Kieran Culkin as Roman Roy, newly ascended “CE-bro”
Møre og Romsdal, Norway, Fall 2020
Episode: “Kill List” (Episode 4.05)
Air Date: April 23, 2023
Director: Andrij Parekh
Creator: Jesse Armstrong
Costume Designer: Michelle Matland
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
My favorite Succession looks are always when the Roy family and their hangers-on are out of the office—or, even better—far from the city, either dressed down in linens for a sunny day at sea or layered in knitwear and Barbours for the country.
Midway through the series’ fourth and final season, “Kill List” was an example of the latter, transporting the Waystar RoyCo corporate entourage to western Norway for tech giant GoJo’s corporate retreat, where they plan to land a deal with its insufferably erratic Elon-esque billionaire CEO, Lukas Mattson (Alexander Skarsgård).
The Scandinavian woods brought out plenty of great style, from Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) in his shearling-lined bomber and one of his trademark cashmere caps to Siobhan (Sarah Snook) rotating through a few neutral turtlenecks layered under sport jackets… not to forget her soon-to-be-ex-husband Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) channeling Steve McQueen in a similar sport jacket and turtleneck, albeit with sneakers so white they threaten to confuse the molly-addled Swedes among them.
Among many great performances, the episode belonged to Kieran Culkin as Roman Roy, who was already an exceedingly entertaining character but whose mourning through the latest season brought out an even greater depth in the character. Succession has chronicled Roman’s growth from an immature prankster to a more business-minded professional—albeit still not one above his occasional dick joke (or pic, with apologies to Gerri Kellman). His quest for his father’s approval—even posthumously—has shown Roman taking himself more seriously while still battling his own unresolved inner turmoil.
Far departed from the douche-bro who tore up a life-changing check in front of a tearful child who blew his chance at a million-dollar home run in the first episode, the still-snarky Roman may be revealing himself to be the most empathetic Roy sibling, urging the family to support eldest son Connor (Alan Ruck) during his all-but-doomed nuptials, stepping in to support his late father’s assistant-cum-mistress Kerry (Zoe Winters) despite their mutual loathing, and now frequently reminding Kendall that their self-determined leadership model is actually a trifecta that includes Shiv.
Roman may also be the Roy most comfortable to be authentic with his emotions, brilliantly brought out by Culkin during Roman’s mountaintop smackdown on Mattson, a cathartic moment for all of us who have practiced rants against our nemeses in the shower or car, only for the diatribe to remain forever unspoken. Frustrated at being “Scooby-dooed”, Mattson mocks the CE-bros for not being like their father, in turn denouncing the late Logan (Brian Cox) as a “prick” who would be ashamed of his sons in the moment… resulting in Roman’s pointed tear-down that, in collaboration with his wardrobe, illustrates that he may have more in common with his father than anyone had anticipated.
What’d He Wear?
Roman dresses smartly for their Scandinavian destination in layered cool tones of blue, black, and gray, anchored on the first day with a rich navy shawl-collar cardigan that looks just like one his late father would have worn.
There has been some romantic online speculation that Roman, echoing when he sent cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun) back to a then-ailing Logan’s apartment in the second episode to bring Roman a piece of his clothing that smells like him, perhaps swiped the cardigan he saw draped over the back of Logan’s chair in the previous episode. Shiv seems to endorse this in “Kill List”, commenting on the futility of holding onto their father’s reactionary news division: “let’s just keep one of his old sweaters. Less racist.”
However, I’d argue that a sweater would have been two dramatically different sizes to fit both the lean-framed Kieran Culkin and Brian Cox, who described himself as “more physically robust” in an interview with Caroline Reilly for InsideHook. I believe that Roman more likely was inspired by his father’s example and chose to continue his legacy by dressing for power plays like the GoJo retreat, echoing Cox’s statement from the same interview that “[Logan] wears his wealth on his back, especially those cardigans. I love Logan’s cardigans. The very fabric of his clothes gives him power.”
Roman’s cardigan is even from one of the deceased patriarch’s preferred brands, Polo Ralph Lauren, as identified by the great Instagram account @successionfashion which also included the MSRP of $598, apropos the Roy world of quiet luxury.
