‘Succession’ Fashion: Hits and Misses

Our friends at My Little Bird sat down and discussed the fashion hits and misses on the show Succession. Check out what they thought.
Succession feature
From left to right: Shiv in her hippie, liberal days wearing a Fair Isle sweater and Birkenstocks; Gerri with a glare that matches her severe Brooks Brothers suit; and Shiv transformed into elegant business exec in an Altuzarra suit with a cowl-neck blouse by Lafayette 148, stilettos, and gold jewelry. Understated, expensive, and ready to do battle for her right to the throne. / Photos courtesy of HBO. 

AND THERE you have it: Succession has wrapped. Whether it was inspired by King Lear, Rupert Murdoch, or Donald Trump—or a fictionalized mashup of all three (or none at all!)—we had a swell time deconstructing the show and its whiplash dialogue. (Janet recently discovered the joy of closed-caption TV after realizing she was missing many of Roman’s snarky quips.)

For four seasons, the family we loved to hate took us briefly away from our real-world problems. MyLittleBird staffers Janet Kelly, Nancy McKeon, and Kathy Legg enjoyed the sturm und drang but really had the most fun dissecting the wardrobes of the female characters in this drama about the rich and the ruthless.

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Photo by Macall Polay/HBO

Nancy: This, to me, is Shiv Roy at her best: monochromatic, pulled-together, minimal accessorizing. The subtlety is what allows luxurious fabrics and tailoring to be the stars. (But haven’t men taught us that the jacket should really be unbuttoned while seated?)

Janet: I couldn’t agree more. Turtlenecks and tailored suits are Shiv’s most flattering look. Gray may be my least favorite shade, but Shiv’s red hair and blue eyes light it up. According to Succession’s Instagram account, the Emporio Armani blazer with a chevron micro pattern is $1,025, and the Giorgio Armani sleeveless top is $1,025. The trousers are sold out. In case you were interested.

Kathy: Okay, Shiv does look swell, but I still hate her. I hated them all. And they certainly seemed to hate each other, understated luxury aside. I doubt people in their rarefied income bracket even pick out their own clothes. Really can’t picture them in Bloomingdale’s.

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Photo by Graeme Hunter/HBO

Nancy: Okay, Shiv, what were you thinking? Mackage is known for “luxury outerwear,” and this trench-puff combo (“Maxine,” plaid front, puffer back, still available, $1,190) did look interesting when I saw it online, but really, it looks like the dog’s dinner here. And that “signature Mackage collar,” here rendered in a puff of orange (as opposed to the rear panel of tan puffage), really doesn’t help. To be fair, actress Sarah Snook was pregnant IRL during Season 4, so camouflage was the name of the game for a while.

Janet: I’m thinking Shiv was trying to stay warm in the wilds of Norway, but even though she’s pregnant, the choice of this “ungepatchke” (Yiddish for overly busy) coat is not what we expect of Shiv this late in the game. In comparison, Tom’s puff jacket, in the background, looks svelte. Lukas Matsson and his crew, wearing just turtlenecks and vests, appear to have the upper hand in this culture clash.

Kathy: Ha ha ha ha! This coat is ridiculous. Luxury? More lunacy, to my way of thinking. I think the joke is on Shiv.

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Photo by Peter Kramer/HBO

Janet: Oh, what a difference a season makes. Shiv has switched from those Fair Isles to her signature close-fitting turtlenecks. And her hair is cut in a more business-like straight bob. She’s now in the running.

Nancy: There’s a lot of black clothing on Succession, with good reason. Especially in luxury fabrics, it really does a number. The show featured a lot of monochromatic looks in darkish neutrals. Again, in the right fabric and correct tailoring, the message is: Rich!

Kathy: No one ever goes wrong with a black turtleneck. Fortunately, you don’t even have to be rich to find a decent one. Beautifully cut red hair is quite another matter, however. Can we pause for a minute and just admire that luscious color?

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Photo by Macall B. Polay/HBO

Nancy: Gerri Kellman (played by J. Smith-Cameron) has reason to give Kieran Culkin’s Roman Roy this appraising glare in Season 4, and she looks polished as usual. But what surprised me was that behind the ladylike knot earring on her right ear were two additional piercings, a thin, tiny hoop in each. I just didn’t figure her for it.

