- TV has some pretty iconic outfits.
- Carrie Bradshaw’s opening-credits skirt is one.
- Fonzie’s leather jacket is another.
Television has created some of the most iconic characters, especially in recent years. And those iconic characters have some iconic outfits. From glamorous dresses to striking suits, there are a lot of enviable TV outfits out there.
Here are the most iconic outfits in television history.
Fonzie’s leather jacket currently resides at The National Museum of American History.
Even if you’ve never seen “Happy Days,” you’ve heard of “The Fonz.” Henry Winkler’s greaser character was so popular that they promoted him from minor character to a lead on the hit show. His leather jacket made appearances from the first season all the way up to when he “jumped the shark” in a bathing suit plus the jacket.
Leslie Knope’s wedding dress will make you cry.
In the world of iconic television wedding dresses, there’s only one that’s more likely to make you cry than the plot. The intensely wonderful parks and recreation employee, Leslie Knope decided to get married to the love of her life in a spur-of-the-moment deal before her dress was even finished. Her best friend Ann finished the dress using newspapers detailing Leslie’s greatest political achievements in Pawnee. The origami flower on her waist was even made out of the Pawnee logo. If that’s not friendship, we don’t know what is.
Arnold from “Hey Arnold” is not wearing a kilt.
Nickelodeon’s “Hey Arnold” features the titular character in a tiny baseball cap, a red flannel shirt, a blue shirt, blue jeans, and black shoes. According to series creator Craig Bartlett, his outfit is based on Neil Young’s Seattle-inspired grunge look.
The flannel shirt is pretty long on his frame, and the shirttails go almost to his knees. Arnold shocked fans at one point when he pulled up his blue shirt to reveal that the flannel is a one-piece. Thanks for the clarification, football head.
Annalise Keating blew us away with this leather jacket.
Annalise Keating is a force to be reckoned with on “How to Get Away with Murder” so when she came in during one of her first shots on the show rocking this red peplum leather jacket, it was instantly seared into our minds.
Lindsay Weir’s army jacket gave her the “freak” label on “Freaks and Geeks.”
Queen of the “freaks,” Linsday Weir wears her late grandfathers’ green army jacket in nearly every episode. Costume designer Debra McGuire explained that it symbolized her transition from “Mathlete” to burnout.
“By wearing this jacket she has an identity in this world – even though she’s hiding the good girl that we all know she is – but on the surface level she’s rebellious and that’s why that crowd is attracted to her and they wonder ‘why does this super smart, nice girl want to hang out with us?'”
Fran Fine brought her Flushing fashion to Manhattan.
Even the theme song to Fran Drescher’s hit show “The Nanny” features her character in a smart red two-piece with matching heels and black and gold polka dot trim. She wore everything from go-go boots to rainbow to fur on the show, but she’s classic Fran Fine in this black theme-song inspired outfit with luxe leopard trim.
Rachel Green became America’s sweetheart when she entered in her wedding dress.
In the pilot of “Friends,” Rachel barges into her high school friend Monica’s life on the day she leaves her fiancé at the altar. Jennifer Aniston’s character would go on to become a ’90’s icon, inspiring a haircut named after her, but it’s this first shot of her, crying in a giant wedding in Central Perk, that made pilot so memorable.
Blair Waldorf’s wedding dress is probably on every woman’s fashion board.
This icy blue Ellie Saab gown was perfect for the Upper East Side’s Blair Waldorf. Not one for normal traditions, this posh Audrey Hepburn wannabe got married to Chuck Bass in her “something blue:” this stunning beaded number.
The entire “Sex and the City” gang were the fashion darlings of NYC but Carrie’s tutu takes the cake.
Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte were all fashionable, but perhaps the most iconic outfit from the whole show was Carrie’s tulle skirt and pink tank top. She walked out during the opening credits in this outfit and instantly melted hearts.
Mork’s rainbow suspenders were fit for an alien.
Mork from planet Ork would often wear thick rainbow suspenders clad in colourful pins to offset the rest of his brightly coloured wardrobe. This alien sent to Earth to study humans would often wear stripes on stripes. Another famous TV alien, Doctor Who, is currently wearing an outfit that is heavily influenced by Mork.
Spongebob Squarepants is named for his iconic ensemble.
