+ Broadcasting Style

Broadcasting Style: Sloan Sabbith

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On The Newsroom, actress Olivia Munn plays financial analyst Sloan Sabbith.  Modeled after CNBC “Money Honey” Maria Bartiromo, the running gag about Sabbith is that she’s a holder of two PhD’s who also qualifies as eye-candy for the white collar set.  While the “[she] makes nerds look good” characterization can be a bit tiresome, I still enjoy the show and her character.  So when a reader asked how to recreate Sabbith’s wardrobe, I was more than happy to oblige.

According to Munn, she and the costume dept. worked “on a specific look — form-fitting suits and minimal jewelry — that’s opposite from the current anchorwoman norm.”

One. To achieve the Sloan Sabbith look, you buy an otherwise basic business suit and tailor it to within a millimeter of being too snug.  Sabbith wears a lot of suits with fitted, slightly modern silhouettes in neutral colors.  Where to find such items?

If you have a bit of money to spend, I’d start with Hugo Boss and Lafayette 148.  In the mid-price range, J.Crew and Ann Taylor suits with classic cuts.  And in the more affordable price point, try Calvin Klein and The Limited.

Again, I can’t stress enough: there is nothing uber-special about her suits, it’s the tailoring that makes them look so good.  So follow the Edith Head rule and cut your suits tight enough to show that you’re a woman, and loose enough to show that you’re a lady.

Two. Sloan loves cowl necklines.  From blouse to dresses, the draping brings a soft femininity to her look–a sharp contrast to her suiting.  On the blouse side, try this long-sleeve, charcoal top from Mango and this ivory, sleeveless Catharine Malandrino top (just $39!).  Plus-size?  Have a look at this Calvin Klein cowl-neck shell.

If you’re looking for a dress with a cowl-neck, try this Jones New York sheath or this navy drape neck dress from Dorothy Perkins.  However, my favorite dress is this Ivy & Blu frock with a high-cut cowl neck (loved it so much, I bought it on the spot).

Three. As Munn emphasizes above, there are no statement necklaces or dangly earrings in Sloan Sabbith-land.  She frequently wears a simple, Jennifer Zeuner bar necklace. Her earrings are usually small stone studs.  She also wears a minimal, white metal watch.

To recreate the look, check out this Dogeared pendant and this Gorjana Knox necklace.  For my money, the best looking cubic zirconia studs on the market are these bezel set ones from Crislu (also in white metal).

Four. A tailored sheath dress is another Sabbith staple.  For upscale brands, think Burberry London and Roland Mouret.  In the mid-range, Black Halo, 4Collective and M.M. LaFleur.  On the more affordable end of the spectrum, try Anne Klein, Rebecca Taylor on sale and the Tahari diffusion lines.

Five and Six.  If Sabbith isn’t in a tailored dress or a business suit, the odds are good that she’s wearing a tailored jacket and pencil skirt.  Her take on suit separates is clean and classic with neutral colors.

For the jackets, I would start with Nordstrom’s Classiques Entier line.  Then, I’d head over to Mango and Zara.  For pencil skirts, I like Reiss and, for something less pricey, Halogen.  For plus-size skirts, I think the Coldwater Creek pencils have a nice look to them.  Prefer trousers?  J.Crew Collection has pants that I think are classic and comfortable.

Seven.  Sabbith keeps the makeup fairly minimal.  She enhances her best features, but doesn’t overdo it.  However, she is always rocking plum or rose blush.  And if you’ve been reading her for a bit, you know that I am dedicated user of Bobbi Brown blushes.

If you’re a fan of The Newsroom, Huffington Post also has a brief roundup of the attire for all the show’s leading ladies.  I especially like their take on Jane Fonda’s wardrobe.

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  1. Whitney says:

    Love this post! Sloan Sabbath is my spirit animal

    December 18, 2013/Reply
  2. Lynn says:

    WHAT. Olivia Munn has a show? Why have I never heard of this? And yes to cowl necks. Last winter I bought all turtlenecks, and this year I felt like they were strangling me and so I bought the same Splendid cowl neck shirt in three colors. Now I have no idea what to do with last year’s sweaters.

    December 18, 2013/Reply
    • raq says:

      unfortunately she is not the main character but she is a big character on the newsroom on HBO

      December 18, 2013/Reply
  3. Courtney says:

    Thank you, Belle for this post. I knew you would point me in the right direction!

    December 18, 2013/Reply
  4. Courtney says:

    I’m not normally a blog commenter, but I have to say this is one of my favorite posts you’ve done! So often I admire a celebrity or tv character’s style and am at a loss for how to recreate it. You’ve done a great job of breaking down the elements of her look. Thanks!

    December 19, 2013/Reply
  5. Helena says:

    I’m so inspired! Thanks for the breakdown. Love, love, love this character’s style.

    December 19, 2013/Reply