Jeans used to be rebel-without-a-cause clothes, but these days they're as iconic as the Washington Monument. Talisa, like women everywhere, has adopted them as her everyday uniform. Her skinny blue denim pair (7 For All Mankind, $198) is rolled up, '50s-style, and anchored with a rugged vintage belt (Screaming Mimi's); the low-cut, front-tied striped tee (American Living, $40) is a sexy take on an old standard.
"I grab what's easy and feels comfortable," says Benjamin of his weekend wardrobe, which certainly describes a red polo (J.Crew), white jeans (Ralph Lauren Black Label), hip aviators (Ralph Lauren), and sneakers (Polo Ralph Lauren).
On the beach or in a diner booth, this racy mini (Members Only, $187) has serious allure, especially with strappy red heels (Charles David). "I love the femininity of a little summer dress," says Talisa, although she admits that life with two children (Sophia, 6, and Mateo, 3) doesn't always lend itself to glamour. She calls family "our number one priority"—she's put her career on hold until the kids are older. But she does have a small part in the upcoming film La Mission, which Benjamin says is "a labor of love"—he stars, and his brother Peter wrote and directed it. Slated for fall release, it's the story of an old-school Latino father and a gay son in San Francisco.
Ring, David Yurman. On Benjamin: Shirt, Club Monaco. Jeans, Ralph Lauren Black Label. Watch (throughout), David Yurman. Shoes (throughout), Johnston & Murphy.
The mixed prints in Talisa's playful ensemble (Michael Kors top, $559, and skirt, $895) are kissing cousins—exaggerated, larger-than-life versions of traditional patterns—which is why they work so well together. (The shapes are classic, and either piece would also look sharp paired with a solid color.) Shiny red Betty Boop shoes (Michael Kors) continue the whimsical mood.
Benjamin's pristine outfit (shirt, J.Crew; pants, Trovata) suits his TV role; in The Cleaner (A&E) he plays a kind of white knight—a radical interventionist (based on a real-life hero) who rescues people from the throes of addiction. The season two premiere is June 23, 2009.
Following the fabled Route 66, the Bratts get their kicks in a vintage Mustang. "The older American cars weren't made for economy, but they have unmatched personality," Benjamin says. Talisa poses for a Kodak moment in a short royal blue dress (Sweetface, $298; earrings, Ten Thousand Things).
On Benjamin: Shirt, Woolrich John Rich & Bros. Jacket, Polo Ralph Lauren.
Talisa wears a fun one-shoulder swimsuit with a giant bow (Marc by Marc Jacobs, $142).
Cardigan, Tibi, $268. Shoes, Michael Kors.
A tiered silk chiffon column dress (BCBG Max Azria, $348) is hot, hot, hot, even though it's not excessively bare.
On Benjamin: Hat, Cassel Goorin. Shirt, Club Monaco. Jeans, Ralph Lauren Black Label.
Talisa loved the sassy, ready-to-salsa feel of a ruffled and ruched white top and red pencil skirt (Nanette Lepore, $195 and $275).
On Benjamin: Sunglasses, Polo Ralph Lauren.
Rhythm and Blues
Here's the ultimate democratic dress (T-Bags, $211): packable, well priced, great for beachcombing or parties, and suitable for any shape, thanks to an unconstricted fit and body-lengthening stripes down the sides. And it demonstrates a smart warm-weather strategy: showing a gorgeous back and shoulders while keeping the rest of you under wraps. It's a grown-up way to do sexy.
Bangles, Melody Rodgers Collection. Shoes, Colin Stuart for Victoria's Secret Catalogue. On Benjamin: Shirt, Adam. Pants, Billy Reid.
"Benjamin works long hours, and when he's home I have to share him with the kids—so I love days that he's all mine!" says Talisa. She looks thoroughly embraceable in this full-skirted halter dress ($550) from OMO Norma Kamali, a designer known for her terrific jersey clothing. Gold accessories—bangles (Melody Rodgers Collection) and sandals (Old Navy)—are a great foil for red, white, or blue, making potentially preppy colors look much more polished.
On Benjamin: Shirt, Woolrich John Rich & Bros. Vest, Banana Republic. Jeans, J.Crew.
he Bratts' heritage reflects this country's diversity: He is of Peruvian Indian extraction; she was born to a Puerto Rican family in Brooklyn. "I once took a cross-country trip and was struck by how similar Americans are," Benjamin says. "Most people I met had the same notion of possibility." That's a happy thought for a July 4 celebration complete with sparklers. To pull off the slouchy boyfriend jacket trend (Talbots, $279) without looking oversize yourself, wear something sleek and solid underneath, like a navy tank (Old Navy, $11) and hemp-silk shorts (Stewart+Brown, $198).
Earrings, Ten Thousand Things. On Benjamin: Shirt, Rag & Bone. Jeans, Ralph Lauren Black Label.