HBO’s Succession is not known for its relatability, nor does it strive to be. The dramedy series centers on the Roys — an exorbitantly wealthy family overrun with privilege, dysfunction, and an insatiable bloodlust for power. By focusing on the Roy clan, Succession immerses its viewers into the otherwise impenetrable bracket of the top, top 1%. Here, in this affluent zone, the Roys plot family takedowns while sipping rosé and floating around on mega yachts in the Adriatic Sea. Surprisingly enough, however, the show’s fashion strikes a different, more accessible tone. Succession offers several affordable work outfit ideas that reflect a sense of understated luxury — and you can recreate the looks without dropping thousands of dollars.
The central plot of the series, which just aired its third season, revolves around the three Roy siblings and their fight to take over as the CEO of Waystar RoyCo, the billion-dollar media conglomerate run by the family’s aging patriarch, Logan Roy. Interestingly enough, however, the characters’ costuming rarely reflects the high-stakes nature of their corporate-centric family feud. Instead, characters like Shiv Roy (played by Sarah Snook) don inconspicuous pantsuits and neutrally-hued ensembles when engaging in professional sabotage and out-maneuvering. And this strategic approach to dressing — where influence is implied, but not conspicuously displayed — is a quality to consider for your own workwear attire, especially if you consider yourself a minimalist. Best of all, this fashion philosophy can easily be replicated with affordable, under-$250 items.
That’s not to say, however, that there aren’t dramatic and showy fashion moments on the darkly comedic series. In fact, watchers of Succession will note how Shiv, the only Roy daughter, undergoes a major wardrobe transformation throughout the series. She started the show as a Democratic political consultant, only to eventually pivot into the corporate world in the hopes of one day snagging the CEO crown for herself.
As such, Shiv lost the liberty of individualism that came with her separate career in politics, and her costuming reflects this change. Michelle Matland, Succession’s costume designer, told The New Yorker that this occupational shift led to the character adopting a “new armor,” which meant Shiv swapped her kitschy sweaters and colorful trousers for power suits and neutrals.
Scroll on to see the best workwear looks from the show and then recreate said outfit for your own 9-to-5 gig. TZR even provided budget-friendly finds to the show’s costumes, so you can channel your favorite character’s powerful energy.
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Shades Of Gray
At its core, Succession is a show about moral ambiguity. The characters in the Shakespearean-like series flounder around in metaphorical gray areas, blurring the boundaries of what’s black and white and what’s right and wrong. Often, this manifests literally via the wardrobe — as seen with Shiv’s gray pantsuit and cloud-colored blouse. Not only is her slate-colored suit representative of the show’s integral themes, but it’s also a sleek, in-office look you can easily recreate for yourself.
Confidence-Boosting Jewel Tones
If you’ve been tasked with leading the conference call and seek a confidence-boosting look, opt for an opulent jewel-toned ensemble à la Gerri Kellman, the General Counsel and interim CEO of Waystar Royco. In particular, a power suit — either composed of a tailored trouser or pencil skirt — provides a put-together impact when done in shades like ruby, sapphire, or emerald. Furthermore, jewel tones are perpetually on trend and they inherently feel royal and mighty.
Pinstripes & Pearls
Pinstripes are likely already a mainstay in your personal workwear rotation. The design is timeless and incredibly easy to dress up — as pictured above with Succession’s high-power lawyer, Lisa Arthur (played by Sanaa Lathan). She wore a striped dress, matching blazer, and a multi-layered pearl necklace. In addition, pearl jewelry has become a symbol throughout history for femininity and wisdom, which makes it an empowered choice for the workplace.
Yes, a two-piece suit in a minimalistic color — like Shiv’s beige tailored set — is nondescript and, some may say it’s devoid of personality. But, it taps into the phenomenon of strategic minimalism, which comes with an objective power that gives its wearer all the control.
Cutouts are undoubtedly a defining fashion trend. And while the revealing detail often has sultry associations — think midriff-flossing straps or slits placed at the hipbones — cutouts have the potential to be appropriate for the office when executed subtlety. A blouse with a keyhole, for instance, serves as a nod to fashion’s mainstream yet remains acceptable for the workplace.
A Structured Blazer Dress
A blazer, of course, is a well-documented workwear staple. If you wish to take your standard blazer outfit one step further though, consider a dress that mimics the look of the tailored jacket. A blazer dress provides the structured look of its sartorial counterpart, yet done in a more feminine silhouette. Here, Shiv dons a plaid blazer dress in her signature gray.