17 TV Characters Who Became Style Icons

Joseph Thornton

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Television has long been a mirror of and a trendsetter for fashion, with certain characters leaving an indelible mark on the world of style. Here’s a look at 17 TV characters who became style icons, each with a unique influence on the fashion landscape.

Rachel Green from “Friends”

Photo Credit: NBC.

Jennifer Aniston’s portrayal of Rachel Green not only defined ’90s and early 2000s fashion but also sparked one of the most famous hairstyle trends with “The Rachel.” Her style, a mix of trendy and chic, became a fashion guideline for an entire generation.

Blair Waldorf from “Gossip Girl”

Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Television.

Fashion in “Gossip Girl” was a character in its own right, with Blair Waldorf, played by Leighton Meester, leading the charge. Her preppy, polished look, complete with signature headbands, set a new standard for young women’s fashion, blending classic styles with contemporary flair.

Olivia Pope from “Scandal”

Olivia Pope (Scandal) ABC Studios
Photo Credit: ABC Studios.

Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope redefined power dressing for a new era of women. Her elegant, professional wardrobe, marked by chic pantsuits and luxurious coats, was more than fashion; it was a symbol of strength and sophistication.

Carrie Bradshaw from “Sex and the City”

Carrie Bradshaw (Sex In The City) HBO Entertainment
Photo Credit: HBO Entertainment.

With her bold and eclectic style, Carrie Bradshaw, portrayed by Sarah Jessica Parker, became synonymous with fashion experimentation. Her iconic looks, a blend of designer and vintage, and her love for luxurious shoes, especially Manolo Blahniks, set trends and inspired countless women to explore fashion more adventurously.

Don Draper from “Mad Men”

Photo Credit: Lionsgate Television.

The epitome of 1960s suave, Jon Hamm’s Don Draper revived the allure of classic men’s fashion. His impeccable suits, crisp shirts, and sleek hair styling influenced a return to sharp, tailored menswear.

David Rose from “Schitt’s Creek”

Photo Credit: CBC.

Dan Levy’s portrayal of David Rose brought a unique, high-fashion, and gender-fluid style to mainstream television. His character’s bold fashion choices, including statement sweaters and asymmetric designs, have influenced contemporary style trends.

Joan Holloway from “Mad Men”

Photo Credit: Lionsgate Television.

Christina Hendricks as Joan Holloway brought the glamour of the 1960s to life. Her character’s wardrobe, with its figure-hugging dresses and bold colors, inspired a revival in vintage-style clothing, celebrating curves and classic femininity.

Serena van der Woodsen from “Gossip Girl”

Gossip Girl Warner Bros. Television
Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Television.

Blake Lively’s portrayal of Serena van der Woodsen offered a more bohemian, effortless take on high fashion. Her mix of casual and high-end wear, along with her laid-back yet glamorous style, became a template for relaxed luxury in fashion.

Peggy Olson from “Mad Men”

Photo Credit: Lionsgate Television.

Elisabeth Moss’s character, Peggy Olson, reflected the evolution of women’s fashion during the 1960s. Her journey from conservative dresses to more progressive styles mirrored the social changes of the era, making a significant statement in fashion history.

Jess Day from “New Girl”

Photo Credit: Fox.

Zooey Deschanel’s Jess Day brought whimsy and color back into fashion. Her character’s love for vintage-inspired dresses, bright patterns, and playful accessories offered a fresh take on femininity and personal expression.

Barney Stinson from “How I Met Your Mother”

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox Television.

“Suit up!” became a mantra for a generation, thanks to Neil Patrick Harris’s Barney Stinson. His unapologetic love for well-tailored suits brought a renewed interest in formal attire and the power of a great suit.

Villanelle from “Killing Eve”

Killing Eve BBC America Original Production. Endeavor Content
Photo Credit: BBC America Original Production.

Jodie Comer’s Villanelle in “Killing Eve” captivated audiences not just with her chilling performance but with her striking fashion sense. Her bold, designer-centric wardrobe blurred the lines between elegance and daring, making a strong impact on contemporary fashion.

Steve Urkel from “Family Matters”

Photo Credit: ABC.

Jaleel White’s Steve Urkel, an unlikely fashion icon, made geek chic a trend. His signature high-waisted pants, suspenders, and glasses inspired a fashion trend that celebrated the quirky and unconventional.

Fran Fine from “The Nanny”

Photo Credit: CBS.

Fran Drescher as Fran Fine combined humor with fashion, making a lasting impression with her flashy and flamboyant style. Her wardrobe, filled with designer pieces, brought a unique blend of glamour and playfulness to ’90s fashion.

Alicia Florrick from “The Good Wife”

Photo Credit: CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick offered a modern take on professional attire. Her character’s elegant and statement-making wardrobe became an emblem of empowerment and style in the corporate world.

Samantha Jones from “Sex and the City”

Photo Credit: HBO Entertainment.

Kim Cattrall’s Samantha Jones was a force of confidence and daring in fashion. Known for her provocative and bold style, Samantha inspired women to embrace their sexuality and individuality through fashion.

Derek Shepherd from “Grey’s Anatomy”

Photo Credit: ABC.

Patrick Dempsey’s Derek Shepherd made casual yet stylish off-duty looks iconic. His character’s effortless combination of fitted jeans and casual shirts influenced a relaxed, yet put-together approach to menswear.