The Closer Fashion: Smart and Polished

by on Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Ellen, 58, wrote to us about admiring the professional style that Kyra Sedgwick wears as Brenda Leigh Johnson on the TV show The Closer. She asked us about finding a contemporary look similar to the Brenda Leigh Johnson clothes on the show. Flowered sundresses aren’t Ellen’s thing at all, but she likes the polished suits (with pants or slim skirts), dresses and jackets. And we can do that, right?

It’s time to take a look at The Closer fashion! And this is great because not only do I enjoy the show, but I’ve previously interviewed the costume designer for The Closer Greg LaVoi! (He was very nice and incredibly knowledgeable.)

For this request, I’m keeping in mind that our slim reader is under 5’5″. She noted that sometimes certain jackets will make her look shorter. And it’s true, if you’re short then certain items will overpower your frame becuase of the proportions. Eep! For this reason, I’m going to veer away from any billowy or roomy jackets, and go for structured fits.

Keeping in mind her size and budget ideas I was able to find some great stuff similar to The Closer clothing she was looking for – I hope!

Dressing when you are petite and on the short side there are a couple tips to remember:

  • Avoid wide legged pants, try skinny cuts or capri’s that taper.
  • Skirts can be just about any length but long. Above the knee works best for you.
  • No cuffed pants, it’ll chop the visual look up and make you look stumpy. And no cuffs on your blazers and jackets, if you can help it. At least not cuffs with different material/colors.
  • Pencil skirts are your friend. A flared, A-line skirt, not so much.
  • Try matching socks/pants/shoes so there is a monochrome look that lengths a visual line. This is why Marilyn Monroe would always match her stockings to her heels, and why many actresses wear nude heels with bare legs on the red carpet.
  • You can add pizazz to boring jackets with details like belted front’s, the use of metallic threads in tweed, or by using brooches and pins.
  • To appear taller, use vertical stripes (pinstripe suit!) on clothing, or anything to draw the eye downward. This can be accomplished with V-neck tops.

Shops I’m suggesting for great suits include Anne Taylor and Banana Republic. Items by Jones New York, Theory, Classiques Entier, Kenneth Cole New York, Charter Club and AK Anne Klein are also professional and stylish. If you have a local Marshall’s or TJ Maxx, I’d definitely always check there for discounted items. Because let’s be honest, suits and suit separates are always pricey. But there are ways to get more mileage out of your pieces.

Mix and match suit pieces with jackets, blazers, and skirts. Buy some neutral colors for investment pieces – meaning you’ll wear them a lot. If you don’t like what I’ve selected here, I’ve since realized that Macy’s has a great selection of suits and separates that are sometimes more affordable. Also check Overstock.com for great suit separates. (And this, and this.)

Here are the items I selected for Ellen in our The Closer fashion piece:

Triacetate 1-Button Jacket: The one button style is hip, and it lets you wear a lovely patterned V-neck top under it. Black is basic and always handy. And you can re-dress it in a million different ways. I especially like this jacket because it’s very form-fitting, and if you check the back (I did) it has wonderful vertical seams.

Petite lightweight wool suit: I like that this is meant for cold months, but it’s still light weight on your body. The gray color is another great neutral. And if you want to keep your body looking a little less petite, it’s a better option than the black. As seen in the picture here, if you wear it very traditionally with standard shoes and a white camisole, you can get away with wearing one truly great statement necklace.

AK Anne Klein Slim Skirt: It’s a little boring, but getting these basics is important, and then you can add in little fashionable flairs with jewelry or shoes. And people do respect other people who dress well. Any pencil skirt like this that falls above the knee is perfect. I also like this black Michael Kors skirt under $70, and this Jones New York skirt in Jet/Alabastor.

The Empire Pant – Petite: These don’t flare out too much, which is good. I also like that they’re on sale for under $30. They’re also available in black.

Brief Meeting Blazer: If you want to veer away from the traditional look and go for a bit more fashionable one, this navy blazer is great. Because of the color, you’d need a pair it with navy or khaki pants, a colored skirt or sheath dress.

Classiques Entier® Belted Bouclé Jacket: This piece is fun but still professional. Boucle, like tweet, is perfect for fall and winter. I also fell for this Rebecca Taylor Tweet Skirt.

Classiques Entier® Heathered Crepe Jacket: I love this. Wear a modest chiffon top with long ties under a blazer. And I love that structured blazer.

Charter Club Jacket, Long Sleeve Printed: This is structured, has basic colors, and I just generally am in love with it.


Not shown:

Simply Vera Vera Wang Floral Knot Tunic : The Simply Vera Vera Wang line at Kohl’s as a petites section. I don’t like everything in the Simply Vera label, but there are some things that I always like a lot. I like this piece to wear with basic suits, although I wasn’t sure if Ellen would like it. I also like the relaxed refinement of the Chiffon Trim Tank.

Nanette Lepore ‘Spy On Me’ Cap-Sleeve Jacket: I love this, and the berry color is perfect. But it’s expensive.

I like this Marie Claire Coorporate Style guide where everything is black, silver or blue.

And there’s this great piece: What Kyra Sedgwick in The Closer Can Teach Us About Workplace Attire

And if you want to know the one tip about finding similar stuff to The Closer clothing – invest in a great trench coat (or several!) Brenda Leigh Johnson wears them aaaall of the time. I’d be surprised if Kyra hasn’t fallen in love with plenty of them.

Hold up there! For more fun pieces like this check out our archive of: Dress like a TV Character

If you want to make a request for a certain  celebrity orTV character to be featured, please see all details on our Contact page!

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