The Best Outerwear on TV


I consume television much in the same way as I imagine one would if she were in the grip of a full-blown eating disorder. I starve myself for months, existing on intermittent episodes of staples like Homeland and Downton Abbey, and then, when I have a little extra time, I succumb to an all-consuming media binge that pretty much sees me glued to the laptop, wearing the same yoga pants from start to finish, however long it takes. Yep. That's me. The people at iTunes love me.

I have just emerged from such a state, having binge-watched the entire first, second, and what's available (to date) of the third season of ABC's hit show Scandal.  To say that I am hooked is a gross understatement.

This is not going to be a post about the groundbreaking role the talented Kerry Washington is playing in the series, nor is it a manifesto about how very lucky she is to get to make out with both Tony Goldwyn and Scott Foley (well-played Shonda Rhimes).  I am also not going to dwell on the fact that this television version of the White House is a moderate Republican administration with an openly gay Chief of Staff (take that Senator Ted Cruz!), and has a cast that is so full of talent it is a joy to behold. This is not about how very Kennedy Tony Goldwyn's President Grant looks (That hair! Those suits!). And I am most certainly not going to spend a lot of time pointing-out the fact that this well-written show has about the best display of depth and layering to their female characters as you will find anywhere on television.


Not going to go there.

I am choosing instead to tackle this from another angle altogether. People, we have an outerwear situation.


Costume designer Lyn Paolo has really outdone herself in the outerwear department with Washington's character, providing a very on-trend display of light and pastel coats with sharp tailoring, outsized collars, and an overall luxe appeal that is also very believable. Washington looks both feminine and in charge, without so much as a whiff of the overly-sexified Hollywood touch that tends to leak into Hollywood portrayals of female characters. Conversely, there is also not the merest hint of the wardrobe masculinisation that sometimes happens when strong female characters are being portrayed; that whole dressing mannishly to convey a sense of strength thing. Nope, the balance here is spot-on, and very appropriate for a more style-conservative city like Washington D.C.   In fact, I would say that in her use of more tailored silhouettes and expensive fabrics to cover her leading lady, Paolo has actually amped-up the sexiness factor. I mean, look at those gloves. I am seriously thinking about selling a kidney on the internet for a pair of those gloves, which let's face it, look quite literally like a million bucks. I'm also now thinking pretty hard about a luxe, light-coloured wool coat (there goes my other kidney), although there is no way I would dare carry a latte (as she does in the photo) in a coat like that. Three seconds and it would be down my front. Seriously. Ask my husband. I spill.

What say you readers? Light coloured coats. And gloves. Are you in or are you out? Discuss.

Make it happen.


  1. I haven't seen the show yet, but WOW, great coats. Having just spent two weeks in NYC, I know I wouldn't own a light-colored coat there, at least not for my subway lifestyle. But I wouldn't mind looking this fabulous in my outerwear.

  2. oh how i love scandal and olivia pope for her wardrobe selections. just as you said she comes off as a strong, bold woman without resorting to dressing like a man. And I love that. To me there is great beauty in a woman that can be a woman and be a bold, strong business woman without succumbing to an assumed business look that is masculine. And yes her 3/4 length sleeved coats and the long gloves. Last year I found some long gloves at asos and have started a collection to go with my structured capes that have no structure sleeve. To me the show really embodies how a woman can be engrossed in her career and still be vulnerable and strong at the same time.

  3. I love my winter white coat. It enhances my silver hair and I knitted a kidselk lavender-mushroom colored cowl to go with it.

  4. Dang Kristin...I might have to start watching Scandal now. Unfortunately, the series name had me thinking it was more of a night time soap than anything else, so I didn't tune in at all.

    The coats are beauties, and I'm all for light coloured outerwear. Yes, there's the risk factor, but under gloomy winter skies, there's nothing better than a beam of light {coloured coat}!

  5. Purty coats! I do like a dash of colour (rather than dull old 'black, charcoal, navy') for winter coats, but the pink coat thing has been so hyped that I think I'm avoiding it instinctively. Also, I have a nice chocolate brown caped shaped coat from Monsoon that I'm wearing at the moment, then I'll switch to a fuchsia coloured duffle coat when it gets colder so I don't actually neeeeed another coat.

    I also don't neeeeed another pair of gloves, but I think I'm going to get a burgandy leather pair anyway, 'cos I love burgandy and the dark teal I have now kind of clashes with some of my blue tops.

  6. I just got my white quilted jacket out. I'd think twice about anything that needed dry cleaning as the subway rails are greasy and the coat would always be in need of cleaning. I suspect your character always takes a cab.

    The best reason for a white/light coat this time of year is so idiots on the roadways will have a better chance of spotting you. I got sideswiped by a car (driven by a Midwife) a few years back and take outfitting myself to show up in the dark much more seriously.

    When you commute on public transit, as I do, coats and jackets take on more importance than if you're just running out and jumping into your car inbetween garages.

  7. Black or brown leather for winter here. Do love the gloves and try to acquire one new leather pair every year or so. Long black ones which I adore, and wrist length ones in tan, orange and red. Looking for cobalt blue, purple or green...


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