I’ve just finished watching the first season of Scandal as part of my summer catch up project and while it is unusual to have such a short season from a network show (that hasn’t been canceled) it works as an introduction to the world of these characters featuring an overall season long arc and a case of the week format. I’m totally hooked but before I begin season 2 I have a confession of sorts about Olivia Pope’s costuming.
One of the reasons I started TV Ate My Wardrobe was thanks to my incessant mentions of TV costuming and Olivia Pope has a highly covetable collection of clothes. This is one factor that is often mentioned in articles/posts I have mostly avoided reading about Scandal (so I could be as spoiler free as possible) and both Kerry Washington and her character Olivia Pope often feature in ‘best dressed‘ lists. One thing is clear about Olivia’s outfits in season 1 is they lack any bright color and work on a scale of white through grey, with some other neutrals thrown in the mix. The term “white hat” is often tossed around between David and Olivia with both of these characters operating under the assumption that they are the ‘good guys,’ with Olivia using her gut as a resource and working outside the law while David is restricted by it. Olivia is referred to as the “best guy” in the pilot even though we see her doing some questionable things and she definitely works within the moral grey area at times.
The lack of any bright color works in Olivia’s favor as she can blend into the background when she opts for the grey end of the color spectrum. Olivia has a selection of white coats (like the trench above) that tend to signal when Olivia wants to take control of a situation; she is the beacon of hope when it looks like the proverbial might hit the fan. Normally when a character wears this much white I assume they are going to get blood on them in some capacity (see 24), this has yet to happen in Scandal with Olivia, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility.
Now the reason why this article is called “Olivia Pope’s Wardrobe and Me” is because while I think these clothing choices are amazing for this character there is no way I would ever own this many white items. This is because I am a not so secret food and drink spiller; some might call it careless, I just call it my unfortunate clumsy gene as it’s not just food that I have a habit of dropping (or tripping over things which can lead to more spilling). The truth is I probably don’t even drop that much, but the fear is there.
White clothing is at the forefront of fashion at the moment as it tends to be over the summer (in the same way that floral patterns are popular at this time of year) and I’ve been watching a lot of Wimbledon over the past week. There is also this collection of amazing white clothes over at The Cut that I will only ever look at and not purchase. The few white clothes I do own tend to have some kind of pattern whether it be stripes or polka dots and the one amazing skirt that I have in white sits sadly in my wardrobe. I know it’s terrible to have such an aversion to white clothes but it’s the price I pay for having such terrible co-ordination. So while I love what Olivia Pope wears, it’s never going to be for me sadly.