Meg Ryan always ’embraced grunge & thrift stores & big, heavy boots’

I have to say, I really enjoy InStyle’s 25th anniversary celebration with their September cover. InStyle basically got more than a dozen of their former cover ladies to reflect back on their covers and talk about ageing and the different eras of their lives and where they are now. Reading these pieces has been really nice and even a little cathartic, because everybody misses the ‘90s and early ‘00s and every woman interviewed sounds very happy and at peace with where they are now. Meg Ryan was included in the anniversary issue, and she talked about expectations being blown up and how her style has always been heavy on the combat boots. She also says a few words about her engagement to John Mellencamp. Some highlights:

On her style: “When I was in college in the ’80s, it was all about walking around like a rudimentary advertisement wearing designer labels. I didn’t like that at all. And I didn’t have a lot of money either. So I embraced grunge and thrift stores and big, heavy boots. I’ve always liked big, heavy boots. They made me feel grounded. It was also a way to dress like a New Yorker. And I’ve always been a New Yorker at heart.”

Good lighting: “That’s what I was still thinking in ’97, when I landed my first InStyle cover. Back then I was surprised to be on the cover of anything. I was just starting to learn how to find my angles. I remember thinking, “Wow, this is really good lighting!” All those stories you hear that make Elizabeth Taylor sound vain — guess what? I got it after that.”

Looking back: “By the time I did my second InStyle cover, in 2003, the page had definitely turned for me. I was divorced [from Dennis Quaid]. All of my expectations about everything had been blown up. And that’s a good thing. People think they should be this by the time they’re 20 and this by the time they’re 30 and accomplished by the time they’re 40. I was in my early 40s at the time of the cover shoot. And I said in the interview that I thought assignment of age was arbitrary. I stand by that — especially now when it’s all about pivoting, re-creating, and having multiple careers.

Divorce is hard: “In the interview for my most recent InStyle cover, in 2008, I said I had an inability to accept myself as lovable. That was harsh. I think it stemmed from starting over after my marriage ended. Divorce is hard. I wasn’t easy on myself around then. I retreated. But that tough time was necessary. I became a better person after all of that. And I grew up a lot.

Where she is now: “Now I’m focused on producing. I’m also teeing myself up to direct, and I’m working on a fun e-commerce project with some of my friends. But most of all, what I’m ambitious for in the 12 hours a day that I’m awake is my kids’ happiness. I just am. I’m either figuring out how to provide for them, figuring out how to say it right, figuring out all those mom things. I want them to be happy. And today I’m happy too. Yes, I’m going to get married at some point. [Ryan got engaged to musician John Mellencamp last year]. But for now this engagement thing is a state of grace.

[From InStyle]

“But for now this engagement thing is a state of grace.” Okay. I guess I understand that, especially since she also talks about how her divorce was really difficult, so much so that she was still dealing with the emotional fallout six years later. Meg might be the one who’s gun-shy about a wedding and another marriage, that’s what it sounds like. I also enjoy the recurring theme of all of these InStyle profiles, which is that you really shouldn’t set goals based on age, like “I’m going to do this and this before I’m 30!” I agree. I also agree that grunge/thrift store style is the best, especially with big boots. Ah, the ’90s.

John Mellencamp and Meg Ryan In Manhattan

Photos courtesy of WENN, InStyle IG.

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11 Responses to “Meg Ryan always ’embraced grunge & thrift stores & big, heavy boots’”

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  1. Jb says:

    Nice to hear as a mid 30yr old trying to figure out where my life is going since it’s not necessarily going according to “plan”. Superficial talk: I’ve always wanted heavy boots like Doc Martens since high school…this is gonna make me go buy some finally!!!

    • AnnaKist says:

      Get some! I’m way older than you and I still wear mine. Spring has just sprung beautifully here, and I’m planning on wearing mine to a barbecue on Saturday, teamed with my old favourite floral midi dress, and taking my denim or leather jacket for the cool of the night. I plan on wearing these items in my 80s, too. I have no conception of age-appropriateness or “current fashion” when it comes to what I like to wear.

      • Roo says:

        I love mine – red wine color – and wear them to a very traditional office. I also have some menswear-style brogues. And I’m 50.

    • paranormalgirl says:

      I wear my Docs all the time and I’m 55!

    • nb says:

      I just ordered my first pair – they are arriving today! Can’t wait to try them out.

  2. Lauren says:

    I like her. Her interview seems refreshing and authentic. I am empathetic to her post divorce “not a lovable person” vibe. It is all part of the post divorce process and I like that she acknowledges going through that as well even though she was America’s sweetheart.

  3. BayTampaBay says:

    Like Helen Mirren, Meg Ryan is just sooo…cool and continues to get cooler as she ages. Love her, and Helen, to death.

  4. Mindhunt says:

    She looks more like her original self. Glad to see. I have always liked her.

  5. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I admit it. And I think I’ve mentioned it here before…Imma combat-boot-wearin’ mamma. Usually with a bit of a heel or platform and usually with long ass skirts lol. For me it started late 80s and never went away. When the grunge thang hit, l was on cloud nine because it’s how I always dressed and how I’ll probably always dress.

    Although I don’t do flannel, I’ll always have, carry or wear a solid expensive, favorite item with the rest being thrift finds and bargains lol. Nothing is ever tight, binding, belted or uncomfortable… blah. And hardly ever patterns unless it’s a scarf or some unobtrusive accessory.

    Big ass bags. Big ass watches. Big ass earrings (no necklaces of course…either or deal lol). I suppose for someone so laid back there’s a lot of crap I wouldn’t wear in a million years. 😋

  6. Blueskies says:

    Thrifting is one of my great joys in life, I love having a mixture of new and old in clothing although it’s only about 20% new for me! Antiques, too. Love seeing all the docs appreciation here! My sister still wears hers at 46.

    I really enjoyed this excerpt with Meg, it brightened me up. I like what she said about assignment of age being arbitrary. It’s so true and it’s something I’ve had to realise over the last 20 years especially. Your path is your own. Meg looks gorgeous, too.