Not a hair out of place, not a loose stitch in sight – the calculated wardrobe of Claire Underwood, the formidable lead in House of Cards, articulates exactly who she is in life and in politics. Long story short: she’s not one to mess with. Perhaps that is why her attire has become as iconic as her character, and we can’t wait to see more when the highly anticipated sixth season of the Netflix phenomenon returns on November 2nd.
Her corporate aesthetic, brought to the small screen by ingenious costume designer Kemal Harris, fits perfectly in both a fictitious Washington setting and the office space of a modern woman IRL. Inspired by the photography of Lee Miller and vintage Dior shoots, Harris creates outfits that display female strength through timeless cuts and architectural shapes. In preparation for the upcoming season, where Underwood – played by Robin Wright – steps into new presidential shoes, we’re deconstructing her wardrobe and revealing how you too can dress the part.
Through muted hues and structured silhouettes galore, Harris designs each look based on the tone of the episode. As a woman in a high-power position, Underwood doesn’t stray from what works and, in this case, it’s modest hemlines, a focus on fit, and timeless cuts. On rare occasion, she’ll opt for something more daring – we can’t help but hope for her to wear something more risqué, like a strapless Gareth Pugh dress perhaps?
Although she’s in a male-dominated business, Underwood doesn’t lose sight of her femininity, accentuating it through her choice of power suits. Always playing it by the book, she can be expected to favor more streamlined designs, though we’d love to see her experiment with an asymmetrical skirt or a more architectural top.
A powerful woman knows how to make an entrance, and there’s no better way than with the resounding click-clack from a pair of statement heels. Underwood prefers a strong, pointed pump that heightens her stance and gives her the stoic posture needed to lead a nation.
To play the part of Commander-in-Chief, a dash of military symbolism gives Underwood a boost of authoritative confidence. Double-breasted buttons, navy shades, and minimal designs can be as stylish in real life for modern women who aren’t afraid to take charge as they are on screen for a woman who is exemplifying grace under pressure.