What Are Your Favorite TV Shows for Work Fashion?

work fashion tv showsWhat are your favorite TV shows for work fashion, ladies? Are there any fictional characters who repeatedly have the perfect look for work? I’m starting to think about another series of posts that looks at the best-dressed fictional TV women and ponders how to steal their look. Probably not their exact look down to the exact dress and shoes, because other sites do that, but more like general style notes and tips. I’ve already got Selina Meyer of Veep on the schedule for late April, and I’m debating between Claire Underwood and Jackie Sharp when House of Cards premieres later in May — what other TV shows are you watching where you love the work clothes? Which TV shows feature the best work fashion?  Any plus-size characters (or, heck, any medium-size characters) you’d love to include?  Any interest in including not-in-our-timeline characters like the lady politician, Chrisjen Avasarala, in The Expanse? (Here’s a link to the actress’s IMDB page with lots of pictures.)

Another question: Is there interest in expanding the series to women IRL like news anchors and/or politicians, or is that too LadyPockets? I will note that I’m not very interested in snarking on real women IRL because they have other things to think about beyond their clothes, whereas with fictional characters, the clothes are part of the way of telling the story — but this series is intended to be a more positive take on our old 360 Review series.

So let’s hear it, ladies — which are the best work fashion TV shows?

Update! You can see our posts on how to dress like Selina Meyer as well as how to get Claire Underwood style.

The Best TV Shows for Work Fashion


  1. Anonymous :

    Monica from Silicon valley. Underrated gem of a place for beautiful work clothes.

    I’m about to start a new job, making apprx 55k-year. I’m not elig. For the 401k for a year. My husband is big law, makes mid 200’s. he maxes out his 401k at work. Am I out of luck ? from everything I read, I can’t do a IRA because we as a couple make too much. we basically live off his income and save mine, so I’d like to contribute as much to an ira for a year as I can for tax reasons…anyone have any thoughts?!

    • Anonymous :

      Is that you don’t get a match until you’ve been there a year or that you can’t participate at all until you’ve been there a year? The former is common, but I’ve never heard of the latter.

    • You can contribute to a traditional IRA at any income, you just can’t deduct it from your adjusted gross income when you’re calculating what you own in taxes over a certain amount. There’s still an advantage to doing this even if it’s not deductible however because the gains are tax free until you take them out during retirement.


      • Anonymous :

        But if you buy and hold, you can do just that outside of an IRA. So high-dividend stuff IN an IRA, non-div stuff in a taxable account. NBD.

    • You can do an IRA — you just can’t do a Roth IRA if your income is too high. You can still do a traditional IRA, and get the tax deduction for your contribution.

    • Contributory IRA to Roth rollover. Ask your financial advisor.

  2. You’re going to laugh but Melissa McCarthy in The Boss had a fabulous wardrobe. There was some sort of in-joke about her wearing her turtleneck collar up to her chin, but otherwise her clothing was fabulous. She had a lot of presence and élan.

  3. I think the show Big Little Lies is going to have lots of wardrobe p rn. It looks like Laura Dern, the b1tchy (of course) working mom is going to be beautifully dressed.

  4. Anonymous :

    Selina Meyer is my style icon. I would look dress exactly like her if I had unlimited money.

    • Yes, me too. I completely fell in love with one of her dresses last season to the point that I stalked it … and found that it was about $2900 (i.e., 10x more than I’ve ever paid for a dress).

    • Anonymous :

      +1. I want all of her dresses.

    • Anonymous :

      I suspect that things also are tailored just for her. I’d be shocked if anything was off the rack.

      So just get things in your budget and get to a tailor and you’ll probably look 99% as good.

      • Anonymous :

        A lot of them are off the rack. See worn on tv dot net.

        • Anonymous :

          There’s off the rack as in “not custom made clothing” and then there’s off the rack as in “not tailored.” I think Anon at 3:14 was saying that all of Selina’s clothes are tailored to her body before she wears them, not that they’re custom made.

    • See, I think Selina Meyers has clothes that are pretty, but her outfits always strike me as so uncomfortable. I think it’s because she is so into the very fitted, belted sheaths. Not comfy when you’re sitting at a desk all day, and sleeveless dresses are not appropriate in many workplaces.

  5. Shopaholic :

    I think the Good Wife had some beautiful work clothes and am expecting the Good Fight to continue that trend. Also like Donna and Rachel’s clothes on Suits, although they’re probably a bit too tight for an actual office.

