House of Cards Style: The Secrets Behind Claire Underwood’s Power Dressing

So the third season of House of Cards might have accidentally been leaked yesterday (and then pulled), but costume designer Johanna Argan has nothing to hide when it comes to revealing the secrets behind the show’s fashion. Nominated for Outstanding Contemporary Television Series at next week’s 17th Costume Designers Guild Awards, Argan reveals how Claire Underwood’s style will change in season three, and how you can look just as tailored at your own powerful job.


Glamour: Claire’s style is so impeccable, and looks expensive. How can readers mimic that effect on a budget?
Johanna Argan: It’s all about tailoring and clean lines in Claire’s wardrobe. It’s body-skimming in a sophisticated, age-appropriate way. Fabrication doesn’t have to be exclusively expensive, but overly weighty or flimsy, thin fabrics tend not work in a Claire-type look. Use fabrics that lend to structure.

Glamour: What are your go-tos when you want to exude Claire-like power…in real life?
Johanna: A great blazer is a constant in my wardrobe. It’s key to my everyday life in and out of work. You can wear one with almost anything.

Glamour: Will Claire’s style change once she becomes First Lady?
Johanna: The best way to describe what happens to Claire Underwood as she becomes First Lady is that it’s an evolution. The fundamental structure that’s she had the first two seasons is still there. She just has a lot more formal appearances to make, and so that is reflected in this season’s story line.


The 17th Costume Designers Guild Awards will take place on Tuesday, February 17, 2015, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, and we’ll be there to cover! Emmy Rossum (Shameless) is hosting, and Naomi Watts will receive the Lacoste Spotlight Award. Additional attendees include Harrison Ford, Mindy Kaling, Jessica Pare, Kiernan Shipka, Matt Bomer, Michelle Monaghan, and Jonathan Groff.

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