#FashionFlashback | Joan Clayton from Girlfriends Best Looks

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I am one of those women who enjoy tv shows that highlight the culture as I feel they tell our stories like no other, and of course, they are entertaining! 

Girlfriends is one of those shows I watched in high school because the characters were black and they were funny, but it wasn’t until I was an adult, I truly appreciated the characters for who they were and the struggles they faced. It was a sort of coming-of-age series entered around the lives of 4 women living in L. A deadline with life but have each other to go through all the ebbs and flows with. 

#FashionFlashback | Joan Clayton from Girlfriends Best Looks

With that being said, I thought it would be a fun way to re-live those moments and showcase how each character’s story was told by way of costumes I.e styling. Our first Girlfriend is “Joan Carol Clayton” aka Joan played by Tracee Ellis Ross. If I was to draw parallels between the Girlfriends and their Sex and the City counterparts, the obvious and most fitting first comparison would be Joan and Carrie Bradshaw.  There are so many ways they can be compared, but for the sake of this post, we will only focus on fashion. Read below to learn more about Joan.

About Joan

She grew up in Fresno, California, and now resides in a nicer neighbourhood in L.A. She is a top Lawyer and is the only Black Female Lawyer at her firm and always aims to get the best cases. She has been deemed as classist and elitist because of her extensive vocabulary, diction and taste for the finer things in Life. She eventually quit law and opened a Tapas Bar called “The J-Spot”, for which she struggles to find her footing.

Lawyer Joan

Tracee Ellis Ross as Joan Clayton

As a Lawyer, Joan’s style is professional and polished. She is seen in tailored suits paired with chic blouses and shirts and dainty accessories which give attention to the stying. A major part of Joan’s styling had to do with her hair, where she mainly wore it out and would occasionally do a blow-out as the season progressed and her character grew and was more open to change. 

For her “off-the-clock look” she was still chic but wore knitted dresses, cargo pants and flowy T-shirts, and hues of olives and neutral tones. One popular T-shirt she wore that bore “Free City” on the front and was re-mixed and paired with a number of bottoms and was worn many times. This is due to the fact that the budget for the show was so small that Tracee Ellis Ross pulled pieces from her own wardrobe and also from local Thrift Shops.

I would focus on adding muted and earth tones to my closet, with plenty of soft, drapes jerseys and rich knits, paired with pants (especially denim and cargo pants), and go comb some thrift stores for vintage golden and wooden jewelry like bangle bracelets and arm cuffs- Tracee Ellis Ross


Check out the slider gallery below to see a few of her looks.

Restaurant Owner Joan

Tracee Ellis Ross as Joan Clayton

Joan underwent a complete style 360 when she transitioned out of law and into being a Business owner. Her style was now more relaxed, fun, and still chic and even bordered on the Bohemian side in a few of her looks. 

Her style was more feminine and featured A-line skirts, Designer Stilettos, bright pink, and a lot of form-fitting dresses with an open back or plunging neckline.

We saw the prelude to this in her popular olive green form-fitting backless dress she wore to a get-together at her house. These became a staple or sort of uniform for Joan and viewers were interested to see what she would be wearing each week. 


Even though the show premiered in the 2000s and ran until 2008, there are a lot of Joan’s looks that could still be worn today simply because they were timeless. 

Joan Clayton Fashion Looks

Let us know in the comments below if you would wear any of Joan’s look and which was your favourite.

Haute People was launched in September 2011 as a Fashion Blog and has grown into a Lifestyle Blog. The Term “Haute” can be defined as “Fashionably Elegant” or of High Quality. This blog looks at topics from Beauty, Fashion, Entertainment, Hair Trends, Pop Culture as well as exciting new features every month. A favorite among our readers is “Behind The Seams” where influential people from the Creative Industries are featured. . Haute People are Smart, Bold, Creative and Individualistic. If you have an innate passion for Lifestyle, Fashion and all things current, you are HAUTE.

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