands: Hungary-based Eminence Organics and Florida-based Just Organic. “I don’t have any problems anymore,” Sarkisian says. She prefers Eminence Organics’ chamomile-infused face wash, followed by a hydrating facial oil. “Between the two of those products, wonders.”
Distressed, skinny, or bootcut—Sarkisian has them all. She’s also partial to Re/Done, an L.A.-based brand that transforms old Levi’s into designer jeans that the trendiest of Hollywood celebrities swear by. “There are a few others in the closet,” Sarkisian says, “but nine times out of 10, I’m going to have on Re/Done or Mother.”
“Probably 90 percent of my closet—it’s insane—is outerwear,” says Sarkisian, who, ironically, has lived in warm states like Texas her entire life. She’s talking cardigans and blazers, trenches and bombers, denim and leather jackets. Sarkisian says she looks to the greats: Chanel, Alexander McQueen, and Balmain. “They are the outerwear divas of fashion for me,” Sarkisian says. As for more accessible outerwear, she opts for contemporary designers like Veronica Beard, who fashioned the French terry hoodie dickey jacket—an ensemble she says allows her to go from dressy to casual in seconds. “It gives the illusion that you are layered,” says Sarkisian. “[It can make] your black blazer look a hundred different ways.”
While Sarkisian embraces most bodysuits, she’s especially partial to the halterneck cut from Zara, which she describes as the perfect balance between casual and dressy. White T-shirts used to be Sarkisian’s staple of choice. Over time, that preference shifted to graphic tees, and now she’s landed on the halter leotard. “On just any given day, I’m going to be [in] a bodysuit,” she says. “It’s a cleaner look.”
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