7 of the most stylish characters on TV
Fashion can elevate your favorite TV character into a true icon.
The right on-screen outfits can define a personality and make a dramatic moment unforgettable. Here are some of the characters whose style still obsesses us …
1. Fran Fine, the nanny
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Few television characters have had a greater style impact than The Nanny’s Fran Fine, played by Fran Drescher. The adorable and fashion-obsessed nanny had an enviable wardrobe full of pops of color, geometric patterns, and plenty of leopard prints. As much as she loved to experiment, Fran always reverted to her signature figure: a tight miniskirt, black tights and a turtleneck.
Fashion is still obsessed with The Nanny, which lasted from 1993 to 1999. In 2020, Vogue had a Fran-inspired shoot with Dua Lipa – and the What Fran Wore Instagram account has over 300,000 followers.
2. Hilary Banks, the fresh prince of Bel-Air
Played by Karyn Parsons, Hilary Banks is another ’90s style icon that we still can’t get enough of. Hilary’s style was all about powerful jumpsuits: she loved giving a touch of flair to tailoring, whether it was adding slits in pants or wearing a cute bowler hat.
Hilary was always shopping and spending a lot of money on her wardrobe, and it certainly showed.
Who said you can’t be a hit man and obsessed with fashion? Jodie Comer Villanelle is deranged and totally fabulous. Her style is OTT, avant-garde and haute couture – she often wears favorite designer clothes such as The Vampire’s Wife and Molly Goddard.
Villanelle’s outfits are always surprising, including a perfectly tailored black suit for her wedding or a fluffy green outfit for a golf / murder trip.
It wasn’t just Rachel Green’s hair that obsessed us – it was her clothes, too. On the show, Rachel rose through the fashion ranks – from being an assistant to a buyer, and ultimately being offered a job at Louis Vuitton.
With this kind of CV, Rachel’s fashion had to be on top. Her style matched the changing fashion trends of the ’90s and’ 90s, but stayed true to her personality: simple elegance, with lots of miniskirts, slip dresses and crop tops.
She’s served up many memorable style moments – including the knockout green dress from The One Where No One’s Ready episode.
5. Zoey Johnson, Black-ish and Grown-ish
Actor Yara Shahidi’s style matured as audiences watched her grow up on the Black-ish and Grown-ish TV shows. In Grown-ish, her character Zoey just left college to pursue a career in fashion design, and her fashion choices are unique and always on trend.
Shahidi told Nylon: “Fashion is what made her [Zoey] a point of view. The fashion choices made from the start showed that she was a very intentional young person – even if it was a subliminal message. There was something about the way he dressed intentionally. It was as if a sense of agency was given to him. It sounds like an active choice.
One of Zoey’s most iconic fashion moments came at her ’90s-themed 21st birthday party, when she dressed up as Aaliyah in Tommy Hilfiger from head to toe.
6. Eric Effiong, Sex Education
With his explosive laughter and love of bright colors, it’s hard not to love the character of Eric Effiong, played by Ncuti Gatwa. Clothing is used as an extension of his personality – when life brings him down, he’s in muted tones, but when the normal Eric comes back in action, it’s all about geometric patterns and rioting colors.
Our favorite look is what Gatwa calls Eric’s “African butterfly” moment – a kente patterned costume, worn with an iridescent green scarf for a school dance.
7. Betty Draper, crazy men
The pristine ’60s fashion is one of the best things about Mad Men, and few characters are as chic as Betty Draper (played by January Jones).
Betty made a splash with her fashion, while also looking like the perfect housewife – even though things were falling apart behind the scenes. Think pinched waist, loose skirts, pearl necklaces, and not an out of place hair.