Which came first, Mr. Squarepants or the square pants? The image of children’s entertainment rests on squarely on the yellow spongey shoulders of Spongebob Squarepants. Dressed in a red tie, a cut-off business suit and red and blue tube socks, this sponge’s uniform can be best described as “funky business casual.”
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” used leather in every way imaginable.
It’s surprising that the female cast’s outfits on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” don’t have the same cult following as the outfits from “Sex and the City.” It was a ’90’s dream of rhinestones, floor-length skirts, spaghetti straps, and so much leather.
Nearly every character wears leather at some point, including Cordelia’s oxblood ensemble and Spike’s ankle-length duster. The most iconic outfit goes to Buffy wearing head-to-toe leather in black and red. That couldn’t be easy to fight the bad guys in, but it sure did look cool as heck.
Cookie Lyon needs fur in every colour to build her empire.
“When dressing Cookie there are no limits, no boundaries. It’s such a fun world. She lets me go off,” said costume designer Paolo Nieddu. This queen of cutthroat is the envy of everyone on “Empire” with her luxe wardrobe. In her longest coat yet, she rolls up to a white party in this ankle length statement piece, making her a powerhouse to be reckoned with
The greatest outfit in herstory was worn by Violet Chachki.
Drag queen Violet Chachki had a flair for drama and a waist to kill that won her the crown on season seven of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” At the season eight reunion finale, when she’d already won, Violet Chachki arrived in a massive hooded blue embroidered gown. She pulled back her hood to reveal a macabre makeup trick that made it appear as if a crown was fused to her skull. This queen earned her crown a second time as her sickening look dropped jaws.
The Scooby-Doo gang’s bright colours give them a memorable look.
In “Scooby-Doo,” these crime-busting buddies were given extremely recognisable clothes, in bright greens, blues, purples, and oranges. Daphne’s all-purple outfit with her bright red hair and green ascot is definitely the most fashionable, but it’s Velma Dinkley’s outfit that is most memorable. Brown hair, an orange turtleneck, and big nerdy glasses make an easy Halloween costume for this smarty-pants detective.
“My So-Called Life” was a ’90’s fashion dream come true.
Angela Chase, the 15-year-old protagonist was learning to find herself, and that included crushing on Jordan Catalano, dyeing her hair red, and wearing lots of plaid. Her maroon flowered dress under a dizzying maroon and blue plaid are emblematic of her learning to try on new identities until she found one that fit.
Maeve’s costume on “Westworld” is iconic.
Though we now know her better outside of her role as a host in “Westworld” we will still always remember the iconic style moment of her purple saloon outfit that she wears as a madam in the parks.
Joan Holloway was a ’50’s fashion icon.
Though not the lead in “Mad Men,” Joan’s figure and gorgeous red hair were the perfect backdrops for the most fun 1950’s fashions. Wardrobe accentuated her hourglass frame by outfitting her in shapewear from the decade for her body-conscious dresses and playful necklines. She commands attention in whatever she’s wearing but her perfectly green pencil skirt dress in the very first episode is sassy and powerful.
Mindy from “The Mindy Project” went bold.
Mindy had some seriously chic outfits. No matter if she was on a date or totally owning it at her practice, she always wore bold prints and structured looks that we seriously envied. This plaid ensemble was one of her best.
“Arrested Development” created “the never nude.”
Just barely a fashion, and mostly an identity, it was revealed on the dysfunctional family comedy that Tobias Funke was a “never nude,” meaning that is always wearing a pair of jorts underneath his clothes. When he needed to “blue himself,” as in, paint his entire body the colour blue in order to perform in The Blue Man Group, the ridiculous get-up started a craze.
Olivia Pope’s structured neutrals were the envy of Washington D.C.
This red wine and popcorn loving scandal expert wears clean pieces with lots of white to take D.C. by storm. Costume designer Lyn Paolo told The Cut, “Why don’t we play on white?’ because no one uses white on television. I go to other shows and people say to me, ‘Oh, I know you like white, but it’s harder to light.’ It’s a thing. But I just thought, ‘She is our heroine and why can’t she be in white? Let’s just give it a go.'”
Her Max Mara coat, custom Dorothy Gaspar gloves, and structured bag make her look professional and ready to tackle the next scandal.
