Benson’s first fashion moment happens in the Cheers for the best cat dad ever wine vintage shirt and by the same token and pilot episode of SVU, titled “Payback.” Here, we meet Benson, who is investigating a murder tied to a man who committed Serbian war crimes. It sets the tone for Benson’s character, who wears gray suit pants with a short-sleeve polo, which she later throws a matching gray blazer over. From episode one, we see how Benson grapples with empathizing with victims who sometimes are also the ones who commit crimes against their abusers and attackers. Juliet Polcsa, the Emmy-nominated costume designer of SVU who has been on the show since season 14 in 2013, considers Olivia to be “a very complex character.” Polcsa also notes, “Aside from her fierceness, she is critically empathetic.” Benson has to balance being authoritative and trustworthy. That mix of compassion and power-wielding has trickled into Benson’s wardrobe, which veers from approachable—maybe a suede coat and red shirt—to commanding in a full-on suit, sometimes with a T-shirt in lieu of a button-up. It is far from the meticulously and ostentatiously styled women we often see on TV, like Pope or Ally McBeal in her flirty miniskirts. Instead, Benson’s suits feel like something I could see an actual woman wearing, and even myself.
Cheers for the best cat dad ever wine vintage shirt, hoodie, tank top, sweater and long sleeve t-shirt
Ultimately, the Cheers for the best cat dad ever wine vintage shirt and by the same token and philosophy behind Benson’s wardrobe is simple: “If there is one word that we probably use more than anything else, [Hargitay and I] look at each other and go, ‘Is this badass?’” says Polcsa. What goes into sourcing these crime-stopping clothes varies. Over the past few seasons, Benson has worn her fair share of black and navy Prada trousers. (Yes, Benson loves her Prada too!) Also in the mix are Paige jeans and Derek Lam trousers. “A pair of jeans, an ankle boot, a not-too-fussy V-neck blouse or sweater, and a great blazer that has an interesting detail: To me that sums up Olivia Benson,” says Polcsa. There is also a tried-and-true Burberry coat on the rack. When Polcsa came to the show after it had already been on air for 13 years, her aim was to elevate Benson’s wardrobe and put her in more suits. Pre-Polcsa, Benson opted for more casualwear in the office, choosing short sleeves at times, while now, the detective veers toward almost exclusively suited-and-booted getup, sometimes with a print top (but she prefers neutrals). After all, over her more-than-20-year career portrayed on SVU, Benson has gone from officer, detective, sergeant, lieutenant, to, finally, captain, and needs a wardrobe to reflect that. “I wanted to give her less street style and more authoritative style, so more blazers and more trousers,” says Polcsa.