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A History of TV Style Icons

Acid washed jeans, feather haircuts, chokers . . . Fashion trends have been around for as long as we can remember, but a few have outlasted the rest. I'd personally much rather wear a flapper dress than orange patterned tights or shoulder pads!

No matter where you stand on style fads, there's no denying that pop culture, movies, and TV shows have affected whether we wear corsets or velour tracksuits. It's fascinating to flip back through the history of fashion influencers and see how they changed past and present style. Here is a list of eight TV style icons through the decades that will either inspire your new look or warn you to stay far, far away!


“It calms me down right away, the quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there, not with those kind men in their nice suits, and that lovely smell of silver and alligator wallets. If I could find a real-life place that made me feel like Tiffany’s, then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name.” ~Breakfast at Tiffany's


1960's ~ Holly Golightly

What's not to love about Audrey Hepburn's looks in "Breakfast at Tiffany's?" She pulls off her little black dresses, pearls, and even Halloween masks with immeasurable class and grace. Holly Golightly may have her ghosts, but they aren't stopping her from wearing flawless makeup and kitten heels. To look like a perfectly lovely phony, try an elegant black outfit with a classy updo.


“You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.” ~Mary Tyler Moore


1970 ~ Mary Tyler Moore

Mary Tyler Moore rose to fame when she played Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show, but her style truly sparkled when she went on to star in The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Whether she was tossing that famous knit hat into the air or rocking a fluffy coat and white go-go boots, Moore shattered style stereotypes. By depicting a woman who wore pants and blazers to work, she changed the public's idea of what a female should be allowed to wear to her job. Mary Tyler Moore wore the on-trend pieces of her time and always carried a sense for laughter and adventure. To be a little more like the beaming Mary, opt for a timeless double-breasted peacoat or a colorful pantsuit. Remember to dress for success but always bring the fun!


"Oh, I'm sorry, did my back hurt your knife?" ~Rachel Green

1994 ~ Rachel Green

At first, it was "the bob" and then it was "the Rachel" . . . You know what I'm talking about: the iconic 90's hairstyle with a shaggy cut, blonde highlights, and face-framing layers. Everyone wanted to rock the carefree style Jennifer Aniston made famous! Of course, you can always head to your salon to tease your mane into looking a little more like Rachel's. But if you're a total Friends fiend, layer a strappy dress over a long sleeve tee or overalls with a boxy blazer for a Rachel Green-esque look.



"Nothing excites me before 11:00." ~Rory Gilmore


2000 ~ Rory Gilmore

Queen of witty quips, applying to Ivy League colleges, and reading more than humanly possible, fans have adored relatable Rory Gilmore since the first season premiere of Gilmore Girls in 2000. (It's been almost twenty years since the show was first released. Feel old yet?) Since she first appeared in a huge cable knit sweater that came almost to her knees from when she nailed retro The Notebook style, she kills at looking effortlessly adorable. For a Rory inspired wardrobe, alternate tomboy jeans with preppy dresses that would delight even Emily Gilmore.




"Whoever said that orange is the new pink was seriously disturbed." ~Elle Woods

2001 ~ Elle Woods

Bow down to the empress of pink! Elle Woods is the protagonist of Legally Blonde, a movie that tells the story of bubbly blonde - president of her sorority, no less - Elle Woods who follows her boyfriend to Harvard law school after he dumps her and unearths valuable lessons about herself along the way. (Spoiler alert: her boyfriend doesn't deserve her. She's a much better lawyer than he is anyway.) Everybody has to sit back and take notice when Elle Woods walks into the room! She's not afraid to rock pink, her signature color, in a variety of ways. Pink leather jacket! Hot pink boa! Bubble pink beret! Catching onto her style is a no-brainer; pink . . . just don't forget to bend and snap.




"Whoever said money doesn't buy happiness didn't know where to shop." ~Blair Waldorf

2007 ~ Blair Waldorf

Ah, the ultimate Queen B. Who wouldn't want to have a wardrobe (and a pocketbook) like Blair Waldorf? She's always wearing something new, whether it's a perfectly tailored green coat or a jaw-dropping blue wedding dress. She even manages to make a school uniform look flawless. For a wardrobe Blair would approve of, aim for pretty, polished pieces with pops of color. You can forget about the jeans, by the way; Queen B would die before being seen out in a pair of distressed denim.




"I am like Tinkerbell, Finn. I need applause to live." ~Rachel Berry

2009 ~ Rachel Berry

Rachel Berry, the main protagonist of show Glee, was her own biggest cheerleader. She always knew she was going to be a star! Her confidence and intensity for glee club were obnoxious at times, but the one and only Rachel Berry will always hold a special place in Gleeks' hearts. Rachel from the earlier seasons was all about sweaters and preppy dresses, but her style took a more sophisticated turn in the later episodes, where she preferred black outfits and sleek hairstyles. To copy her, pile on the plaids and pleated skirts. Bonus points if you add knee-high socks and black Mary Janes!




That's it for today! Let me know in the comments which of these style icons is your favorite and who else you think I should include. Hit that big ol' heart button if you liked this post and subscribe to my mailing list if you want to be the first to find out what our June book club read is. (Hint, hint: it's awfully sweet!) Ciao!


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