Although our favorite tv characters might wear an unrealistic amount of designer clothing – especially when they’re not necessarily employed in a field that would enable them to own (or need) such extravagant wardrobes – it’s still fun to watch what our favorite onscreen personalities are wearing every week.
The settings of some television shows lend themselves well to drop-dead gorgeous outfits: historical dramas like “Downton Abbey” or “Mad Men” have provided viewers with a visual feast swoon-worthy looks from a different era. Characters on other shows set in the modern day, such as Olivia Pope from “Scandal” or Mindy from “The Mindy Project,” put forth an eclectic and chic modern-day style that viewers can realistically try to mimic in their daily lives.
Let’s take a peek at the characters currently on television that have the most covetable wardrobes, and who, despite their career or lifestyle, seem to be able to pull together sophisticated, imaginative and expensive outfits in every scene. They make us wish we could have several costume changes every day!
10 Lady Mary Crawley (Downton Abbey)
"Downton Abbey" offers viewers a glimpse into the aristocratic world of early 20th Century English manors. The oldest daughter and heiress to the Crawley estate, Lady Mary Crawley, played by Michelle Dockery, has a wardrobe that highlights both the romanticism of the period and the more modern tailoring of simple dresses that were emerging at the time. Costume designer Susannah Buxton has translated the pieces from the era for modern audiences. Dinners at the Abbey are a decadent feast of fashion, with ladies wearing gloves and dripping with pearls.
9 Olivia Pope (Scandal)
The refined main character on "Scandal," played by Kerry Washington, has one of the most enviable closets in television: sleek and sophisticated, the wardrobe is perfectly fitting for the character’s role as a spokesman for the White House. Day looks are professional and pulled together for the office, while nighttime looks feature stunning gowns that are simple yet classy, like this Drea Leather Bodice Gown ($585).
8 Mindy Lahiri (The Mindy Project)
New York doctor, Mindy Lahiri, played by Mindy Kaling, has an eclectic and fun wardrobe featuring tailored dresses, colourful separates such as leather jackets and bright sweaters and spectacular accessories. Her vibe is young, youthful and polished. The pink cashmere and lace dress by Michael Kors (about $1,200) that she wore in a recent episode demonstrated her ability to wear looks that are both playful and upscale.
7 Curt Hummel (Glee)
Curt, played by Chris Colfer, deserves a shout-out as one of the best-dressed men on television for his flair to wear eclectic pieces that take inspiration from the runway. Ever since his character was in high school in the first season of the show, he has sported eccentric looks and channeled trendy styles and designs by the likes of Marc Jacobs. Among his more memorable looks, Curt has worn a suitcoat that featured a stuffed fox and has sported printed vests, including one by Moschino (retailing approximately $800). As his character has grown up, so has his wardrobe, evolving into more tailored pieces that still embrace wild details and couture influences.
6 Carrie Bradshaw (The Carrie Diaries)
The young Carrie Bradshaw, played by AnnaSophia Robb, has to be fashionable considering the New York style icon we all know that this fictional character grows up to be. Set in the 1980s, the costume designer takes more than a few liberties with the fashion of the era to channel a more modern aesthetic, while still referencing this decade. The young Carrie wears outfits that are youthful and fresh, such as a stunning Herve Leger dress ($2950) and sometimes references the kinds of eclectic yet polished looks that her adult self will one day be known for.
5 Regina Mills/Evil Queen (Once Upon a Time)
In the fairy tale world of Once Upon a Time, characters often have two sets of wardrobes: once for their “real world” personas and one fairy-tale ensemble that they wore in their past lives as fictional characters. In the modern day world, Regina Mills, played by Lana Parrilla, is the sophisticated mayor sporting Burberry cashmere coats ($1600) and classic wool sweaters and silk blouses. In the fairy tale world, the Evil Queen Regina seemingly channels a Paris couture runway, with dresses as imaginative and dramatic as the story lines of her storybook persona. Feathers, corsets and even leather pants characterize the eccentric ball gowns and jewel-encrusted accessories that the Queen favors, demonstrating the imaginative work of the show’s costume designer, Eduardo Castro.
4 Mina Murray, Lady Jayne Wetherby and Lucy Westenra (Dracula)
The gothic drama series “Dracula” features over-the-top, dramatic fashion worn by its leading women. These ladies wear colorful costumes with frills and accessories that channel a late 19th century aesthetic, yet still look fresh because they do not exactly fit in with a strict 1890s style formula. In fact, some of the ladies’ dresses are really quite modern and look like they would be at home on an Alexander McQueen runway. Bright colors contrast with the somewhat dark themes of the series. Costume designer Annie Symons has created a fanciful and modern reinvention of the late 19th century aesthetic.
3 Mary, Queen of Scots (Reign)
Although the television show takes place in 15th century France, the leading ladies of "Reign" might as well have just stepped off a modern-day couture runway show. Clearly channeling the likes of designers such as Elie Saab, fanciful and romantic dresses with more modern cuts, shapes and accessories including elaborate headdresses bring the teen historical drama to contemporary audiences. The royalty, romance and luxury that Mary Queen of Scots, played by Adelaide Kane, would have enjoyed in the 15th century seems to spring to life through the visual splendor of her outfits. In fact, costume designer Meredith Markworth-Pollack’s work sometimes seems to steal the show.
2 Don Draper (Mad Men)
Arguably the best dressed man on TV, for several seasons Donald Draper has epitomized the kind of sophistication and air that any man – from any decade – would love to channel. The 6 foot tall Jon Hamm, who plays Don, slips right into classic suits that channel the era, made famous by designers such as Ralph Lauren and Brooks Brothers. Accessories include luxurious watches, such as a Rolex Explorer that retails for upwards of $8,000.
1 Megan Draper (Mad Men)
Megan Draper, played by Jessica Paré, consistently wears sexy high fashion that seems fresh and forward in comparison to the stuffier 1950s looks from earlier seasons of "Mad Men." Janie Bryant, the show's costume designer, uses mostly vintage pieces to create the looks on the show, often restoring or recreating vintage finds. This makes it difficult for modern-day viewers to exactly recreate the looks worn by its stars, but it’s certainly fun to take inspiration from their sophisticated styles.