Proof The Olivia Pope Coat Works For Everyone

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.
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Photographed by Christian Vierig.
A camel topcoat is an absolute classic, and it dresses up anything (including your simple crewneck sweatshirts).
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Photographed by Christian Vierig.
The most classic Pope style is the overcoat. Start with a color that's NOT camel, black, or gray, and see how you'll instantly feel more pulled together.
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Photographed by Christian Vierig.
Pick one element and go for broke. The oversized lapel on Caroline Issa's powder-blue coat balances the delicate color.
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Photographed by Christian Vierig.
If your coat more voluminous, roll up the sleeves to minimize the size.
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Photographed by Christian Vierig.
For those with funkier sensibilities, use a coat to tone down (and add warmth) to a more in-your-face jacket.
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Photographed by Christian Vierig.
Coats like these work with non-work items, like high-top sneakers and leggings.
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Photographed by Melodie Jeng.
An all-black topcoat gets feminized with a modern, asymmetrical cut.
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Photographed by Christian Vierig.
How much more !!! does this all-black outfit look with this ocean-blue coat?
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Photographed by Christian Vierig.
Of course, you could always go for a coat in Pope's favorite color.
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Photographed by Christian Vierig.
Or better yet, a Pope cape.
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Photographed by Christian Vierig.
Fittingly patriotic.
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Photographed by Christian Vierig.
Though tweed-on-tweed might seem like a old man move, it looks surprisingly fresh when worn with fun accessories.
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Photographed by Christian Vierig.
The pleats make this charcoal coat a showpiece.
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Photographed by Christian Vierig.
A classic gray topcoat gives this downtown combo of leather leggings and oversized top a fashion-forward twist.
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Photographed by Christian Vierig.
That subtle tapering at the waist makes all the difference.
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Photographed by Christian Vierig.
In an unexpected color, a tweedy topcoat can almost look edgy.
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Photographed by Christian Vierig.
Wear a topcoat on top of tomboyish separates.
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Photographed by Christian Vierig.
If your style is more experimental, choose a Pope coat in an extreme, oversized silhouette.
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