Audrey Horne’s good-girl sweaters showed off one side of her character on “Twin Peaks.”
Every shot of the atmospheric murder mystery is swoon-worthy but Audrey Horne’s diner get-up was made for dancing. The maroon sweater, plaid skirt, saddle shoes, and sultry makeup give her an oh-so-dreamy ’50’s quality that fits in with the weirdness that is the town of Twin Peaks.
The Ducky Tie became part of Barney’s suit on “How I Met Your Mother.”
Barney, the self-proclaimed womanizer from the sitcom wears a crisp tailored suit every day. In season 7, he loses a bet to Marshall and Lily whose terms dictate that he wear Marshall’s “Ducky Tie” for an entire year.
Dwight Schrute’s mustard shirts were easily recognisable.
Owner of Schrute Beet Farms, Dwight Schrute took his job as Assistant to the Regional Manager very seriously. This iconic character of “The Office” rarely strayed from a mustard shirt, a brown suit, and sensible glasses. Dwight’s brown-hued office attire was so iconic, Jim was able to impersonate his look with just a middle part and $US11.
Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman defined a generation.
This superhero show featured Carter in a tight red, white, blue, and gold bodysuit with a golden crown and her lasso of truth. The Amazonian was known for turning from Diana Prince into Wonder Woman by spinning around into this iconic alter-ego costume. She was originally designed to be in a bikini, but producers prevented this by citing it would cause too many “technical difficulties.”
Sing-songy Jessica Day from “New Girl” defined quirky.
Animal prints and Peter Pan collars define this quirky protagonist just clumsily making her way in the real world. Her big bangs, chunky glasses, and vintage wardrobe of printed dresses and cardigans come together to look current and feminine. Her yellow dress in the season two premiere checks off all the elements of the quintessentially adorkable ensemble.
Clarissa Darling was outfitted in ’90’s neon trends.
“Clarissa Explains It All” starred Melissa Joan Hart as the title character, a teen girl with incredible fashion sense. She put together her own outfits, which once included neon pink tights, black combat boots, loose ripped jeans, a floral vest, and a neon Keith Haring t-shirt that made a few appearances.
Whitley Gilbert was the queen of ’90s fashion.
Though we would still rock pretty much anything worn on “A Different World,” it’s no secret that Whitley Gilbert had some of the best looks on the show. Though it’s hard to pick one, this layered look complete with enormous fur coat and statement sunglasses is hard to beat.
Doctor Who’s outfits are made to be iconic.
The alien who can conveniently change his face every time the show is ready for a new actor has seen 13 different iconic looks since its inception in 1963. The looks have to be unique to fit the new actor’s personality for the role. Though everyone has their own favourite, in recent years, the Eleventh Doctor with his red bow tie and Fez hat might be one of the easiest to cosplay.
Tahani Al-Jamil is the most fashionable person in the afterlife.
On “The Good Place,” tall, wealthy Tahani Al-Jamil is a deceased model philanthropist with a penchant for floral sundresses. Costume designer Kirston Mann said on “The Good Place” podcast of actress Jameela Jamil, “Somebody told me that years ago they saw her at a casual California barbecue in this glamorous gown. She so easily pulls it off and never looks out of place.”
This yellow floral dress from Asos is classic casual Tahani. When in “the good place,” you won’t find her or the other characters in red because that’s the colour of “the bad place.”
Walter White let his cool alter-ego take over.
From one of the most iconic television shows of all time, Walter White became “Heisenberg,” named after a famous physicist when he added the hat on “Breaking Bad.” The image of a meth dealer in a hat with a mustache and sunglasses was made iconic in a song and doodle on the show. His average looking clothes rounded out to make him a terrifying villain, capable of anything.
Gina from “Brooklyn 99” lets her shirts tell you what she thinks.
In several different instances, the mysterious and sarcastic Gina Linetti has worn a shirt with her own name on it, usually offering unsolicited advice. “Gina Knows Best,” and, “Gina Told You So,” are up there, but the velvet maroon hoodie crowned with “Time For Gina’s Opinion” takes the cake.
Jane from “Jane the Virgin” had a stunning wedding dress.
Though Jane always wowed us with her sweet and classic style, it was her wedding dress with its lace and sweetheart neckline that we will always remember her for.
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