    • I so agree. Alicia Florik had the BEST clotheing, and I always told the manageing partner about her b/c I wanted her wardrobe. The manageing partner asked Margie (his wife), but she did NOT think I needed all of those clothes. FOOEY b/c how can I be like her with MY wardrobe? Doubel FOOEY on people who are jealus of me and my status as a partner in a boutique law firm? I hope this was a FLUKE, b/c Margie spends a FORTUNE on her clothes, and she does NOT even work in NYC!

    • I agree too. I love Alicia Forik wardorve (and handbags) but my favorite one is Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart, I have to check The good fight. I love also Robin Wright as Claire Underwood.

      I used to see Revenge for the wardobe (that was my excuse ). Different styles for different types of woman.

    • I agree that The Good Wife has lovely work clothes, they look great but are also totally office appropriate. My favourite show and woman to watch on TV for fashion tips is Lori Greiner on ‘ Shark Tank’. She always dresses stylish and wears heels, but she is also a real person (not an actress) so her clothes and heels have to look good plus function well when she gets up and does things or tries out products on the show. She seems to favour one piece dresses made from a knit fabric with interesting necklines which are very suitable on her. However if a women is not quite as svelte as she is a hip length jacket could easily be added to any of the dresses.

  6. Concerned Friend :

    Reposting here because I posted in the morning thread so late and haven’t had any responses.

    A friend has confessed she’s dealing with some pretty severe depression to the point of having dark thoughts of hurting herself. Her mom is on hospice, and I’ve encouraged her to go to a hospice support group for family members. She also lost her job, her unemployment is about to run out, and she feels she can’t start a new job because any day or week her mom could pass. She wants to spend her last days with her mom.

    I’ve talked with her, said I care about her and don’t want her to hurt herself, and encouraged her to see a doctor. She previously took medication, and she did see a therapist 2 weeks ago with another appointment this week.

    Is there anything else I can do? I took her out to lunch, and I encouraged her to call me if she has dark thoughts. She replied its every day and admitted she is feeling totally hopeless. I don’t know what else to do.

    • Are you close enough friends that you could pop over to her house with a couple bags of groceries (or take out) and make dinner and hang out? Take over in a kind of mothering way, like, “I know you love red curry so I grabbed everything we need to make it, and then we can stock your fridge with leftovers!”

      The whole point being to break past that public/home barrier for your friend, and let her know that home space doesn’t have to be lonely, depressing, or a place to hide with her dark thoughts. Sometimes just having a friend in can change the atmosphere and make everything seem so much better.

      In my darkest spots, friends lightly pushing into my space with food and funny movies were the best thing that could have happened to me.

      • Concerned Friend :

        Thanks for the suggestion. I messaged her with the offer to make dinner together, either at her place or mine. She replied she’s busy till 7 and then wants to sleep, but she appreciated the offer. Hopefully she’ll take me up on it later this week. I even offered to pick up groceries on the way over if she wants to make a specific dish.

        I’m also glad you had friends to help you through it! My friend is an amazing person, and I’m happy to help however I can during this time.

    • if you have the emotional stamina for it, one of the most effective ways to support your friend will be just to be there for her whenever she needs it – and sometimes when she hasn’t even asked for it. even if she NEVER answers, text her every couple of days, call once or twice a week, let her talk your ear off when she’s in the mood. just make sure she knows someone who cares is always around if she needs you.

      my sister had some very depressive/anxious months and dark thoughts during the last couple of years (after a messy divorce, then an equally messy remarriage) and she said that just knowing someone was always out there to care was a huge relief. and sometimes she appreciated me texting about something totally unrelated (cute cat picture, light-hearted article about sports/good world news, etc.) instead of constantly asking if she was okay.

      hope that helps. best wishes for you, your friend, and her mom <3

  7. jumpingjack :

    I’d put Selina Meyer at the top of my list. Also Alicia Florrick and Olivia Pope.
    At the opposite end of the spectrum, I’m consistently amazed and flabbergasted at the work wardrobe of Rebecca Bunch (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend). Even my boyfriend, who pays no attention to women’s clothes, has remarked on how hilariously inappropriate and unflattering her work outfits are. It works because it makes the character funnier, but as a lawyer I find it distracting.

    • Haha, yes, I love this show, but sometimes I think the clothes are an intentional ironic nod to the fact that she is never at work.

    • Bensonrabble :

      Related to that are Paula’s clothes which I think are really realistic version of what a slightly overweight American woman would wear. Slightly cute/comfy/frumpy. Something I could find at Pennys.

