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I’ll admit that I was one of those people who watched all seven seasons of Scandal. Yep, I binge-watched it for two months straight. No other TV character has quite been able to hook me (or cause inconsolable grief) quite like Olivia Pope. And from the show’s creation came another blessing: my Kerry Washington obsession. And while she’s been in the limelight since 2000, I must admit that I didn’t follow Washington’s style with the same ferocity until seeing her in the role of the ultimate gladiator. It must have been the trench coats that did it for me.
But Washington’s style is by no means limited to one character. In fact, she’s been known to cause quite the scandal with her red carpet looks (sorry, I couldn’t resist) and regularly looks chic off-duty. In many ways, Kerry has always been the walking embodiment of the type of woman we all want to emulate—both on-screen and on the streets.
Ahead, you’ll find the wardrobe staples you always can spot on Washington. Because you might not be able to be Olivia Pope, but you can certainly pour a big glass of red wine, fill up a big bowl of popcorn, and wear the same luxurious cashmere coat as her.
Honestly, if anyone was going to convince me to love pants, it would be Kerry Washington. On multiple occasions, you can find her in a pair of statement trousers. There’s no better way to copy this woman’s style than investing in a cool pair.
The Not-So-Basic White Blouse
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On Kerry Washington: Alexandre Vauthier F/W 19 pants and blouse; Christian Louboutin pumps
Okay, so you may not be able to wear Alexandre Vauthier couture to the grocery store, but you can take a cue from Kerry and take a more “formal” white blouse and incorporate it into your daily life. The great thing about a not-so-basic white button-down shirt is that it’s timeless but could also be worn to the Emmys if necessary.
Photo:Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions
On Kerry Washington: Versace jumpsuit; Christian Louboutin Loubi Queen 100 Metallic Patent-Leather Sandals ($845)
No tribute to Kerry Washington’s style would be complete without mentioning this Versace jumpsuit she wore to the 2018 Tony Awards. Whether it’s Versace or not, can we all agree that we need more jumpsuits in our lives? Just opt for something just as sparkly to channel Kerry.
While researching Kerry’s style over the past few years, it was very apparent that she’s never afraid to shy away from a dress—especially with a pattern or print—and this look is no exception. You can adopt spring’s polka-dot trend like Kerry herself or opt for a different print. Either way, the bolder, the better.
Olivia Pope's Trench Coat
Photo:Giovanni Rufino/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images
On Kerry Washington: Tory Burch trench coat; Prada Galleria Small Textured-Leather Tote ($2350)
If you’ve scrolled this far, then you are already well aware of the fact that Kerry Washington knows how to slay on and off the red carpet. Just make sure you invest in a good pair of jeans like her to ensure you’re serving a chic off-duty denim look.
Calling all sequin fans: Not only will sequins be big this spring, but they just so happen to also be a staple in Kerry Washington’s style arsenal. No matter what way you opt to wear them, you’ll make Kerry proud.
Yes, I know I included jumpsuits as one of Kerry’s staple pieces, but that is not a proper suit. And it doesn’t get more quintessentially Kerry (or on-trend, for that matter) than investing in a power suit. You can opt for a print or a solid color, just as long as you wear the pants.
Kerry Washington’s shoe game rivals that of Carrie Bradshaw’s, but instead of Manolos, you can find Washington in a pair of pointed pumps. Whether you choose to opt for a classic style or a fun pair of pointy heels, this is a sure way to channel your inner Kerry and Carrie.
It may seem like the subtlest of things to consider when re-creating a Kerry Washington–inspired wardrobe, but don’t ever underestimate the power of on-point hair. I still can’t stop thinking about when she showed up to the 2018 Met Gala rocking her natural ’fro with a Ralph Lauren pin. In truth, it showed that Washington’s style is thought through head to toe (quite literally).