Over the years, dozens of people have asked me to cite TV shows and movies that feature characters whose personal style I admire. And I’ve always struggled. For a while I was dressing in the Zoe Deschanel vein, but never really identified with her specific brand of retro-girly. I was hard-pressed to reel off the names of any contemporary characters whose wardrobes I wanted to raid.
But now? Two of my current favorite shows feature leads whose closets I covet endlessly.
Abbie Mills from Sleepy Hollow
I had serious, SERIOUS doubts when this show was first released. When I think “Sleepy Hollow,” I think the Disney cartoon with the goofy, slightly dorky dude ambling around on his horse running away from a monster with a jack-o-lantern for a head. But the show stuck around, and eventually I checked it out on Hulu. It is decidedly silly, but the characters are irresistibly appealing, the special effects are terrifying, and has a diverse cast without patting itself on the back about having a diverse cast. Plus Abbie has the BEST collection of jackets. THE BEST. In fact, her entire wardrobe of neutrals and dusty colors, skinny jeans, leather vests, and kick-ass boots has me drooling. Even her tee shirts are perfectly slouchy and weathered without looking sloppy. She’s got a very Helmut Lang, artful asymmetry thing going on. I love everything she wears.
Sarah Manning from Orphan Black
Orphan Black is amazing. Period. Any show that has one actress playing seven or more characters – often in scenes with each other – is worth checking out. And although it could be argued that Sarah’s foster brother, Felix, has the most fun when it comes to dressing, Sarah’s clothes are always amazing. Leather leggings and jackets are both staples, but she mixes in graphic tees, oversized sweaters, combat boots, and flannel to great effect. Sarah is less polished than Abbie and tends more toward post-apocalyptic and punk influences, but her outfits are still incredibly inspiring. I love everything she wears.
Abbie Mills images courtesy Fox, Sarah Manning images courtesy BBC