Reel vs. Real Fashions

December 10, 2014


Let’s take a look at how strong female executives are portrayed on TV versus how they are in real life. To begin:

Olivia Pope in Scandal (actress Kerry Washington)

It’s been said that Olivia Pope’s clothes are the “breakout character” on Scandal. That’s certainly true.

Much has been written about Pope’s outfits on this hit show. All the top designers are represented here. To recap: a military-style Armani jacket, a coat from Gucci, a handbag by Prada, a white trench from Tory Burch and so on.

Olivia Pop in Scandal (actress Kerry Washington)

The show’s costume designer, Lyn Paolo says, “I love the idea of Pope wearing a white suit in a room full of men wearing dark suits. She epitomizes strong femininity”.

Selina Meyer in Veep (actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus)

Again, we see famous fashion names such as: Celine for handbags, and Prada, Christian Dior and Tahari for dresses – in designs that are tailored, but not sexy. Or as Louis-Dreyfus says, “These clothes are constricting”. Politicians are traditionally conservative in their wardrobe choices.

Selina Meyer in Veep (actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus)

Marissa Mayer, Yahoo CEO

Yahoo sought a star leader and they got one when they brought Mayer aboard. Her star power is reflected in her penchant for high fashion. Pulling out all the stops, she recently wore a vintage Balenciaga gown to a star-studded opening. Mayer also favors Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera and Nina Ricci for their timely and elegant creations.

Marissa Mayer, CEO Yahoo

Andrea Jung, former CEO, Avon

Because of her 12 years as Avon’s CEO, Jung has been described as “the longest-serving woman CEO in the Fortune 500”. She was regularly seen in a sheath dress, a strand of oversized pearls, stiletto heels and bright red Avon lipstick. She favored Chanel skirt suits and on casual Fridays she donned Giorgio Armani pantsuits.

Andrea Jung, Former CEO, Avon

CONCLUSION: Do reel and real ladies have anything in common?

Absolutely. All of them favor well-known designer names but with the “reel” ladies there’s one big difference. Their clothing reflects the plotline of the series. For example, when Pope is experiencing stress the belt on her trench coat is tightly knotted and wrapped around her.

And, when Meyer is gearing up to announce her bid for the presidency she’s seen in sexier designs by Alexander McQueen and Gucci. Chic and sleek have entered the scene as she aims for the job she wants – not the one she has.

The real-life executives have arrived – their style is in place.


I just received an ADEA short sleeve crewneck layering top in black and WOW! It gives me a waist I didn’t know I had. Feels good, too – like a gentle second skin. Love it.

- Shaun

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