How to Dress Like Cookie From 'Empire' at Work, Every Day of the Week
Cookie Lyon, the inimitable antihero of Fox's television show Empire played by Taraji P. Henson, is an inspiration in limitless ways. One of those is her style, which perfectly encapsulates her approach to business: Do not give a single, solitary thought to all the things others think of you. She is bullish on furs and unafraid to mix as many as three animal prints. Her look hits at the aesthetic midpoint between Chanel and Intermix. Here's how you can wear Cookie's attitude every day of the week.
In the first two minutes of this week's episode, Cookie barges, screaming, into the home of her ex, Lucious Lyon, from whom she recently won a stake in pre-IPO record label Empire Entertainment, valued at around $750 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. For the string of expert burns she then executes, Cookie chooses this geometric top and legging-like-pants combo. Her white BCBGMAXAZRIA top is sold out, but you can find it in dramatic deep red on eBay. She accessorizes with what looks like a perfect winter bag, seemingly big enough to fit rain boots, an umbrella, a blanket scarf, and several laptops.
Multiple patterns in the same garment convey a complete lack of regard for haters. Here, Cookie is delivering a speech to investors in this Charlie Jade dress, which sells for $90, so take her hint and wear this the next time you ask for a raise. You can even use a Cookie one-liner for that conversation. I recommend telling your boss something like, "I'm here to get what's mine" or "what I want is respect."
Several leopard prints converge in this look, a modern work of art. If you can pull off a fedora like this at your office, you have a job you should keep for life. If you cannot wear the hat, though, don't worry—you haven't lost your opportunity for pattern-mixing: Look closely, and you'll see that the dress contains two different sizes of spot. Get the Red Valentino dress a size too big, slip a white or black oxford shirt under it, and relish your decorous swag. The Christian Louboutin bag will run you $2,000, so maybe land that raise before adding it to the mix.
For a more subdued animal print, go gray and matte gold with this keyhole-cut wrap dress whose hide-heavy print and cleavage exposure saves it from being matronly. We aren't sure who designed this item, but costume designer Rita McGhee, the genius responsible for Cookie's attire on the show, told Fusion that Cookie would green-light this similar, low-key dress evoking leopard print but not quite committing to it, over at polyvore.com. Try to look as self-loving as Cookie while wearing it.
It's important to try fuchsia at least once, especially in fur. Compared with Anika, the show's budding antagonist seen here to the right of Cookie, who sports a visible bra line, Cookie looks even more like a queen than usual. Wear hot-pink lipstick even if you aren't taking a multimillion-dollar company public, and try this fuchsia-tipped stole by French brand Tissavel and available on Etsy for $92. Pick up this plum-patterned replica of Cookie's boardroom uniform for $80 before it sells out.
If you have to walk even near your office on a Saturday, do so in a onesie made for grown women only. The Diane Von Furstenburg "snow cheetah" jumpsuit has been marked down to around $300. Make a personal brand statement with this and a $2,400 version of Cookie's Chanel cutout necklace, that encourages your co-workers not to get in your face today, thanks.
The only reason you'd work on Sundays is for a chance to rock this whole situation: the professional lace, the cape of a jacket, the beads. Ignore Cookie's severely underdressed son Jamal, who gets a pass for now. The dress, by Alexander McQueen, is out of stock but also quite expensive, so go for a Tadashi or DVF look-alike for under $200. Buy a hooded black cape, which is just a jacket without sleeves, on Gilt for $79. For around $15, you can stock three of these black crystal bracelets on Etsy.
Remember, if these outfits aren't for you, that is totally fine by Cookie. "The streets aren't made for everybody," she has noted. "That's why they made sidewalks."