The purl knit fabric is an indigo-blue blend of 96% wool and 4% cashmere. Polo Ralph Lauren markets this as the “shawl-lapel ribbed-trim cardigan”, referencing the ribbing along the shawl collar, sleeves, straight hem, and back, as well as along the front where six buttons are lined up, including two closely positioned on the waistband—there are also two smaller buttons under the right collar. The matte chest panels extend from the shoulders down to waist hem, with patch pockets placed over the lower half of each, each with a pointed flap that closes through a single button. The set-in sleeves also have matte elbow “patches” matching the chest panels.
Price and availability current as of April 26, 2023.
When not dressed to his typical formula of a button-up shirt tucked into trousers, V-neck T-shirts are a staple of Roman Roy’s wardrobe. Layering his Logan-esque cardigan over a black cotton V-neck T-shirt illustrates how effectively Roman is able to incorporate his dad’s style into his own.
On a show celebrated for its accurate depiction of “stealth wealth” complete with $600 cashmere baseball caps and $25,000 watches, I was surprised to see that Roman’s slate-gray jeans are clearly Levi’s, as indicated by the red tab along the seam of the right back pocket and the low-contrasting arcuate stitch across both back pockets. Levi Strauss & Co. may be a 170-year-old American heritage brand, but it’s still considerably more pedestrian than the Brunello Cucinelli, Loro Piana, Ralph Lauren, and Tom Ford fits that we’re used to seeing among the men of Succession.
These may be the Levi’s 505™ Regular Fit Men’s Pants, made from a gray “Comfort Stretch” cotton blend and styled with a straight leg, zip fly, and the same five-pocket layout found on most standard pairs of jeans.
Roman wears black leather derby-laced boots, a hardier style than the trainers that Kendall wears and bemoans after he “already got mud on my sneaks.”
To combat the weather, Roman wears a dark navy tech jacket, likely made from a weather-resistant polyester or synthetic blend. The trim-fitting jacket has a zip-up front that extends from the straight waist hem to the top of the standing collar, covered by a snap-front fly. The set-in sleeves are finished with squared button cuffs that he wears undone, and the low-slung side pockets zip up to close.
For added prep against the inclement weather, Roman adds an additional layer after the Mattson meeting with a navy polyurethane-coated polyester marsh jacket, slightly longer than his tech jacket. The back has a storm flap and a fishtail hem. Lined in black polyester, the jacket has six navy-covered snaps up the front with two more to close at the neck. The hood cinches with a dark-blue drawstring, and there are snap-closed slanted side pockets.
@successionfashion identified this waterproof jacket as made by Rains, who offers it in more than a dozen colors for only $110… yet another surprisingly affordable piece in Roman’s “Kill List” costume.
Roman spent the first three seasons of Succession exclusively wearing Rolex watches, a tradition he continued into the fourth-season premiere. For the following three episodes, Roman wore a blue-dialed steel IWC Mark XX pilot’s watch on a leather band.
The “Kill List” pre-credits sequence set at the Waystar Royco office debuts yet another new watch for Romulus: a stainless chronograph with a white dial on a black leather strap. We know Logan’s will made provisions for watches—including a Rolex Daytona Lapis for his trusted body-man (and best friend?) Colin—so it’s possible that this newly seen piece is a Logan hand-me-down that, like the navy shawl-collar cardigan, Roman wears in the hopes of channeling his father during this high-stakes negotiation.
His cold-weather layers in Norway generally cover his left wrist, but a quick glimpse as he hangs his arms out the car window prior to departure suggests that he’s wearing the same watch.
How to Get the Look
Roman keeps Logan’s legacy alive for the negotiations in a navy shawl-collar cardigan inspired by the departed patriarch’s wardrobe, neatly incorporated into his own trim sense of style comprised of cool tones and easy layers to counter the wet western Norwegian climate.
- Indigo-blue ribbed purl-knit wool/cashmere Polo Ralph Lauren shawl-collar cardigan with 6-button front, matte chest panels with button-flapped patch pockets, and matte elbow patches
- Black cotton V-neck short-sleeve T-shirt
- Gray stretch cotton Levi’s jeans
- Black leather derby-laced boots
- Dark navy polyester tech jacket with zip/snap-up front, standing collar, zip-up pockets, and squared button cuffs
- Navy polyester marsh jacket with drawstring-cinched hood, snap-up front, snap-closed pockets, and back storm flap
- Stainless steel chronograph watch with white dial on black leather strap
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Check out the series, currently streaming on HBO Max.
Why’s that making you smile? That shouldn’t make you smile. Who likes tightrope-walking on a straight razor, nut bag?