Katie Holmes Credit: Humberto Carreno/Startraksphoto.com

Single and sexy in the city!

Katie Holmes' new life as a single, 33-year-old mom in Manhattan is off to a very stylish start. On Wednesday night, after spending the day with daughter Suri, 6, and her mother, Kathy, at the Central Park Zoo, Tom Cruise's ex switched from jeans and T-shirt into sleeker evening attire -- showing off her long, lean legs in tight black leather pants and sexy high heels, plus a flirty cream blouse and jacket.

With Suri presumably back at home at the new $12,500-a-month Chelsea apartment Holmes recently leased, the actress (flanked by bodyguards) headed to dinner with a friend.

About a month and a half before she filed for divorce from Cruise, 50, Holmes dropped massive hints about reinventing herself and her life.

"I always felt like a little girl before," she told ELLE magazine. "I didn't even know what sexy was."

She added: "Anytime you feel good about yourself, you embody sexiness. It's almost like a power or a confidence or a secret."

On Monday, Holmes and Cruise announced that they'd settled their split; sources confirmed to Us Weekly that Holmes was granted full custody of Suri.

"She is very happy," a source told Us. "She can move on and finally live her life."