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Top 5 Classic TV Fashion Icons
The good, the bad, the ugly, and everything in between.
Classic television shows brought us a whole world of fashions: the good, the bad, the ugly, and everything in between. Through it all, certain characters stood out for their unique senses of style. These are the top five fashion icons of classic TV.
#1: Mary Richards, The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Mary Tyler Moore took America by storm with her popular sitcom, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and her production company, MTM Enterprises, which produced many more popular shows over the years. Her pioneering character, Mary Richards, was a young single woman with a successful career as associate producer of a TV news show. The audiences of the ‘70s had never seen a show based around a strong, smart, independent, female character, and it made her a role model for women everywhere.
On top of everything Mary stood for, she also happened to be a fashion icon. From her many cute coats in the opening credits to the stylish professional dresses and suits she wore to work, and even her unique hairstyle, Mary set the trends for women in the ‘70s, and her iconic looks still inspire the fashion world today.
#2: Al Calavicci, Quantum Leap
While it was developed in the ‘80s, the story of Quantum Leap began in the imagined future world of 1995. Al Calavicci (Dean Stockwell), the project observer who appeared to Dr. Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula) in the form of a hologram that only he could see and hear, dressed for the present as he followed Sam through the past. His futuristic looks combined bold colors, shiny metallics, translucent plastics, and illuminated accessories. The fashions of the actual ‘90s couldn’t even come close to Al’s individual style.
#3: Venus Flytrap, WKRP in Cincinnati
To make it as a radio deejay, an ordinary schoolteacher and Vietnam vet named Gordon Simms (Tim Reid) created the persona of Venus Flytrap, a hip and abundantly stylish character who plays a gong and calls his audience “my children.” He assembled his wardrobe of matching colors, varied textures, and eye-catching hats to blend in with the rock n’ roll crowd at WKRP, but instead it made him stand out as a fashion icon among the casual jeans and T-shirts of his peers.
#4: Mrs. Brown, My Favorite Martian
Mrs. Lorelei Brown (Pamela Britton) always donned simple, stylish dresses, skirts, and blouses whether she was snooping on her neighbor, Tim O’Hara (Bill Bixby), and his weird “Uncle Martin” (Ray Walston), baking endless brownies, or attending a meeting of one of her many community groups. Her timeless style was appealing even in black and white, but when the show converted to color in season three, her fabulous wardrobe really shined.
#5: Clarissa Darling, Clarissa Explains It All
In the ‘90s, there was no one I idolized more than Clarissa Darling (Melissa Joan Hart). Everything about her was super cool: her room, her computer, her pet alligator, and her best friend Sam who always climbed through her window. On Clarissa Explains It All, Clarissa explained everything ‘90s kids needed to know about life, school, dating, and annoying little brothers, but what spoke to me the most was her wardrobe. Her edgy looks pushed the fashion envelope with quirky jackets and hats, funky socks and stockings, and chunky statement jewelry.
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