Robin Wright’s character, Claire Underwood, is the undisputed Ice-Queen-in-Chief on Netflix’s hit series House of Cards. As the conniving wife of a crooked Congressman, she is the hellish spouse that every staffer dreads. Essentially, she’s Lady MacBeth with a better wardrobe. And what a killer wardrobe it is.
1. Neutral Colors. Claire’s wardrobe is all about neutral colors: black, grey, white and navy. You like color? She is not the wardrobe icon for you. This woman thinks camel and pale blue are adventurous.
2. Fitted Outerwear. Toss your puffy parks, lose your voluminous winter coats, Claire is all about tailored outerwear. It’s structured, it’s belted and it all looks amazing. Don’t miss this camel London Fog belted trench or this Wallis seamed funnel-neck coat. And if you are looking for an evening coat, don’t miss this tuxedo-style wool coat from J.Crew.
3. Structured Button-Ups. Now, I know some of you will not want to hear this, but the only way to get a button-up shirt to fit you as perfectly as Claire’s fit her, is to take it to the tailor. Buy one that fits a bit too big and let your tailor go to town.
If you want to find a great shirt to tailor, Brooks Brothers is the place to begin. They’re classic non-iron shirt comes in misses, petites and tall sizes. Banana Republic also makes a decent button-up shirt for the money. I’m not sure where the best place to buy button-up shirts for plus-size ladies is, so I’ll let you fill the comments with your recommendations.
4. Strapless Gowns. Having arms like a Ukrainian gymnast, Claire shows them off in a variety of simple, but impeccably tailored, strapless cocktail dresses and gowns. I like this Grecian-style gown from Mignon. For cocktail attire, try this strapless dress with a light peplum, also from Mignon, or this under-$100 Bebe dress with a textured black fabric.
5. A Classic Satchel. Lose your crossbodies, your hobos and your bucket totes, Claire Underwood is all about a satchel. In the photo, Claire is carrying a YSL satchel, but since that’s a bit out of our price range, let’s try for some less expensive items, shall we?
Like the look of a dome satchel? Try this Tory Burch Robinson bag or this Ivanka Trump Ava bag in Saffiano leather (a good buy at $150). I also recommend the basic Rebecca Minkoff Mini-MAB, I’ve had mine for four years, and it still looks great. In the under-$100 category, try this Zara satchel with pockets or this BlockIt satchel from JCPenney.
6. Tailored Sheath Dresses. If Claire has a signature piece, it’s a perfectly fitted sheath dress. Again, this isn’t a look you can achieve without tailoring, but it helps to start with the right dress. Here are a few that I felt were Claire-worthy:
This Alexia Admor sheath dress with a mock-neck is lovely, and under-$200. This Ann Taylor dress with short sleeves and a dipped neckline is also a good choice (also in petites). This grey Club Monaco Ariana sheath is not to be missed. I also like this navy dress with black sleeves from Rachel Roy. But if I had to pick a favorite, this Ivy & Blu cowl neck dress is the perfect choice at $175.
7. Boatnecks and Squarenecks. Given her toned shoulders and slim figure, anything would look good on Robin Wright’s character, but boatneck and squareneck pieces look especially chic. For tops, try this Akris Punto squareneck jersey top or this Vince boatneck tee. As for dresses, this Nicole Miller square neck tube dress is good for cocktail hour, while this Calvin Klein sleeveless sheath is perfect for the office.
8. Chic Workout Attire. Would you expect Claire to tone those arms in a college t-shirt and some shorts? Of course, you wouldn’t. Instead, Claire wears the chicest gym attire I have ever seen. For running outside, I’d start with a pair of Zella leggings and a long sleeve Under Armour top. And don’t forget the tech vest, so you can keep warm while running along the Potomac.
Need inexpensive workout attire? 6pm.com is my go-to. Whatever you need, you can find it there.
Want to see more of Claire Underwood’s superb fashion sense? Check out the write-up on Worn Fashion Journal, and don’t miss Buzzfeed’s “13 Reasons Why Claire Underwood is a Fashion Icon.” Not watching House of Cards? You should be, you can catch the entire first season on Netflix before the second season is released on Valentine’s Day.