Succession is the show that has everyone on the edge of their seats, with fans watching as privilege and unchecked ambition eat at the titular Roy family from the inside. 

While money and power are often the two focal themes of the show – among betrayal, abuse and manipulation, all of which the Roy family are convinced they’re masters of yet fail to grasp their actual failures – the same cannot be said about the characters’ sense of style

Kendall “I’m A Hat Guy Now” Roy. Image: Facebook.

It seems money can buy you a lot of things. But good taste? An eye for colour and line? Seems not.

Generally speaking, in a world like the one that exists within Succession, clothes are the very signifiers of wealth and status. However, for the most part, it’s evident that the folks that sit on the top floors of Waystar aren’t phased about the clothes they wear – and what that might say about them as individuals.

Sure, their clothing might be outrageously expensive – the patriarch Logan Roy can often be found wearing tailor-made suits by British tailor Leonard Logsdail – by contrast, the outfits are dreadfully boring and safely inconspicuous. It’s boxy silhouettes draped in greys and monochromes. It’s dark, it’s dreary. There aren’t any ‘wow’ moments that you might have found worn by Suits‘ Harvey Specter in Suits or Mad Men’s Don Draper. 

But within this sea of safe neutral tones lies potential character cues; an indication of where the respective character is within his or her emotional and physical state, which is outlined in each of their character arcs over the last three seasons.  

Styling choices have been intentional, offering us, the audience, a glimpse into who’s up and who’s down at any given moment. 

For example, in season one, Kendall Roy spends most of his time in straight-to-the-point, dark Tom Ford suits and Cucinelli casuals. Business-oriented, safe and crowd-pleasing.

As his character progresses and he yearns to forge his own legacy in season three (albeit with the Roy family shadow constantly looming), he trades his suits in for a more youthful, alternative aesthetic, as he looks to ‘rebrand’ and appeal to the progressive generation he knows the company will need to attract long-term. At one point, he even starts wearing a baseball cap with a suit. And the introduction of graphic T-shirts feels like a midlife crisis pending.

In the case of Tom Wambsgans, the perpetual ‘outsider’, it’s interesting to note that the character with the least exposure to wealth perhaps is the most stylish – much to the dislike of Roy family members. 

Cutting, from someone who dresses like the only book they’ve read is Freakonomics.

There’s a scene in the second season where Roman Roy gangs up on Tom for his taste in suits. 

“Where do you buy your suits, by the way, Tom? Maybe that’s why I’m not moving as fast as you. I just don’t have that boxy, corporate look. Right? I mean, I’m sorry but like, what the fuck? You look like a Transformer.” 

Although, Tom’s suits are actually tailored far better than most of the other characters. His attention to detail, like adding a matching pocket square and tie, potentially exposes his character as the pretender he is; not born from wealth and an individual just clinging on to the corporate ladder he so treacherously climbs.

There’s a sense of peacock-esque to Tom, too, but honestly, it does him favours when compared to some of the characters’ looks from previous seasons. 

Siobhan “Shiv” Roy perhaps undergoes the most significant style transformation as she goes from wannabe political consultant in season one to wannabe media tycoon come season three. While her current wardrobe repertoire might feature the likes of Stella McCartney, Armani, and Max Mara – a far cry from her season one soft and delicate feminine looks –  her power play in the style department doesn’t equate at the best of times.