26/08/2011 16:45 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

My Stylish Life: Mena Suvari

Mena Suvari on The Captain's Island for Captain Morgan rum Beach chic: Mena enjoys some down time on The Captain's Island. Photo courtesy of Captain Morgan.

Are you a fashion fanatic, or do you hate shopping with a passion?
I fall somewhere in the middle of the scale. I'm definitely interested in trends, but I'm a firm believer that fashion is an expression of the individual self and of your personality. I'm all about the comfort factor – and also my mood changes a lot, it really depends how I'm feeling. I wear a lot of classic styles. But then I also respond to things that are graphic, colourful and exciting.

What's your number one style tip for red carpet dressing?

Comfort. Whether its shoes or a dress, you just want to be relaxed. If I wear a dress I don't want to have to use loads of double-stick tape and such. You have to last several hours, so you want to be able to have fun and not feel uncomfortable.

Who is your style icon and why?
I don't really have favourites! Even in my work acting, there isn't someone whose look I completely love, there's never been just one person I want to emulate – it's all made up of different people. My personality changes so much over the years it depends on what I'm into at the time really. I Look everywhere for inspiration, I look within myself and come up with what is right for me as I believe that's what fashion is really about. I love people who take risks!

Which designers are you loving at the moment?

One of my all-time favourite designers is YSL by far. I also love brands like Diane von Furstenberg, Daryl K and I love the Olsen Twins' line, Elizabeth and James - I think they're phenomenal. But again, it really depends on what I'm into at the time! I love Ksubi jeans, they are my favourite right now, that and Sass & Bide who I've worked with in the past and at the moment I'm really into Jimmy Choo– I love their handbags! As I get older, it's all about pieces that are timeless. I like to take note of trends but I always come back to those signature pieces like Jimmy Choo, Donna Karen or Calvin Klein

Can you describe your style in five words?

Comfortable, classic, edgy, eclectic, sexy and natural!

What's been your most extravagant fashion purchase?

When I was working in Rome a few years back I went a little bit crazy in the YSL store!

What's been your biggest ever fashion faux pas?
I don't really like to look at it like that as that's what I like about fashion: people taking risks - and really, its always up to the person's opinion anyway. But when I was younger I used to wear stirrup pants when I was about 12, because that was big then! But then you look back thinking 'oh my god I can't believe I wore that!' Yet when I was working in London a while ago I went to the Burberry showroom and I saw they had them coming out in their new season!

Also, crimping my hair- that was really frightening, not a good look!

Any other star who you think always looks great and would like to swap wardrobes with?
I love Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett, Blake Lively and Kate Beckinsale- they always look amazing.

If you were stranded on a desert island, which three essential items of clothing would you have to take?
I'm in Atlanta at the moment, so it's kind of like being on a Caribbean Island because it's just so hot. But I'd have to take a pair of Tiki's with me – they are these fastenable flip flops, they're great – so I'd wear those to protect my feet. Then I've been wearing a lot of maxis to help keep covered up and cool, in organic cottons and breathable materials. Then I guess my third item would have to be a bikini so that I could go swimming. Unless I go swimming in the buff, that's always an option!

So what else is in the pipeline for Mena Suvari?
Well I've been in the UK working with Noel Clarke on this new film called The Knot, and then I've also been here down south filming American Reunion (the fourth film in the American Pie franchise.) At the moment I'm also working on this campaign with Captain Morgan rum and The Captain's Island - which is a lot of fun.

Mena Suvari is currently helping Captain Morgan search for buccaneering crew mates for The Captain's Island challenge, a legendary Caribbean adventure where crews can challenge for a share of a $15,000 bounty. To join up, visit the Captain Morgan Facebook page.

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