I have a confession to make: I have never seen a single episode of Scandal. Yes, I own a TV. No, I have nothing against Kerry Washington, Shonda Rhimes, or political thrillers at large. But once you start not doing something, it becomes very easy to continue on that path — and because of inertia, I've somehow made it three-and-a-half years without consuming even a second of the show.
Despite that I am very familiar with the Olivia Pope coat. For the past few years, friends with different styles and from different professions will ask me for coat suggestions that are always capped off with, "You know, like the ones Kerry Washington wears on Scandal." After much googling, I've come to understand that an Olivia Pope coat fulfills three different qualities: 1) It is professional. 2) It gives you a figure (despite being a coat). And 3) It is unabashedly feminine. This is a coat that belongs in a corner office, but doesn't give off Gordon Gekko vibes. It is a coat that is functional and warm, but requires a certain kind of woman who's got it together enough to not regularly spill coffee and crumbs down the front. It's the coat that you imagined exasperatedly tossing on the back of your $10,000 white couch after the end of a long day.
And even though Olivia Pope's style — with its duster cardigans, long necklaces, and silk blouses — is far from everyone's cup of tea, her coat game is far more universal than you'd think. Whichever your style leans more toward, a coat like Pope's can fit into your wardrobe. Click through for 18 examples of what to look for.