'The Good Wife': Chicago fashion doesn't 'put on airs'

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"The Good Wife" has been nothing short of remarkable in its fifth season, and though attention has rightfully focused on the CBS Sunday drama's plots, one aspect of the show has consistently been brilliant: the wardrobe.

Julianna Margulies and Christine Baranski, as Alicia and Diane, always look chic and have very individual looks. And Matt Czuchry and Alan Cumming, as Cary and Eli, present very different takes on lawyers in suits.

"People in Chicago have access to high-end clothing," costume designer Dan Lawson tells Zap2it. "In Chicago, what you see is what you get. There is less putting on airs. There's an earnestness and truthfulness for what they wear in Chicago."

Alicia, he reminds us, was a "North Shore politician's wife. She would have been at Talbots and shopping at Old Orchard, Marshall Field, Lord & Taylor. There is a real sense of classic lines to her look."

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This navy Dior suit has a grosgrain lapel, and having a costume designer at your ready helps because Lawson says he completely rebuilt it. "Last year, we had a lot of peplum," he says.
Paired with a pencil skirt, the look is very feminine and professional.

Alicia's wardrobe also reflects that she became a partner, then a governor's wife and now a founding partner of her own firm. The classic lines hearken back to the '40s and '50s, Lawson says.

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Diane projects such an air of confidence in her elegant clothes that Lawson does not see her as the better-known Madison Avenue but rather as the well-heeled Michigan Avenue. Here, she wears a deep red Yves Saint Laurent blouse with a pair of very wide-legged, high-waisted Max Mara slacks.

"You need to have some height to carry them off," Lawson says of the 5-foot-8-inch Baranski.
Lawson shops for the character of Diane at Neiman Marcus, Saks, Bergdorf Goodman and Bloomingdale's.

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"The thing about Eli is I wanted it to be if you touch him, he will shatter," Lawson says. "He is so uptight. Everything is a crisis. His little suits are so tight and skinny. He is always buttoned all the way, and he buttons both buttons on his jacket. It's a character thing. He wants to keep it closed."

Here he wears a Versace suit. Shirts are mostly from Hugo Boss, and ties are from Hugo Boss, Canali and Zegna.

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"He also wears a slim-fitted suit," Lawson says. "He was the rich kid" but tried to downplay it until he found his way. Now the character's suits are custom-made by Martin Greenfield in Brooklyn, and they're based on a one-button Calvin Klein. He wears French cuffs by Thomas Pink.

"The thing about his look is he is a real go-getter," Lawson says. "I want him to look to be aggressive."
Photo/Video credit: CBS