Fashionistas are usually born from runways, record labels, or sports arenas where the physically fit and beautiful roam. And then there are the breakouts from Hollywood: marvelously clad A-listers who’ve developed signature styles in the midst of all that glamour and attention. But sometimes it’s the character they play that really makes the actors fashionable. Some shows have been so defined by their fashion sense that more than one character deserves the glory. Here’s a look at eleven such stunning stars.
1. Don Draper (Jon Hamm), Mad Men: It’s hard to name another man currently rocking the fashion world as hard as dapper Don Draper is; he wears a suit as easily as he wears his confidence as a ladies’ and ad man. He oozes the kind of class and style not seen since the days of Cary Grant, which makes sense, considering the time frame in which Mad Men takes place. But as most can admit, if there’s one thing men should take away from Don, it’s his fashion sense, not his example of marital infidelity.
2. Betty Draper (January Jones), Mad Men: You can’t recognize Don Draper without giving an enthusiastic nod to the hot fashion of the ladies of Mad Men. While voluptuous secretary Joan Holloway is right up there, Betty Draper wins the slot for her ability to always look downright gorgeous, even when she’s considering an affair or fighting for a divorce. Like her husband, Betty is fashion eye candy; it’s difficult to keep your eyes off her.
3. Detective James Crockett (Don Johnson), Miami Vice: What’s seen as a fashion faux pas today was actually a fashion craze in the eighties. The trend of white suit jackets over pastel shirts, coupled with pleated white pants, defined Crockett and influenced a Miami style movement. These days, most men would wear that outfit only to a Miami Vice–themed party.
4. Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Sex and the City: The undisputed fashion queen of television and, more recently, the big screen, Carrie Bradshaw is a fashion-forward maven with a designer wardrobe and a serious penchant for high-end shoes; Manolo Blahniks, Jimmy Choos, and Christian Louboutins are among her favorites. Sex and the City is recognized as much for its fashionable women as it is for its frank sex talk, turning Carrie—as well as Parker herself—into a style icon.
5. Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore), The Mary Tyler Moore Show: She may have come up fashionably on The Dick Van Dyke Show, but she solidified her own style the moment the opening credits rolled with her iconic hat toss into the streets of Minneapolis. As one of the first career-minded single women featured as the lead on a television show, Moore flaunted some fabulous pantsuits. Kudos also go out to Mary’s chic, handkerchief-wearing, expressive free-spirit BFF Rhoda.
6. Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball), I Love Lucy: Mad Men may be known today for its retro, trendsetting style, but sixties attire was spawned from the fifties, and no other television show back then rocked as much style as I Love Lucy. Lucy Ricardo was beloved for her slapstick, but her pratfalls always happened in designer threads. This housewife rarely hung out at home in slippers and a robe; Lucy dressed to the nines regardless of the shenanigans she was getting into.
7. Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz), I Love Lucy: No way would Lucy dress up without Ricky! The bandleader almost always sported his signature suits and ties, often smoking a cigarette while chastising his wife for her latest antics or chatting it up with equally snazzy neighbors Fred and Ethel. Don Draper likely picked up a style tip or two from this guy.
8. Alexis Carrington Colby (Joan Collins), Dynasty: She was a schemer, a liar, and a vengeful ex-wife, but she was always lavishly dressed and known for flaunting her fair share of shoulder pads. This show’s clothing trends were so inspired, it generated its own clothing line—a feat not many other dramas can claim.
9. Jill Munroe (Farrah Fawcett), Charlie’s Angels: Sometimes fashion isn’t all about the clothes. Jill Munroe, one-third of the heavenly trio known as Charlie’s Angels, ignited a full-blown international trend with her beautifully blond, feathered hairstyle; soon everyone was trying to imitate those trademark locks. Audiences wouldn’t go that crazy over a hairstyle again until two decades later, when a certain “Friend” debuted what became known as the Rachel.
10. and 11. Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively) and Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester), Gossip Girl: These friends are equal when it comes to trendsetting, and their fashion know-how initially garnered more attention than the show’s sordid plots. When Gossip Girl hit the small screen, no one could stop gossiping about how these girls pulled off their hot outfits despite their boarding-school clothing restrictions. Their efforts go to show that a little creativity (and a lot of scenes shot outside the classroom) go a long way.
While movie stars are often the kings and queens of the red carpet, plenty of fictional characters have stepped up to the fashion plate, too. And in many cases, they’ve shown that the actors behind them can stand out all on their own.
Photo courtesy of Marxchivist