      You all should watch! Give it a chance…ignore the title. First season in Netflix.

  8. Anonymous :

    My work is more casual so “work clothes” for me aren’t suits, but some of the shirts Kristen Bell wears on the Good Place I absolutely love.

  9. Anonymous :

    Claire Underwood is the best dressed woman on television.

    • She wears gorgeous minimalist clothing that is extremely expensive and perfectly tailored. She is also very, very slim. I don’t think her look is accessible to most of us, unfortunately.

      • +1 to Anon at 3:22. Happy to look, but I’m not sure how much I could learn!

        • For realsies. I adore her entire look but cannot possibly replicate it on account of I am not a millionaire.

          Also even if I were I can’t walk in the heels she floats around in as though her feet have no nerve endings.

          • Anonymous :

            Also cannot replicate her look because I love all of the food.

            She has admitted that she wears a lot of Spanx on that show. I heart her even more.

          • Marshmallow :

            I just have so much love for Robin Wright. She will always be Buttercup to me!

          • Anonymous :

            My friend and I discussed one time that her clothes are both expensive and VERY well-tailored to her body. The cost of the clothes would be a lot as it is; getting them tailored would be a whole other additional expense. If you could find a tailor good enough (they’re pretty limited in our area).

    • PrettyPrimadonna :

      THIS. I would add Olivia Pope and Jessica Pearson from “Suits.” A girl can dream, can’t she?!

    • Anonymouse :


    • JuniorMinion :

      She’s made me rethink the complicated outfit certainly. While some of the stuff she wears wouldn’t work on my frame, I like that some of her clothes are a bit more feminine / accessible to other body types (thinking basic solid dress + contrast blazer and the like ). I’ve tried to use some of her minimal jewelry + simple well fitting outfits as inspiration.

  10. Anonymous :


  11. Calibrachoa :

    Penelope Garcia in criminal minds. her style is amazing and although not really appropriate for most offices, she’s really Life Goals for me. (Except for kevin. kevin needs to go away)

  12. I’d love to see a series! I think adding in characters like Chrisjen Avasarala or President Alma Coin from the Hunger Games would make it even more interesting as a nexus of both what the storyline assumes about women politicians and how that gets translated via a twenty-first century perspective.

  13. Ok, don’t laugh, but Kara Danvers (Supergirl) on Supergirl has a great business casual wardrobe, though probably skews a little young for 40+ year old me. And I’m not sure how work appropriately she dresses, but I have serious wardrobe envy of Felicity Smoak from Arrow. Her sheath dresses and outerwear are amazing.

  14. Theresa Cullen on Westworld. I feel like she channels the same aesthetic as Claire Underwood but in a very slightly more accessible framework. (Though obviously Sidse Babbett Knudsen is gorgeous, but at least she doesn’t march around in 4″ stilettos.)

    • True, but can we talk about how incredibly inappropriate for a board representative Charlotte Hale’s clothes were? She looked amazing in them but good grief.

  15. I like Jane Bingum’s style on Drop Dead Diva and Mindy Lahiri’s style on the Mindy Project. Amy’s style on VEEP is great too, although I covet Selina’s style. Later seasons of Parks and Rec had great suiting options for Leslie, and I like Ann and April’s styles for the very casual end of business casual.

    • Yes, I’d love a post on Mindy Lahiri’s style! Not everyone will go for all the color/pattern mixing the show does for her, but they also do interesting stuff with different silhouettes and types of garments . . . and I’m exactly her body type/shape : ) Mindy please!

  16. Madame Secretary! Everything Tea Leoni wears is something I want to go out and buy immediately!

  17. Anonymous :

    Madame Secretary! Everything Tea Leoni wears is something I want to go out and buy immediately!

  18. dental woes :

    I just returned my my 6-month dental cleaning and it seems that the hygenist chipped the top of one of my bottom front teeth. I noticed her spending an awfully long time on this tooth with the ultrasonic tool that removes plaque (not sure what it’s technically called), but didn’t notice until I was walking back to work that the top of the tooth felt funny/unfamiliar to my tongue. I looked in the mirror when I returned to the office and YEP, it’s definitely chipped right in the middle, making the top of the tooth look uneven (like there is a divot in the middle).

    What should I do now? Call the dentist? Demand that they fill it? I don’t think I can 100% prove that it was the cleaning that caused the chip (it would be my word against theirs), but I’m certain the unevenness were not there prior to my appointment. GAH.

