We Elect 'The Good Wife' as TV's Best Power Dresser

See why even FLOTUS looks to her for wardrobe inspiration.

Dan Lawson
Source: CBS
Dan Lawson

In honor of yesterday being International Women's Day, let us take a moment to appreciate some of the strongest leading ladies on television: the stars of The Good Wife. To channel their strength, we looked to the man behind the cast's on-point power dressing—Dan Lawson. The show's costume designer is so good, in fact, even FLOTUS herself has stolen some of his on-screen ensembles. Lawson, who also lends his design skills to socially-conscious Hawaiian jeweler Pono and collaborated with London-based work wear label, Number 35, gave us the inside scoop on Alicia's (played by Julianna Marguiles) classic closet. 

How do you keep Alicia's working wardrobe fresh? "Our incredible writers have created a character who is ever-evolving, so her clothes evolve as well. Of course, it helps that Julianna wears clothing incredibly well. I think her clothing looks fresh because I put her in things that she truly likes to wear, which gives her an air of confidence and power."

Her clothing looks fresh because I put her in things that she truly likes to wear, which gives her an air of confidence and power."

–Dan Lawson

How has her style evolved since the first season, and how will it continue to evolve the rest of this season? "Alicia started as a mix-and-match kind of woman; she didn't have the money to buy a new wardrobe to start work, and her wardrobe was that of a politician's wife, not a lawyer. As the seasons have gone by, Alicia has become a successful lawyer and making more money resulted in a more pulled together wardrobe. Her looks have become more sophisticated in cut, style and color. As we head into the second half of the sixth season, Alicia continues her run for State's Attorney. Her wardrobe will continue to serve two purposes: the look of a lawyer and the look of a politician. The politician look has been identified as having more color and being a little more accessible to her constituents, while the lawyer look continues to be more neutral-toned."

Seeing Double: Michelle Obama at the State of the Union Address in January 2015 and Julianna Marguiles in The Good Wife last season wearing the same Michael Kors blazer. (Source: Rob Carr/Getty Images North America, CBS)
Seeing Double: Michelle Obama at the State of the Union Address in January 2015 and Julianna Marguiles in The Good Wife last season wearing the same Michael Kors blazer. (Source: Rob Carr/Getty Images North America, CBS)

What are the main themes you try to convey about her character through her wardrobe? "Strength, power [and] confidence. I like her to look very pulled together, which at times contrasts with what her life is like. I also like there to be a decidedly feminine feel to her wardrobe, which was one of my goals from the beginning of the series. I have a show with three powerful women, and I wanted them to be strong and feminine. When I started the show and saw how stunning and high-end the sets were, I knew that my costumes needed to match and be able to live believably in that environment. One other major theme that was important was that the clothing needed to be realistic in the legal world. It needed to be appropriate for a courtroom and a law firm. Short skirts and plunging necklines in court were not going to work."

We Elect 'The Good Wife' as TV's Best Power Dresser
Source: CBS

What are some of the labels you've turned to this season? "I shop everywhere and both [high] and lower end. As long as the piece helps tell the story, that is all that matters. One of the main designers I use for Alicia is Akris because of their very clean lines and modern styling. I have also been using a lot of Escada—their designs have really blossomed this past year and the attention to detail is perfect for Alicia—and Andrew Gn, his clever, chic twists to business wear are right up [her] alley. For Diane, played by Christine Baranski, I have been using Etro, Lafayette 148, Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, 35DL and Ferragamo. What's important for Diane's look is that her wardrobe push the envelope a little. She's Park Avenue meets Madison Avenue."

Let one piece be the star of your look and the other pieces in your outfit support the star."

–Dan Lawson

What wardrobe tips can you share with our readers? "Just because a look is all the rage one season doesn't mean it will look good on you. You have to be honest with yourself. That's hard, but utilizing a critical—and constructive—eye can make all the difference. Also, let one piece be the star of your look and the other pieces in your outfit support the star. I think sometimes people think to look elegant and stylish they have to wear head-to-toe 'wow' pieces, and that's just not the case; you end up looking chaotic and sort of desperate. I also recommend utilizing what I call 'the column of color': having one basic color at the core of your look exudes strength and power."

Tune in to The Good Wife tonight at 9pm EDT on CBS. 

Associate Editor at StyleBistro. California native, Brooklyn resident & country girl at heart. Follow me on Twitter: @katie_ddavidson Follow me: Google
Comments