Secret Meaning Behind Shiv’s Outfits on Succession

Secret Meaning Behind Shiv’s Outfits on Succession
Image credit: HBO

Siobhan Roy’s every single outfit is a conscious choice on the writers’ behalf.


  • Succession is HBO’s fantastically detailed show.
  • In particular, it pays great attention to its fashion.
  • In some cases, outfits picked for characters reflect their character development arc.

We all know that Succession is all about details. No wonder it’s one of the most critically acclaimed shows of the century—it rightfully deserves its spotlight with the level of detail we usually see on crime and mystery TV shows. Fans are used to looking into every single element of the series’ storytelling, theorizing about patterns and deciphering the hidden meaning.

Quiet fashion on Succession is all about attention to detail, too—and we can actually see the story of the youngest Roy sibling unraveling in her outfits.

In Season 1, Shiv does not seem to have a particular interest in the family business. We learn that she ventured out of Waystar Royco to live the life on her own, independently from her family. She’s into politics; she’s dating a guy who’s way below her station of generational wealth, but she seems happy. Almost carefree.

And it reflects on her personal style: soft hues, loose fabrics, pretty dresses, and long, wavy hair. Season 1’s Shiv Roy is the epitome of femininity, as she is yet to be pitted against her brothers.

As her wedding comes and goes, so do Shiv’s personal style and touch. Gone are the signature shapeless sweaters, replaced with neutral business pantsuits and monochrome attire. She cuts her beautiful hair and wear a bob instead, as close to getting a “male” haircut as she could get.

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We can see her literally tone down her whole wardrobe to gain her father’s approval (subconsciously), because of course Logan Roy would not put a woman in power, at least a woman he considers too “feminine”. And Shiv tries to distance herself from this.

Shiv’s entire arc is arguably about feminism. She tries to compete with the men around her and suppresses her femininity to the best of her abilities because a woman in the business world, as high-brow as her father’s company is, is not taken as seriously as a man.

The only moment Shiv holds real power, the single most important moment of the show, is when she needs to make a decision in the last episode. These five minutes are the only time Shiv Roy holds real power—and either decision would not bow well for her. And look at what she’s wearing—a dull black power suit, so different from her bright, flowery outfits from Season 1.

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The style of every Roy family member screams elegance, sophistication, and wealth. But the outfit choices are all intentional on the writers’ part. Shiv Roy’s path in particular changes throughout the show, and so do her fashion choices—with a touch of masculinity added more and more with every single season.