The Biggest Style Moments in TV History
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Prime-Time Style1 of 14
By Zoe Schaeffer
In honor of the fall season, we're taking a look back at the greatest fashion moments in television history. From Rhoda's wacky headscarves to Ally McBeal's micromini suits, these iconic looks have influenced American fashion—as well as our very own style choices—over the years.
Hippie Chic2 of 14
In the late '60s and early '70s, Peggy Lipton played doe-eyed blonde Julie Barnes on the TV police drama The Mod Squad. Her character's appropriately mod style was both feminine and modern.
Head Start3 of 14
On The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda's signature style expressed who she was: an independent single woman and the slightly quirky, bohemian best pal to the show's star. She wore handcrafted jewelry and her printed headscarves made her a fashion trendsetter.
Bounce With Me4 of 14
It's no surprise that Farrah Fawcett became a sex symbol in the late '70s as Charlie's Angels rose to popularity. And while she's usually associated with her red swimsuit, she also created a stir by wielding a gun—while going braless.
Shorts Story5 of 14
Perhaps the most famous fashion statement in TV history was the pair of shorts worn by Daisy Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard. The denim cut-offs inspired a song in the '90s and today, the itty-bitty bottoms are still popular among teens and grown women with the bodies of teens.
More Is More6 of 14
Thanks to Nolan Miller, the Emmy Award–winning costume designer on Dynasty, sequins and sparkle, floor-length fur and serious shoulder pads became synonymous with '80s glam.
Hats Off7 of 14
While Cliff Huxtable was known for his graphic sweaters during The Cosby Show days, it was Lisa Bonet's effortless, menswear-inspired outfits (complete with her signature hat) that made a lasting fashion impression.
California Dreamin'8 of 14
Many of us took style cues from Beverly Hills 90210's Brenda Walsh and Kelly Taylor, coveting their outfits over the show's ten-year run. One of our favorites? This black-and-white bow prom dress, which inspired plenty of knockoffs in the early '90s.
Teen Spirit9 of 14
When then-unknown Claire Danes played Angela Chase in the ABC soap My So-Called Life, she made grunge-inspired flannels, Doc Martens and vintage floral prints too cool for school. The cult show only lasted one epic season, but the teen-angst look remains timeless.
Skirt the Issue10 of 14
Calista Flockhart's Ally McBeal became known for her miniskirt suits that revealed a whole lot of leg in the courtroom. In one episode, a judge reprimands McBeal for her short skirt and, as her hemlines got higher throughout the series, so did people's eyebrows -- both on and off the show.
What's in a Name?11 of 14
Carrie Bradshaw went through many a style incarnation throughout the run of Sex and the City. From voluminous miniskirts to piled-on pearls, any look Carrie sported was a fashion hit, thanks to the brilliance of costume designer Patricia Field. But it was Carrie's signature nameplate necklace, rediscovered in the series finale, that sent ladies everywhere off to their local jewelers.
Mad, Mad World12 of 14
Ever since Mad Men aired we've been on a nostalgic trip back to the early '60s by way of costume designer Janie Bryant's authentic use of bespoke suits, curve-hugging pencil skirts and floral cocktail dresses. One of our favorite looks? The black knee-length number worn by Betty in Italy. (The donut-like bun we're still iffy on.)
School Scandal13 of 14
Parents averted their eyes when Gossip Girl rose to popularity in 2007. Serena van der Woodsen's school uniform modifications, like pairing knee socks and a pleated mini with an unbuttoned shirt, were far from prim.
Period Piece14 of 14
PBS's hit drama Downton Abbey has repopularized World War I–era style, inspiring Ralph Lauren's airy florals and Karl Lagerfeld's dramatic headpieces. Susanna Buxton, the show's costume designer—who has been nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Design—doesn't miss a beat when it comes to showcasing the evolution of skirt length, which changed dramatically during the early 20th century. Stay tuned for midi- and calf-length skirts in the show's third season.