Succession Season 4 Episode 8's Best Fashion Moments: 'America Decides'
Colored clothing is for news anchors only.
The eighth episode of Succession’s fourth season dredged up our worst anxieties from the elections of 2000 and 2016 and 2020 — and reminded us all of how harrowing it will feel in 2024. Plus, it raised the very real possibility that fascist presidents are basically willed into office by obsequious media executives who have, on this most consequential of nights, chosen cocaine over bodega sushi and will stop at nothing to deliver “numbers” to bosses who are somehow even more craven than they are.
Everyone cared that the fate of the country was at stake (except for maybe Roman and Connor?) and yet no one could make decisions outside of their own narcissistic bubbles. Kendall couldn’t even do what he knew was the right thing for his daughter! From a fashion perspective, the episode was an odious enough imagining of how Fox News really works to drive anyone worshiping at the altar of Quiet Luxury from the muted, monochromatic embrace of Armani into the bracelet-encrusted arms of Versace, maybe even the leopard cut-outs of Cavalli. The episode gave new meaning to the Roys’ “I’m rich, but I don’t think about how I dress” minimalism. Maybe they dress in order not to stand out because they enact their will by making other people, like Tom and ATN’s anchors and even the president-elect, the faces of their most odious decisions. When the spoils of your executive actions are the singular horrors of a Trump-esque presidency, it makes sense that you’d want to throw on a logo-less baseball hat and nondescript jacket and fade into the scenery.
Here are the best fashion moments from the episode “America Decides.”
Tom’s Dressy Suit
Everyone at ATN dressed up (particularly by post-lockdown standards) for the election, which would presumably be an all-nighter. The writers make abundantly clear at the beginning of the episode that Tom is particularly ill-equipped to run election-night coverage. To be fair, all corporate media executives are ill-equipped to run ANY sort of coverage, even if that coverage is based on the idea of journalism instead of journalism itself. But Tom can’t even select the proper footwear. A few episodes ago, Shiv told him that no one took him seriously because his shoes were too white. Now, Pam on his team — who seems like the kind of woman who has done this forever — more or less tells him she can’t take him seriously because his shoes are too formal.
Coming off a call with Kendall about how he needs to get the “numbers” up, Tom berates Pam for not covering “the viral thing about the woman who voted like 40 times for Jimenez under her dead mom’s name.” Pam tells him the woman seemed mentally ill, then looks at Tom’s feet and says, “Whew, long night in dress shoes? Cyd used to go for these sort of slip-ons with a padded sock.”
The only quick retort Tom can gin up is: “Yeah, probably because she couldn’t get her cloven hooves into her regular shoes. I’m perfectly comfortable, Pam. I’ve got good arches, they’ve been remarked upon!” This brazenly sexist comment foreshadowed his reaction to Shiv finally telling him she’s pregnant with his baby.
As the episode progresses and we get a better look at Tom’s outfit, including the yellow-printed tie, high-contrast striped shirt, and the jacket he never removes, he looks more desperate and out-of-his-depth than usual. He thinks he’s clawing his way to the top but he won’t be able to do it when he’s doing cocaine at work and making all the wrong enemies, no matter how high and remarkable his arches are.
Greg’s Dressy Suit
Greg reveals that he went out with Matsson the night before and “danced with an old man” and “drank things that aren’t normally drinks” at “unseemly venues.” This attitude is a huge shift for a character who spent the first episode smoking pot in his car and vomiting out of the holes of the head of his theme-park furry costume.
Greg has transformed from a guy who used to go to work in $50 khakis into someone who dresses pretty well. He dresses well even for someone who has to actually TRY at work because he only has, what, one-quarter the professional birthright of his cousins? If not less? He looked as though he was trying to hide that he may have been billionaire-hazed the night before by turning up on election day looking highly groomed instead of slightly slovenly, the way most of us show up at work when we’ve done things we wished we hadn’t the night before.
Greg even looked a little more stylish than Tom. He had the sartorial demeanor of someone who has reached a station in his career where he could refuse to snort cocaine offered to him by his boss, who wanted to do cocaine but also not be the only person at the office doing cocaine.
Shiv’s Robe Suit
When Shiv is in a drab pantsuit, you know nothing good is going to happen for her. I don’t think we’ve seen her in suit this lackluster since the first episode, which ended with the collapse of her marriage.
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