  19. Annalise Keating/Viola Davis on How to Get Away With Murder :)

    And, I LOVE when I’m home from work and get to watch those crazy judge shows…Judge Lynn Toler on Divorce Court and Judge Lauren Lake on Paternity Court both wear stunning accessories!

  20. Anonymous :

    Chrisjen Avasarala for President in 2020! I love all of these suggestions for style studies.

  21. Diana Trout on Younger. She’s corporate, yet fashion forward and interesting to look at. Patricia Fields does costumes for the show, so you know that ever outfit is so good.

    • Anonymous :

      This makes me feel like the oldest 31 year old ever, but I love Diana’s outfits so much more than anything Liza or Kelsey wear.

  22. Anonymous :

    I really like the character Emily Rhodes on Designated Survivor — her style is a little younger, but really professional and attainable.

  23. I love Elizabeth McCord on Madam Secretary!

  24. Coach Laura :

    The late great Good Wife. Just watched The Good Fight on Sunday and I’m hopeful it will replace GW.

    Also Madame Secretary.

  25. Lana Parrilla who plays Regina Mills in Once Upon a Time. Regina’s outfits are all amazing.

    • yesssss, i came here to post about mayor mills, too! some of her tops may be a little low-cut for a very conservative office, but she’s got an amaaaaaazing repertoire of sheath dresses, blazers, pencil skirts, button-ups, etc. that are all of an appropriate length and color for professional wear. (they’re probably also designer and hideously expensive, but whatever.) i’d be hard-pressed to pick a favorite outfit out of her collection. plus i basically want to steal all of her shoes.

  26. Allison P. :

    I would have to say Olivia Pope on ABC’s Scandal and Alice Vaughn on ABC’s The Catch! Make-up is awesome as well!

  27. +1 on suggestions of Mindi Lahiri and Olivia Pope. Also, this may sound strange, but DJ Tanner on Fuller House. She has a great casual work wardrobe which is perfect for West Coast Casual. I get the impression too that her wardrobe may be more attainable economically speaking.

  28. Some of the clothes in Quantico are really great, but are definitely on the border of too trendy and fashion forward in the full ensembles. Not the grungy workout/fighting scene outfits obviously, but a lot of the individual pieces would be completely appropriate for my office (government, wear a suit maybe 1-2 times a month for meetings or presentations. Men tend to wear ties but not a full suit on a regular basis, if that explains the formality level. )

  29. I love Jess wardrobe on New Girl. Feminine and fun. Maybe it is just because I am older now, but I find myself watching shows like Private Practice on Netflix and they just look right to me. I guess the 90’s were my style time.

  30. Gillian Anderson in The Fall.

  31. PSA:

    Everyone should get a cat. I’m working from home and my fat, lazy grey kitty just roused himself from his usual sleeping position, and killed and partially ate a HUGE spider. I have no idea where it came from and I have never seen a spider that huge in my house. Right now he’s playing with it to try to get it to come back to life so he can kill it again (barf) but jeezus, I will clean litter boxes forever if I never have to have a spider like that in my house again!


  32. Sydney Bristow :

    I second the suggestion for Monica on Silicon Valley. Also, that show is hilarious in general so I recommend the show as well.

    For a casual workplace, I like Paige’s (Katherine McPhee) wardrobe on Scorpion. It comes across as a little nicer than casual.

  33. If I had the money, tailor, and eccentricity leeway, Aunt Polly from Peaky Blinders. Fight me.

  34. Agree with Mindy Lahiri. Also I really liked Joan Clayton, tracee ellis ross’ character on Girlfriends. She was a lawyer turned restaurateur. I especially liked her outfits when she transitioned from lawyer to entrepreneur. It was half business half bohemian.

  35. Selina Meyer from Veep, Regina Mills from OUAT, but mostly Caroline McKenzie-Dawson from Last Tango in Halifax

  36. Anonymous :

    Abby (Chief of Staff) on Scandal….like her clothes so much more than Olivia Pope (though I like Olivia’s stuff too…)

  37. Claire from House of Cards
    Alicia Florrick and Diane Lockhart from The Good Wife (and The Good Fight!)
    ANYTHING Olivia Pope wears on Scandal

  38. I love Gabrielle Union’s wardrobe on “Being Mary Jane”

  39. I love Tea Leoni’s work wear (and casual wear) on Madam Secretary. Worth watching just for the clothes.

  40. It’s been a while since it’s been on the air, but Veronica Palmer from Better Off Ted always had the most appropriate, yet still bad ass skirt suits.

  41. Loved the main female character in “Lie to me”. Otherwise also “How to get away with murder”.

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