While the star of Netflix’s new dramedy series The Politician is undoubtedly Ben Platt – known for his role as Evan Hansen on Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen – we think another member of the cast comes pretty close to stealing his spotlight.
That’s McAfee Westbrook, played by Laura Dreyfuss, who also happened to co-star alongside Platt in Dear Evan Hansen. She plays a high school student who’s hell-bent on getting her friend Payton Hobart (Platt) elected student body president as part of his lifelong plan to ultimately become POTUS. As a member of his dedicated campaign staff of fellow students, McAfee is a fast-talking, no-nonsense master strategist who seems to have all the answers.
Perfectly underscoring her personality and motivations is her wardrobe of bold power suits, which she wears the majority of the time and typically pairs with perfectly tousled hair, minimal makeup, and a wide variety of shoes.
Costume designer Claire Parkinson told Teen Vogue that, after meeting and discussing the character with showrunner Ryan Murphy, they decided to dress McAfee in a uniform-like style that fits with the satirical nature of the show.
“Although McAfee is often very serious and her main agenda is to get Payton elected as high school president, we still wanted her style to be elevated and bold, like her character,” she said. “We chose vibrant colors and many different shapes, with some standout accessories to show that she means business but still can have fun with her style.”
And while each power suit is a fashion statement in its own right, we definitely have our favorites. Here they are, ranked. Hopefully these give you the inspiration to wear full-on power suits in 2020, it surely has for us/
5. Pink double-breasted suit (Episode 6)
In this scene, McAfee sits with Payton’s vice president (spoiler alert: he becomes president) and her secret girlfriend, Skye Leighton (Rahne Jones), who’s doubting Payton’s vision as he addresses the school board.
McAfee’s ensemble – the wide-leg pants, bubblegum pink hue, and loud button-up blouse – scream 1970s in the best way possible. Even if she’s losing confidence in her leading man, her outfit is absolutely self-assured. The suit comprises the Zara Double Breasted Blazer and Coloured Wide Leg Trousers, according to [Shop Your TV] (https://www.shopyourtv.com/2019/10/01/the-politician-season-1-episode-6-mcafees-pink-suit/).
4. Mustard wide-leg suit (Episode 2)
McAfee sits with Payton and another of their campaign staffers, James Sullivan (Theo Germaine), during one of the group’s first moments of doubt: when they find out that their choice for student body vice president, Infinity Jackson (Zoey Deutch), has a secret that could destroy their chances of election.
McAfee’s mustard suit brings to mind the fashion muses that Parkinson told *W* (https://www.wmagazine.com/story/the-politician-costume-designers-fashion-interview) she referenced in creating the character’s costumes, including Gloria Steinem, Diane Keaton, and Katharine Hepburn. The double-breasted jacket (a recurring theme) pairs with matching ASOS DESIGN Mustard Wide Leg Pants, according to Shop Your [TV] (https://www.shopyourtv.com/2019/09/27/the-politician-season-1-episode-2-mcafees-mustard-trousers/), featuring a high rise and a wide-cut leg.
Finishing off the outfit are a couple of gold rings, chunky dad sneakers, and a patterned long-sleeve shirt that might be one of the vintage ’70s blouses that Parkinson said she enjoyed pairing with McAfee’s contemporary suits.
3. Peach single-breasted suit (Episode 1)
In the pilot episode, Payton’s team – including his girlfriend, Alice Charles (Julia Schlaepfer) – gathers to discuss campaign strategy, and McAfee is still firmly in his camp.
Her sherbet-colored ensemble is pretty tone-on-tone, with its peach single-breasted suit, pink top, and rose gold aviators, until you get to her shoes. The Comme des Garcons Play Black Converse Edition Half Heart Chuck 70 High Sneakers, according to Shop Your TV, lend a punky toughness and street-style edge to the outfit, saying: “Don’t mess with me.”
2. Print short suit (Episode 4)
This retro-inspired, print short suit reveals a marked change in McAfee. It’s the first time we see her in shorts, revealing a bit of skin, and also the first time we see her expressing feelings for Skye. McAfee is doing something for herself for once – and not for Payton.
Parkinson said: “We loved using the short suit with Margiela platforms for when she’s first seen going to Skye’s house. She gets out of her fabulous vintage VW bug wearing a seemingly matching tan short suit with sky-high platforms – this suit was a bit more relaxed, and she’s less covered up.”
1. Neon green suit (Episode 1)
The neon green Rachel Comey suit from the pilot is Parkinson’s favorite power suit of the bunch, and we agree. In this outfit, McAfee stands out like a highlighter on a page. There’s no missing her.
“We chose this suit for many important scenes in Episode 1 to show she means business while looking fabulous,” Parkinson said.
Complementing the knit, cropped-leg suit are carefully chosen accessories, she said: “My assistant costume designer and I found the Celine loafers on sale, and they were such a key component to the head-to-toe look. She wore a Dries Van Noten top under the suit.”
The finished look is equal parts retro, modern, bold, chic – and 100% McAfee.
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue