+ Broadcasting Style

Broadcasting Style: Olivia Pope’s Wardrobe

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A couple of weeks ago, I discussed writing a new feature on the wardrobes of television characters.  Our first inspiring lady-of-the-small-screen is Olivia Pope, the chief fixer on ABC’s Scandal.  Here are Olivia’s wardrobe essentials.

We’re actually going to start with essential element number eight, soft neutrals.  Every piece linked to in today’s post will be in Olivia’s signature palette of whites, greys, muted blues, blush and, occasionally, black.  The sophisticated mix of neutrals is key to achieving the Olivia Pope look.

One.  Silk blouses are a favorite of mine.  Perhaps, this is why I took to Olivia Pope’s signature style so quickly.  The mandarin collar is a frequent player in Olivia’s wardrobe, so try this blush Vanessa Bruno blouse or this grey Vince blouse.  I also like this more relaxed Joie blouse.  For something under-$100, try this blouse from Barney’s or this dark grey shirt.

If mandarin collars aren’t for you, try this sheer white blouse or this shiny grey one.  Lastly, both Zara and Massimo Dutti are great sources for silk or silk-like blouses with a sleek, chic appeal.

Want more ideas on where to shop for Olivia Pope’s Wardrobe Essentials? Find them after the jump.

Two. Our favorite fixer sure loves herself a peplum jacket.  They keep her suits from looking to masculine and really balance out her preferred wide leg trousers.  This Burberry jacket.is.everything.  I also like this Guess Toledo jacket a lot.  And if you need something that won’t cause your wallet to seize up, this white jacket and this grey jacket are pretty chic.

Three. Olivia never met a high collar that she didn’t like.  Try a funnel neck, like this plus-size spring coat or this chic Lacoste sweatshirt.  You can also try an inverted notch collar or this high neck jacket.

Four. Wide leg trousers are a key piece of Olivia’s wardrobe.  I wear these Hutton trousers from J.CREW, they really help camouflage my pear shape.  Definitely worth the investment.

Five.  Cowl necks are the fashion embodiment of drapey chic.  They’re also great for those of us who could use extra volume up top.  I like this satin-y sleeveless blouse, this waterfall DvF top and this $69 ivory shirt.  If you prefer something with a sleeve, try this silver short sleeve number or this dark blue jersey top.

Six. Several times this season, our heroine has been seen sporting full-length leather gloves.  (She likes to wear them under 3/4 length sleeve tops and short sleeve jackets.)  The only pair of long sleeve gloves I could find that wouldn’t require a second mortgage are these Echo gloves.  You can also try vintage shops and eBay.

Seven. The long necklace is Olivia’s go-to accessory.  She sometimes wears one by itself or layers several for extra impact.  If you’re looking to splurge a bit, this Alexis Bittar necklace is lovely and this Majorca pearl necklace is dainty and pretty.  In the affordable category, this open-work necklace is under-$20 and this gold one would be great for layering.

Olivia Pope’s wardrobe is mature, but not dowdy, sophisticated, but soft and can be had even if you don’t have the money for Armani, Marc Jacobs or Prada.  Check back in a couple of weeks for the next episode of Broadcasting Style.



  1. Vanessa says:

    This is a great new feature and I love Olivia’s wardrobe. I need more color in my life than this, but the clothes themselves are fabulous

    March 27, 2013/Reply
  2. Denise says:

    I adore Olivia Pope…she always looks amazing!
    I love how silk blouses look but I’ve never had one. They always seem like they would be hard to take care of? Are they? Do you hand wash yours or do they need to be dry cleaned?

    March 27, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I dry clean. I’ve never found them esp. tough to care for.

      March 27, 2013/Reply
    • Vivian says:

      I own a lot of silk blouses to wear under suits so dry cleaning all of them after each wear would be very expensive. Instead I invested in a stand up steamer and steam my blouses after light wears. The steamer has also been a godsend for skirts and woven tops.

      March 27, 2013/Reply
      • Vanessa says:

        You can also hand wash silk as long as you use a really gentle soap (like ivory flakes) and lay it flat to dry

        March 27, 2013/Reply
        • GoGoGo says:

          I wear a thin t-shirt underneath and straight up re-wear silk blouses several times if I don’t get too sweaty.

          This is the third time I’ve worn this Ann Taylor blouse today since it’s been cleaned. Don’t tell anybody. 🙂

          March 28, 2013/Reply
    • Maharani says:

      It depends on the blouse. For anything really fancy and expensive, or with complex structure or dressmaker details (getting rarer alas) I dry clean. For basic silk shells and blouses, I have successfully hand washed cold, air dried and pressed-silk washes fine. I usually wear them a couple of times between washes. The fabric breathes so they are worth it.

      March 28, 2013/Reply
  3. york says:

    Love this new feature! For your next subject, may I suggest one of the ladies of 1600 Penn?

    March 27, 2013/Reply
    • Jes says:

      i looooove the clothes on 1600 penn!

      March 27, 2013/Reply
  4. SLG says:

    Ditto on how to take care of silk blouses. So far I’ve been afraid to buy them. Any tips?

    March 27, 2013/Reply
  5. Clearly Speaking says:

    This is too awesome for words. But alas, I have moved on from Olivia and her pants. I have an Anna Wintour’s dresses and skirts obsession now.

    March 27, 2013/Reply
  6. Nadia says:

    Love this characters sense of style including the design of her office and home. Do you have any suggestions where to find a canvas or print similar to the one in her office? I’m obsessed and have searched online high and low and have yet to find anything with such clean and refreshing colors. All sea colored art seems to incorporate too much grey that makes it more dingy and dark feeling.

    March 27, 2013/Reply
  7. Megan says:

    Love.it. Can you also do Alicia Florek from The Good Wife?

    March 27, 2013/Reply
  8. SP says:

    Love this — thanks so much for doing this! Quick question: Do customers based in the US have to pay customs fees when they order from ASOS?

    March 27, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      No, they mail from NJ.

      March 27, 2013/Reply
  9. TXAtty says:

    Megan Hunt on Body of Proof – I lust after her clothes almost every episode.

    March 27, 2013/Reply
  10. Emily says:

    Thanks for this feature! I spent last Sunday catching up on the second season of this show. I think its really interesting how the costume designer enhances the characters through their clothing. Olivia wears light colored clothing in delicate fabrics, which to me, signify that her character is untouched by the dirty situations she finds herself in.

    March 27, 2013/Reply
  11. kim says:

    LOVE! She wears real work clothes, not skimpy cocktail dresses like most lawyer-lady type characters!

    March 28, 2013/Reply
  12. Amanda says:

    I am digging this post! I loathe for Olivia’s closet after every episode. This has inspired me to invest in more silk blouses.

    April 5, 2013/Reply
  13. Nadine says:

    EW has a slideshow of “‘Scandal’-ous Fashion Secrets!” at https://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20609151_20688005,00.html (Apr 04, 2013) and I thought of your blog post!

    April 8, 2013/Reply
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