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The 5 Best Dressed TV Characters of All Time



I’m a bit of a TV addict. I would take the tube over a movie absolutely any day. Why? Because with TV you have the chance to build an attachment to the characters. You watch them change and grow and learn things and make mistakes…and you get to see what these characters choose to wear for nearly every life event.

Personal style is a big part of a character’s DNA – costume designers know what they’re doing. They know how to reflect a sense of who a character needs to be with sartorial choices. Sometimes these characters have fantastic style…and sometimes they don’t.

Throughout the years we’ve seen some characters with truly iconic style. Carrie Bradshaw, for example – though I always thought her style was just bizarre and over-the-top, it was just as buzzed about as her sometimes-questionable romantic choices. So let’s take a look at the five female characters whose closets I would most like to raid, shall we?

(Note: when I say ‘of all time,’ I really mean of the last like, 10 years. I just don’t watch that many shows that currently air ’cause they don’t make ’em like Dawson’s Creek anymore, so I wasn’t able to compile this list with current characters, okay?)


Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Okay, you’re probably scratching your head a bit because while Buffy kicked a whole lot of ass, her style was never really discussed. But think about it – she wore clean, no-frills outfits that befit her life, one that left no time for literal or metaphorical frills. She rocked a lot of leather, a neutral color palate, and pieces that would still be relevant today. She always looked chic and comfortable and her clothes always fit perfectly. In the show’s early days she wore tight little sweaters and lots of pastels; this uniform gave way to one made up of slim black pants and fitted jackets. As darkness took over her life, it also took over her closet and we saw her evolution reflected in the things she wore. Take note, ladies: A simple statement can – like Buffy Summers herself – be incredibly powerful.


Olivia Pope, Scandal: It isn’t easy to look professional and stylish at the same time, but Olivia Pope knows how to do it (and everything else.) The thing that makes her to remarkable is that she understands what’s okay – and in her position, that means lots pantsuits for day-to-day wear – and works her spin on that without bending the rules even the littlest bit. Her otherwise uninteresting pantsuits fit to a T. She carries big, fabulous bags that convey a sense of power and style. There’s never a hair out of place or a hint of too much makeup. Essentially she’s #flawless.

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Gabrielle Solis, Desperate Housewives: Her style is completely different than mine is (too much color) but I have to admit that Gabrielle Solis’ wardrobe was exactly what it was meant to be: A representation of a woman trapped in suburbia, desperate to add a little glitz and glamour to her life. The skintight dresses, the Juicy tracksuits – they were slightly off base fashion-wise, but they were also the hallmarks of a woman who cared about fashion but was too far removed from it to understand certain things about it. She showed a solid effort and conveyed this housewife’s feisty personality perfectly. She wasn’t concerned with fitting and she knew how to use fashion as a means for self expression. And really, that’s what it’s all about.


Emily Thorne, Revenge: For a girl who can pretty much plot against/take down/kill anybody, Emily sure does look the part of a pretty lady. Her outfits are always so impeccable. She has perfect taste and one hell of a tailor and she looks every bit the trust fund ice queen. Honorable mention goes to Ashley Davenport, the diabolical house help on the same show (who would ever think she had financial woes? Her wardrobe was dynamite.)


Serena van der Woodsen, Gossip Girl: I didn’t love her character (at all) but girl could DRESS. Her wardrobe was a perfectly edited selection of high-end duds – but somehow she styled them in such a way that they looked effortless (or at least as effortless as a high school student wearing a $5,000 dress could look.) It helps that Blake Lively, keeper of the perfect-for-couture-body, wore these looks.

I'm a Chicago-based writer and graduate of the Medill School of Journalism who has written for sites like,,,,, Racked, Thrillist and The Huffington Post.