Gladiators in Suits: The Enviable Wardrobe of “Scandal’s” Olivia Pope

TV stylist Lyn Paolo explains how she chooses the luxe ensembles of TV’s fiercest fixer.

Photographs courtesy of ABC.

It was during the feminist movement of the 1970s that brave
women—perhaps influenced
by Yves Saint Laurent’s iconic “le smoking” ensemble, which
debuted just a few years
earlier—first began trading their dresses for pants. Nowadays
in Washington, the power
suit abounds—and arguably limits the wardrobe choices of
working women. As you may
have gathered from our Friday recaps

(stay tuned for tomorrow’s, to relive the first new episode
after weeks of hiatus),
we’re big fans of Olivia Pope, the Judy Smith-inspired

protagonist on ABC’s Scandal—and the most fashionable power dresser we can think of.

Scandal’s behind-the-scenes stylist,
Lyn Paolo—who has put together looks for
The West Wing and
ERtold CNN
that when you think of Washington fashion, “you think of dark gray and navy blue.
Look at a picture of Congress. Everyone pretty much looks the same.” So she made it
her goal to have Olivia stand out through her wardrobe, opting for chic pastels over
lackluster blacks and grays, for example, proving that a woman can be respected while
wearing pink pants and Louboutins—if that’s what she wants.

But more than anything, Olivia’s stylish outfits reveal to us viewers that behind
the tough, all-business front is a person—one who enjoys shopping and sometimes just
wants to kick it in silk PJs with some popcorn. Who can’t relate to that?

Here are some looks we’d like to steal from the fixer’s closet.