Dissecting the Anatomy of White Lotus Fashion

Wealth and worth are two recurring themes in HBO's White Lotus, and its wardrobe helps provoke a dialogue that reveals what Creator, Mike White, is trying to say about it.

By Liliana Miller
December 11, 2022

Wealth and worth are two recurring themes in HBO's White Lotus, and its wardrobe helps provoke a dialogue that reveals what Creator, Mike White, is trying to say about it.

The visual silhouettes in digital entertainment are tangible motifs acting as a liaison for gaining insight of a character’s interiority. Therefore, it’s safe to say that the fashionable (and unfashionable) choices in White Lotus inform the narrative significantly. By breaking down the bones of its ambitious style, curated by Alex Bovaird, we uncover some splendid little Easter eggs planted throughout the plot.


The first chatter in the White Lotus fashion bubble emerged when people started debating Portia’s cringe-worthy style; it’s so unsuccessfully aspirational, like an Alessandro Michele-era Gucci, print-mixing catastrophe. We see a rainbow crochet shrug draped over a zebra print bikini, savvy Insta brands galore, and way too many chunky rectangular sunnies– everything is a little too… all over the place. Epitomizing Gen Z in her toppling over trends and clout-chasing couture, she dresses, as many have said, “as lost as she really is.” I, for one, am certain she’ll be doomed, maybe just as doomed as Tanya, in her own peculiar way.

Lucia + Mia

On a similar note, we have Lucia and Mia. Their chaotic aesthetic is mild but still relevant. You could coin it loud luxury, as they begin boasting flashy brand names like Moschino and flaunt Dior swimsuits. The two have recently come across some money and are finally able to fulfill their dreamy, sometimes naïve purchases, transitioning away from their flimsy tees and Doc Martens. While a little outlandish at times, the juxtaposition of glamour with the ordinary reflects their blissful innocence that is starkly distinguishable from their lifestyle. I adore this duo. They’re bold; they’ve got a vigor for life and its joys, and they exude it. I predict good things for them, but White Lotus is often cruel to its most beloved, and maybe that’s wishful thinking.

Next, let’s get into our two very contrasting and distinctively dressed couples, where the fashion skeleton really starts to come together.

Daphne + Cameron

Daphne’s dress mainly features jacquards and florals with an affinity for warmer tones like oranges and yellows. Obviously, resort wear is prominent, with brands like Zimmermann and Ramy Brook permeating her ensembles. She’s less preppy, while still elevated, but more relaxed; she is the woman on vacation. 

My hot take is that Daphne killed Cameron. The effortless could-do-no-wrong could definitely kill if you ask me, and who else would find the dead body than the murderer herself? Does anyone else remember when she casually mentioned watching those murder series over Aperol Spritzes on the veranda in episode one?

Meanwhile, there’s cocky Cameron, whose looks were notably all newly bought, likely from Italian designers, after he lost his luggage. Nonetheless, he’s opted for alarmingly loud, regal fabrics in those same warm hues of his wife’s. It all seems royal, but performative nonetheless. I rest my case. Daphne killed him (as she should). I hope those obnoxious prints die with him.

Harper + Ethan

On the other hand is Harper, whose structured, double-breasted silhouettes seem to a bit too obviously lean into the New Yorker lawyer trope, but one can appreciate the nods to Jackie Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn. She’s classic and maybe doesn’t stray far enough from the rules, but its uppity nature parallels her judgmental outlook nonetheless. I’ll offer a round of applause for some of the amazing cut-outs and abundance of Loewe as well.

Viewers have started to notice a shift in her style too. In some ways, it’s starting to mirror Daphne’s in silhouette and color scheme, and I am in favor of this perhaps hinting that we might have a dual job at hand… 

She and Ethan also oppose Daphne and Cameron in their wear of cooler tones: blues and greys and whites. This sort of visible dullness in their color scheme speaks volumes to the complicated relationship that’s being unfolded. Ethan definitely packed a pair of AllBirds– we’re just waiting to see when he’ll pull them out of his carry-on.

Albie + Jack

To end on a more fun note, I thought it might be fun to take my stab at Portia’s two goofy suitors, Albie and Jack. As horrendous and hard to watch as their styles sometimes are, like the buzz that began about Portia in the first place, that’s kind of the point.

Albie’s our innocent, young Stanford grad with a closet that lacks a voice just as much as he does. He’s a little more buttoned-up, but it feels forced and makes you realize that the rule-following is just another symbol of how submissive he really is.

Now, Jack is just like a walking Love Island reality star, and Bovaird has accredited her inspiration. She nailed it with this one. He’s very undone, messy, and casual in an oddly charming way. If “Summer Lovin’” was a person instead of a song.


Tanya’s indulgent style might garner a whole other blog article. And I think, by now, you might get the gist. Everything– from racks of Dolce and Gabbana to recognizable Valentino arm candy adorning her wobbly-heeled stance– tells us all we need to know. Wealth is certainly how she signifies her identity and worth, a notion that contributes to her complicated and burdened sense of self.

So what is next for these guests on their Sicilian escape? Bovaird’s deliberate design gives us a bounty of hints, but time will only tell– I’ll be tuning in tonight to see if any of my predictions come to fruition. 

Source: Vogue