Olivia Munn is today’s InStyle.com guest editor! Check back throughout the day for exclusive content straight from the actress herself. Go to InStyle.com/oliviamunnday. Below, the actress reveals the biggest style lessons she has learned while playing financial reporter Sloan Sabbith on the hit HBO series, The Newsroom.
1. Don't Apologize For Being a Woman... or Fashionable.
The antiquated idea that in order for a woman to be taken seriously she has to wear boxy clothes and nude panty hose was definitely reflected in my character's wardrobe when we shot the pilot episode of The Newsroom. But once we went to series, we had a new costume designer come in and together we collaborated on what the look of Sloan Sabbith should be. I didn't want my character to flaunt her sexuality, but I didn't want her to apologize for it either. The suits would be fitted and the style would be up-to-date. Staying with a neutral palette of blacks, greys, and whites, we put together a closet of basic, classic pieces with suits from Gucci and Tom Ford and tailored everything. A strong female character deserves to have a wardrobe that compliments her. A good example is this episode in season one where my character goes rogue during a live broadcast and then gets yelled at by her boss in front of the entire newsroom. For that we chose a collarless black Gucci suit that zipped up the front that allowed Sloan to be fashion-forward without making her wardrobe a focal point (you can see that scene here).
2. Break stereotypes by ignoring them.
With two Ph.D.s and a fierce dedication to her job, Sloan is hyper-focused with unwavering morals. To me, that's all that matters—who you are at your core, not what you look like. People will always have their own pre-conceived notions when they first see you. And every woman out there knows that, unfortunately, it's not always a positive one. But that's not your problem, it's theirs. We are not defined by the thoughts, malice and insecurities of others; keep going through your work, set and achieve high goals for yourself. If you let the negativity of others quiet you, they win. But since this is the story of your life, let's make sure it has a happy ending and let all those negative people keep their crappy storylines. I think that's how you push the door open and change stereotypes.
3. Crack kills
I know a girl who wears see-through shirts and short-shorts to work, and her feeling is that she should be able to wear whatever she wants because it's her creative, personal style. But there's a time and a place to wear certain things and you have to understand that. If you're going to have your butt crack showing, people are going to look... hell, I'M gonna look!
4. Fashion should accentuate, not distract
When you look at a lot of the journalists on TV, they often wear statement pieces or colorful jewelry. But I wear very little jewelry and color on the show. It was important to keep Sloan's style minimal because we didn't want anything to distract from the information she was giving. Effortless and professional is what we were aiming for.
Someone posts a picture of themselves in a bikini or post-workout and then they write #GoodMorning or #WelcomeToAustralia! What actually happened is they took a selfie and thought "Oh my gosh I look so hot everyone has to see this pic! But I can't hashtag it #imsohot so I'll just put #HappyMonday". If a picture is worth a thousand words, a selfie is worth a million. So maybe think twice about posting those #Haveabeautifulday selfies, because unless you've set it to private, chances are your boss, coworkers, clients are gonna see that and it's hard to take anyone seriously when you find out how little humility they have.