The Best Dressed TV Characters of All Time

Hey Socialites! I’m doing something a little different today, and paying homage to some of my greatest fashion inspirations: Women who entered my home on a weekly basis courtesy of the television! I grew up wanting to emulate many of the stylish and sophisticated mavens I watched during the late 80’s-early 90’s, and through the years, I refined my style and picked up fashion cues thanks to groundbreaking and trendsetting shows from the early 2000’s till today. It’s safe to say that my favorite characters inspired all I know about fashion, and laid the foundation for The Suburban Socialite. Read on to see my list of the best dressed TV characters of all time! *In no particular order!*

Fran Fine: The Nanny

I’ve got to start my list off with Nanny Fine! After all, the show’s theme said it best: “She had style, she had flair…that’s how she became The Nanny!” I don’t know a single person who wasn’t in love with her voluminous thick hair, flawless makeup, and eye catching outfits! Nanny Fine had the head-to-toe game on lock, and stole the spotlight in bright reds, colorful prints, and bodycon dresses that showed off her petite but curvy figure. I couldn’t wait to see what she would wear next!

Dominique Deveraux: Dynasty

Dominique was such a ground breaking character. In a time when most black actresses were relegated to portraying either criminals, housekeepers, or “the plain friend”, Dominique Deveraux, with her upscale elegant style was a breath of fresh air! Ms. Deveraux could cut someone down with a witty turn of a phrase, and then flounce out, cool as a cucumber in her mink. Fabulous dahling!

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Charlotte York: Sex And The City

Charlotte’s Park Avenue Princess style was everything to me in the late 90’s. In my opinion, there is nothing more darling than a well made A-line dress, and Charlotte sported them in all colors, with pearls to complete the look. Charlotte wasn’t afraid to be sexy, but she always left a little mystery, and chose polished ensembles that played up her curves without looking trashy.

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Claire Underwood: House of Cards

No matter how you feel about Lobbyists in real life, you still have to give Claire Underwood props for nailing that put together/sexy professional look! I love to see stylish workwear represented, because it’s often a subset of fashion that is neglected when advertising to women. Capitol Hill may still be a boy’s club, but Claire Underwood’s polished cap sleeved sheath dresses showed that she was ready to hang with the best of them!

Regine Hunter: Living Single

Regine is often (and sadly) overlooked as a trendsetter, but her love of flashy colors, large statement jewelry, and an understanding that the hair does, in fact, make the look, places her firmly on my list of the best dressed TV characters! I remember tuning in just to see what outfit (and wig) she would wear each week!

Whitley Gilbert: A Different World

Much like Dominique Deveraux, Whitley Gilbert was also a groundbreaking character. A true Southern Belle, Ms. Gilbert came from money and wasn’t afraid to show it! Whitley was able to rock a cardigan twinset just as easily as a form fitting jumpsuit, and her luxe wardrobe struck the perfect balance between classy & sophisticated, and young & fun!

Claire Huxtable: The Cosby Show

Claire Huxtable was the epitome of class! Aside from being drop dead gorgeous, Claire was always able to pull off being modest yet sexy, and was the perfect representation of the professional wife and mother. Claire’s wardrobe of wrap blouses, belted dresses, pencil skirts, and designer sweaters was so stylish that many of the pieces could still be worn today without looking dated.

Carrie Bradshaw: Sex And The City

You simply cannot have a list of the best dressed TV characters of all time, and NOT include Carrie Bradshaw! This list is in no particular order, but Carrie is top 3 hands down! Carrie was the innovator of so many trends, and everything she wore (the Newspaper Dress, the Naked Dress, the stunning Oscar De La Renta, the tutu, the Louboutins and Manolos, and all the it-bags of the moment hello Fendi Baguette) gave me a serious case of closet envy!

best dressed TV characters of all time

Blair Waldorf: Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl was supposed to be all about Serena Van der Woodsen (and Lonely Boy’s eternal longing for her), but in my opinion, Blair Waldorf always stole the show! From her schoolgirl looks, to her Upper East Side elegant day ensembles, she struck all the right style chords! I love how she always chose delicate flowy fabrics, colored or patterned tights, and how she never shied away from embroidery or ruffles!

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Olivia Pope: Scandal

Oh Olivia. While I may have grown frustrated with you as a character, it would be remiss of me to ignore your killer sense of style! I never really put much thought into coats back in the day, but thanks to Olivia Pope, we know that coats are a cornerstone of a polished professional look. Whether it was a trench, a pea coat, or a cape, Olivia was ready to handle whatever the day brought her way! (Ms. Pope’s evening gown choices weren’t anything to sneeze at either!)

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Sandra Clark: 227

Saaaandra (if you ever watched 227, you know exactly how that’s pronounced!) was the predecessor for Nanny Fine, in my opinion. Sandra would saunter into a room wearing flamboyant  colorful outfits, complete with teased hair, lacquered nails, and bold look at me accessories! Some people may have thought her character was a little over the top, but you can’t deny that she was a fierce representation of black beauty!

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Lemon Breeland: Hart of Dixie

Who could ever forget Lemon Breeland’s vintage chic styles? Lemon was supposed to be the antagonist of the show, but I’m convinced they toned down her iciness when she became a fan fave due to her 50’s meets modern day dresses and skirt outfits.  Much like Whitley Gilbert, Lemon Breeland nails the Southern Belle aesthetic, by combining femininity with a little bit of sexy glamour!

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Mary Tyler Moore: The Mary Tyler Moore Show

I’m an old soul, and absolutely watched episodes of Mary Tyler Moore on late night TV. A 70’s style icon, Mary Tyler Moore was always able to pull off the quintessential girl next door look mixed with panache and flair! Who didn’t love her go go boots, high collar dresses, and body skimming turtleneck sweaters? She wasn’t afraid to embrace color or bold prints, and always had a perfectly coiffed head of hair!

Image Credit: CBS via Getty Images

Honorable Mention:

Suzanne Sugarbaker: Designing Women; Wilhelmina Slater: Ugly Betty; Lisa Turtle: Saved By The Bell; Rachel Green: Friends; Willona Woods: Good Times; Naomi Clark: 90210


Is there anyone you think is missing from this list? Let’s talk about it! Leave me a comment below!


See you next time!


Fashion, Lifestyle, and Travel blogger, based in NC.

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