Janet: If looks could kill . . . But, who could blame Gerri for being mad as hell at being fired awkwardly, by of all people—Roman! But she’s keeping her cool at Connor’s wedding in a better-fitting, more elegant version of her usual austere black business attire.

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Photo by Peter Kramer/HBO

Janet: While you’ve got it, flaunt it. And midway through Succession’s first season, Marcia had the ear—and shared the bed—of Logan Roy. Here she looks very much the queen of the king’s castle on Fifth Avenue. Her fortunes plummeted later on in the series, but she did have the last laugh when she sold the manse to Connor for a much-inflated price.

Nancy: To my mind, second wife Marcia (actress Hiam Abbass) doesn’t need any more than the bling on her earlobes and the glitter on her wrist. They set off the lush fabric quite nicely, thank you, and signaled the self-confidence we viewers knew she had in spades.

Kathy: Marcia did seem the classiest of them all. She definitely earned that jewelry.

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Photo courtesy of HBO

Nancy: A lot of online fun has been had at the expense of this ginormous Burberry structured bag and the not-for-long girlfriend of Cousin Greg. In fact, the obsequious/odious Tom Wambsgans probably started the whole thing off by riffing rather remorselessly on the poor girl. Tom (played by British actor Matthew Macfadyen) wonders aloud what she might have hidden in it; I think the clue to her cluelessness is that this is probably her only “trophy” bag, and she schlepped it to what was essentially a cocktail party in an effort to show that she belonged in the moneyed crowd. Not so much, I’m afraid. And in that sense, mission accomplished.

Janet: The rich are different—they have more money—in the Roys’ case, a whole lot more money. Taking a briefcase-like bag that screams its label to a family birthday party is apparently an unpardonable sin in these rarefied realms. It’s the opposite of their stealth-wealth philosophy. But Greg’s date makes it worse by pairing it with a busy floral dress. The biggest faux pas of all is that she dares to take a selfie with Logan. BTW, the check tote is now marked down to $1,734 from $2,890 at Bloomingdale’s.

Kathy: I ached for this poor character, but not being a huge Burberry fan, I can’t imagine why she would buy the bag in the first place. If a trophy bag was the goal, the same money could have purchased something smaller and more tasteful. Oh, god! Am I beginning to sound like a Roy?

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Photo courtesy of HBO

Janet: Not only does British actress Annabelle Dexter-Jones have the best haircut in the series, she also has the best wardrobe. Here she’s wearing Tom Ford sunglasses, Sophie Buhai pearl-drop earrings with a Proenza Schouler tank top, and wide-leg pants, both of which are sold out. While she was dating Kendall, she wore a simple white knit cardigan and matching pants, also from Proenza Schouler, as well as a black Celine jacket with gold buttons. All in the stealth-wealth column.

Nancy: An Italian friend (male) once told me that all a woman needed in order to look chic was lipstick and a pair of sunglasses. I think he could have added these earrings. Having a swan-like neck helps, of course. Sigh.

Kathy: Love those earrings. The haircut too. Throw in the sunglasses as well. This character has it all. Except for Kendall. For that, she should count her lucky stars.

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Photo by Graeme Hunter/HBO

Nancy: A daytime outdoor wedding requires a garden-party dress, and I guess this number qualifies. Grazia magazine tagged it as a Ted Baker London confection, and, while it was clearly tailored to actress Snook’s form, it does her no favors and, as Grazia asked, Why is she wearing a $300 dress to her billionaire mother’s wedding, when brother Roman, walking next to her, probably paid that for his shirt alone? (And personally, I don’t like all the boobage cuts that are out there. I really don’t think they’re as flattering as those wearing them seem to think.)

Janet: And why is she wearing a white dress in the first place? To note her disapproval of her mother and her mother’s marriage? The whole getup reminds me of the dowdy and ill-fitting outfits worn to weddings by members of the British royal family.

Kathy: I don’t get this dress either. It looks so pedestrian. And so unrich. As Nancy points out, it isn’t Shiv at her best.

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Photo by Macall B. Polay/HBO

Janet: Shiv’s Tom Ford blazer with a lock as a clasp and chain-neck halter top is fabulous, but neither afternoon wedding nor death-announcement appropriate. (Midway through Connor’s nuptials, she and Kendall learned that Logan had died.)

This article first appeared on MyLittleBird.com.


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