The show's costume designers share their secrets—including a fail-proof work outfit formula.
The Morning Show is the latest TV show to transform corporate wear. We spoke with Debra McGuire, Sophie De Rakoff, and Beth Lancaster from The Morning Show costume and wardrobe department to talk about elevating corporate style and how they created wardrobes that reflect the evolution of the show's characters.
“What informs what we are looking for these characters out in the world is working through the script to see their personality traits, their backstory, and using that to extrapolate how they might dress in these circumstances,” says Lancaster, who has worked as a costume designer and assistant costume designer to De Rakoff for the show. We chatted with the costume designers to learn how they assembled looks that are unique to each character.
The Morning Show Characters
Bradley Jackson, portrayed by Reese Witherspoon, is a powerhouse nightly news anchor on The Morning Show. Her character is commonly seen in pantsuits when dressing for the camera. To contrast Bradley’s typical on-screen style, De Rakoff “put her in a shorter skirt with a fitted jacket to kind of show the duality of masculinity and femininity within the workplace,” says De Rakoff, who also did the costume design for Witherspoon's character in the Legally Blonde movies. This character has a signature palette of jewel tones, black, and navy. “She is someone in the workplace who can wear dark colors because she's at the top of the totem pole, but she's not in a managerial position. She wears a variation of an upscale casual [look], so she's in jeans, sweaters, blazers, silk shirts, and heels,” De Rakoff says.
Jennifer Aniston’s character, Alex Levy, is the morning news anchor and has changed dramatically throughout the three seasons of the show, and that evolution is reflected in her wardrobe. “In season three, we see a much more body-conscious silhouette, which we didn't really see before. We [saw] a lot of bare arms, pencil skirts, and tight-fitted clothing. [There are] very sleek, clean looks that are new to season three,” explains McGuire, who also did the costume design for Rachel Green, Aniston's character on Friends. Her character on The Morning Show sticks to a limited color palette. “You're going to see black, navy, gray, and camel. Occasionally, we'll jump out into a subtle plaid or houndstooth," McGuire says.
The president of the news division on the show, Stella Bak, played by Greta Lee, is a strong leader and dresses the part. “She's wearing suiting; it will be a bit more boxy [and] oversized in neutral colors,” says De Rakoff. While running the news division, Stella is often sporting sneakers and loafers instead of heels. To spice up her suited ensembles, Lancaster explains they pair Dr. Martens Boots ($170, drmartens.com) with her suits to create interest and let Stella's personality shine.
How To Recreate the Look
Every character in the show has a distinguished silhouette and palette. “If you look closely, [we have] very well established palettes for each and every one of our characters,” Lancaster says. She suggests establishing your own color palette for your work wardrobe, then search for outfits in those colors. “That really enables you to mix and match [and] easily reuse pieces and recombine them with other things pre-existing in your wardrobe," she explains. "You'll often see us sometimes repeat a shell or a turtleneck underneath one piece [for Stella] because they're really good neutrals,"
To recreate these styles at home, follow The Morning Show outfit formula: a well-fitted suit, a silk blouse, and an attractive heel. To add your own twist to corporate style, Lancaster recommends adding your favorite band tee underneath a suit.
Where To Shop
“We like to shop according to how the characters actually would shop themselves. A lot of our assistant characters are writers who are not at the level of someone like Bradley or Stella; we'll [shop] H&M and more accessible labels, or vintage pieces,” Lancaster says. There’s a wide variety of labels featured on The Morning Show, but some higher-end looks can be replicated with pieces at more affordable stores. Lancaster recommends checking out Zara and Bloomingdale's to channel The Morning Show style in your wardrobe. “The most important thing is letting your own ideas, personality, and interests shine through,” Lancaster adds.
As more people are returning to in-person work, De Rakoff has noticed more people dressing creatively and sharing their personal identity at work. “It's allowing people to embrace that individualism in the workplace in a way that has not necessarily been an option before,” De Rakoff explains.
For more Real Simple news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on Real Simple.