As much as I love Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood, I can’t help but slip into a daze whenever his character’s wife, Claire Underwood, appears on the screen. All I have to say is, “Move over, Carrie Bradshaw, there’s a new TV fashion icon in town!”
All you have to know about Claire Underwood is that she’s perfect in just about every single way imaginable which makes it easy to understand how Francis Underwood loves that woman “more than sharks love blood.” Rarely seen smiling, her character can easily be placed into the category of “Ice Bitch”. Without meaning to give anything away, there is more girl to the woman than meets the eye. Claire is like an iceberg; cold and unwavering but with so much more hidden beneath the surface.
Throughout the show, Claire is frequently seen in black, white, navy, and a lot of grey. I have a feeling that as the seasons go on and her character opens up more, she may be seen wearing perhaps some pastels or even little pops of color. But more than color, what really stands out about Claire’s style is the silhouettes and textures she opts for. High necklines and pencil skirts are practically her signatures. We see her a lot in very structured designs composed of thicker fabrics. I couldn’t help but wonder where Claire would shop if she were on a budget? I imagine that she would build a wardrobe around reasonably priced, quality clothing from places like J. Crew and Zara. But to give that extra, expensive feel, she would invest some money in having things tailored to fit her as though they were made for her body alone whenever necessary.
Some may argue that Claire’s wardrobe is utterly simple and therefore she shouldn’t be considered a fashion icon. But, complicated — throwing things together and praying they work — can be much easier than pulling off something simple in an elegant way. It’s like J.Crew’s CEO, Mickey Drexler said in the May 2013 issue of Fast Company, “Simplicity is very difficult to achieve. Just try to ask someone how to make a really good roast chicken.”
After searching the web, I’ve come up with some real world options & inspiration for what Claire Underwood would wear for work, a night out, a casual day, a workout, and bed if she didn’t have a Netflix Production budget. And of course, what she would save up to splurge on!
Because we’re so used to seeing Claire so covered up, it’s a striking contrast to see her neckline and shoulders completely bare and on display in a strapless dress. And still, though she looks appealing, she’s not really giving us much at all. Hardly a glimpse of cleavage. A modest show of her calves. Not what we typically picture when we think of a sexy outfit, and that’s precisely why it is so sexy. She’s not only not giving too much, she’s hardly giving anything at all.
Throughout the season, Claire is seen toting around this YSL handbag. In black, of course, as it’s most practical. Just large enough to hold all her daily work essentials and origami projects (you’ll have to watch the show to know what that’s all about!) but not so overwhelmingly large that she looks like a woman who has too much baggage and way too many needs. She also owns a classic pair of Louboutins. These accessories are fantastic and worth the investment for someone like Claire as they go with every work and more casual outfit she can put together. That’s the great thing about sticking to a limited color palette, everything will always match!
Claire at work. This is a difficult look for a woman to pull off and yet Claire manages to make one of Ellen DeGeneres’ outfits look feminine. This is a great example of how menswear can be pulled off in a feminine and tasteful way. The fit is just right. Tight enough to show she’s a woman but with just enough room to be tasteful enough for the office.
Claire’s minimalistic, “no muss, no fuss” philosophy extends to her hair and her jewelry. Her jewelry is often quite understated. A stud earring, a watch, and her wedding band are just about the only pieces you’ll see her wearing. This is a woman who doesn’t need any bling to command attention. She’s seen wearing a necklace once throughout the series — a pearl necklace for an event. Somehow, even pearls look fresh on her.
Claire stays in shape in style. I hate workout clothing. It’s all so tacky with all the neon stripes everywhere, but not Claire’s. The contrast between her and the random jogger is hilarious! Since we’re on the topic of her body —
Robin Wright, the actress who plays Claire, is 46-yearsold. The woman is pushing 50 and her body looks amazing. Watching her on the show, especially in a scene where she’s stripped down to her undergarments, was all the motivation I needed to start working out. (Unfortunately, I had to stop for a month after I fell and broke my nose.)
This photo has nothing to do with the show as far as I know, but still, I love her haircut! I’ve always been a “long hair don’t care” girl. I’ve always preferred long hair over short. This is precisely why I’m so perplexed by how much I really love this haircut. I don’t know if I’d ever cut my hair this short but I’d be lying if the fantasy of spending less time in the shower washing my hair and styling it afterward didn’t appeal to me at all.
This is what I would look like with really short hair like Claire’s. Can’t say I’m in love with it. Looks more like Anne Hathaway, someone whom I don’t think short hair works well on. I guess I’ll be keeping away from the scissors. Haha.
*Originally posted on May 7th, 2013