In early 2013, the Netflix show “House of Cards” introduced the world to Claire Underwood and, we hated her. Yet, we wanted to be her. She was icy, manipulative, and ridiculously stylish. Forget Frank Underwood’s secrets. Women wanted the secret to Claire’s classic-meets-minimalism style.
There was nothing particularly edgy or iconic about her button-downs, slim pant suits, and tight pencil skirts and dresses. Many women probably sighed at their closets and thought, “how does she pull off such simple pieces without looking boring?” But Claire’s sartorial genius didn’t lie in the what, but the how. She wore her attire with an attitude of confidence and authority, and gave an air that her clothes – and that haircut! – were made solely for her.
“She’s a modern-day Lady Macbeth.”
In her uniform, Claire conveyed fierce toughness, self-assurance, and ambition, but also an elegance and ladylike manner. Costume designer Tom Broecker likened her to Lady Macbeth: an irresistible femininity (waist-cinching belts, figure-hugging silhouettes) dueling with an intriguing masculine side (neutral tones, precise tailoring, statement coats with popped collars, minimal jewelry). It is an alluring androgyny that breathes life and sophistication into otherwise dry classic clothing.
Claire’s minimalist approach to work wear is actually very easy – the key is to top it off with a heavy helping of attitude.
Claire Underwood – Power Dressing 101
1. Theory wool-blend dress ($355) 2. Antonio Berardi belt ($225) 3. Ivanka Trump Carra heel ($135) 4. Seiko Premier Quartz watch ($350) 5. Max & Chloe tiny diamond studs ($341) 6. Coach Borough bag ($598) 7. Essie nail polish in Fed Up ($8) 8. Wolford tights ($60).
What kind of attitude do you convey (or want to project) in your work wear?