Olivia Pope’s Wardrobe and Me

2 Jul

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.

Olivia Pope white trench

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.

13 Responses to “Olivia Pope’s Wardrobe and Me”


  1. Kerry Washington Covers Vanity Fair | TV Ate My Wardrobe - July 3, 2013

    […] Fair’s new cover story adds to the impromptu Scandal/Kerry Washington week here at TV Ate My Wardrobe. This is the second high profile cover that Washington has featured […]

  2. Fantasy Costuming Fall 2013: Dressing Olivia Pope | TV Ate My Wardrobe - July 23, 2013

    […] end and more affordable. For those who might love Olivia’s wardrobe, but might not want that much white in your wardrobe then we’ve got a few pieces for you. The gowns that Olivia wears are impressive (and […]

  3. Costume Stories: This Week, Burton & Taylor and Scandal | - July 27, 2013

    […] Scandal […]

  4. Scandal Catch Up Chat: The Influence of Social Media and the Rise of Kerry Washington | TV Ate My Wardrobe - October 2, 2013

    […] work and I’m doing my best Olivia impression by having a glass of red wine (I’m not wearing white loungewear as that would be a […]

  5. Best of TV Costuming 2013: Scandal and Olivia Pope’s White Hat | TV Ate My Wardrobe - December 12, 2013

    […] my own relationship with white clothes is rather fraught (I am a perpetual spiller), Olivia has the poise to drink red […]

  6. Out of the Box: Look of the Week | TV Ate My Wardrobe - December 16, 2013

    […] With a character like Olivia Pope I can but dream of owning something from her closet (and I’ve talked about my spilling issue before that prevents me from wearing […]

  7. The Wish List: April Ludgate and Party Dresses | TV Ate My Wardrobe - February 4, 2014

    […] could raid one character’s closet it probably wouldn’t be Olivia Pope (it’s just too much white for this spiller to handle and I wouldn’t want to ruin those beautiful clothes). Parks and […]

  8. Coming this Fall: A Scandal Inspired Line at The Limited | TV Ate My Wardrobe - June 26, 2014

    […] happy). It wouldn’t be a Scandal inspired line without some white items that for reasons I have previously outlined (okay I spill) I might have to avoid. We will keep you updated when more pictures get released so […]

  9. First Look at Shonda Rhimes on The Mindy Project | TV Ate My Wardrobe - September 9, 2014

    […] out on the opportunity to ask those all important Olivia Pope questions – how does she keep her lounge wear free from red wine stains and popcorn grease? – Mindy Lahiri is going to kick […]

  10. The Limited Scandal Collection: Our Top 5 Picks | TV Ate My Wardrobe - September 23, 2014

    […] missing is the ability to not spill red wine or get popcorn grease all over the clothes. Yes I am a serial spiller. Especially when it is either something new or on the lighter end of the clothing […]

  11. The Wish List: Olivia Pope’s Wine (and Dancing) Cardigan on Scandal | TV Ate My Wardrobe - November 25, 2014

    […] The price tag is hefty and because of how incredibly warm it looks, I’m pretty sure I would never take it off. This includes in bed (I might make an exception for the shower). An everything cardigan for more than just wine and impromptu dance parties. And for whatever other dangers Olivia is about to experience. At least it is black and therefore avoids the ultimate Olivia Pope spilling dilemma. […]

  12. Out of the Box: Look of the Week | TV Ate My Wardrobe - April 8, 2016

    […] fancy awards wear and more magazine cover stunners.Despite my white clothing reservations – because I am a spiller – Danai Gurira crushes it at Black Girls Rock! in this very cool Cushnie Et Ochs jumpsuit […]

  13. Out of the Box: Look of the Week | TV Ate My Wardrobe - March 3, 2017

    […] Oscar De La Renta. While the spill fear is high with all three of these dress changes – so much white – they all make a whole lot of sense in the ‘not having to worry about anyone stepping […]

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