Madam Secretary

{style inspiration from the onscreen secretary of state}

Partially inspired by Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State, the new CBS show “Madam Secretary” follows the life of Elizabeth McCord, a former CIA analyst and mother of three.  In the pilot episode, the President’s Chief of Staff sends an image consultant to the newly appointed Secretary.  Although she initially resists, the the Secretary eventually gives in to a wardrobe makeover, a haircut and even uses the changes to her political advantage (but more about that later!).

So, if you don’t yet watch this show, you totally should.  For Scandal fans, this show offers plenty of political conspiracies, but with a bit more international diplomacy and office politics!

Although her style is simple, here is what inspires our wardrobe choices from Secretary McCord’s online persona:

Statement black suit. Bess (as the President calls the Secretary) is not afraid to revert back to a classic black pant suit at least once per episode.  For affordable suiting options we love Banana Republic or Ann Taylor.  But, if you want to invest in a good suit, check out our guide to professional suiting!

How to dress like the secretary of state via House of Marbury

Know your colors.  The Secretary is rarely seen in anything other than neutrals: gray, white, black and navy.  As a result, she tends to mix and match pieces a lot! So, pick the colors that best complement your complexion and coloring, and stick to those color families.  This will make getting dressed in the morning so much easier!


Blouses are your friends.  Secretary McCord is usually seen in crisp button-downs or silk blouses (yet another smart choice to maximize your mixing and matching options).  For more information, check out our guide to blouses!


Use your wardrobe to your advantage.  In one scene, to distract the press from an international scandal, the Secretary recruits her image consultant to give her a haircut, puts on head-to-toe red, and completes the look with red high heeled pumps. She then parades around the Hill for photo ops, resulting in a media frenzy focused on her, not her politics.  Even if part of you is revolted by this, the point is that how people dress affects the way they are perceived.


Do you watch Madam Secretary?  What do you think of style options? 



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9 Responses to Madam Secretary

  1. Katie March 20, 2015 at 8:31 am #

    Love this piece on Madame Secretary. Every week I watch and just love all of her outfit choices. Any clue where her glasses are from? I love them!

  2. Cyndi February 6, 2016 at 10:36 pm #

    I would love to know where I could find the red coat and dress. Great color!

  3. Sherry March 12, 2016 at 2:50 pm #

    The teal colored coat Tea Leoni is wearing in season 2 episode 16 which aired March 6, 2016 is amazing!! I have searched everywhere to find it. Hoping you can help!!!
    Love your site. It is so helpful and on point

  4. Rida Yates April 27, 2016 at 9:20 pm #

    What brand silver watch does she wear?

  5. Hiram May 31, 2016 at 2:31 pm #

    All her glasses that she wears are iGreen Eyewear. She wears different colors from V 1.1 and now she even has a pair of custom frames that they make.

  6. Anonymous March 16, 2017 at 5:38 am #

    Anyone know who makes the duvet in the bedroom scenes?


  1. Madam Secretary (Season 1, Ep. ?): formal gown with pockets | Screen Shot Thought - August 1, 2016

    […] “How to Dress Like the Secretary of State” […]

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