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Television’s most fashionable
For popes and princesses, Elvises and Audreys, time-travelers, handmaids, and one Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons, it’s been an especially stylish year on TV. Here are the small-screen moments that gave us serious wardrobe envy in 2017.
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The Thirteenth Doctor, Doctor Who
It was the costume announcement seen 'round the world: the reveal of the first female Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) on the long-running cult British television show Doctor Who. It was already established lore in the DW universe that Time Lords should shift gender — Missy is short for Mistress, after all — but because our titular Doc had been a man 12 times in a row (13 if you count the War Doctor) expectations were set incredibly high for Whittaker. The costume turned out to be perfect: professional, with just enough color and whimsy to let us know that it's still the same Doctor.
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Daenerys Targaryen's white fur coat, Game of Thrones
Jon Snow’s IKEA cape made for a charming little DIY fashion statement, but here’s a look the North really ought to remember. Daenerys Targaryen finally made it across the Narrow Sea from Essos to Westeros in season 7 of Game of Thrones, and considering the fact that winter came (don’t pretend you weren’t warned it would), her wardrobe needed a major cold-weather upgrade. And did it ever get one with this breathtaking white fur coat, which she wore as she rescued Jon and his company from the wights. Jon finally bends the knee and acknowledges her as his queen after the battle, but whether it’s because she saved him from an icy grave or looked so exquisitely regal while doing it, it’s hard to say.
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Mrs. Maisel's black dress, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Midge spent most of the deligtful first season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel trying to figure out who she is: is she an Upper West Side wife? A comedian? A mother? Daughter? It's only fitting that the first time she uses her own, real name while performing stand-up, she's also wearing the perfect outfit. And because, of course, Midge knows you need the right accessories to change the world, she paired it with pearls.
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The subway scream, The Bold Type
Nothing makes an outfit pop like a good catharsis. The greatest style moment that the premiere season of The Bold Type gave us has to be the bold image it opened with — when the girls of Scarlet magazine broke out their best high-necked, floor-length, jewel-colored dresses to hold hands and scream on a subway platform. None of the statement blouses or fashion closet meetings that followed even come close.
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Audreys and Elvises, Big Little Lies
All season long, Big Little Lies’ opening credits teased the Audrey Hepburn costumes the ladies of Monterey wore to the school’s trivia night fundraiser, and by the time the finale rolled around, we were rabid to see the spectacular outfits in full. Turns out they were worth waiting for (you might even say they were worth dying for). Celeste, Jane, and Madeline all went with Breakfast at Tiffany’s Audrey while Renata and Bonnie both opted for more elaborate My Fair Lady looks, and their husbands’ Elvis-chic ranged from Blue Hawaii to “Jailhouse Rock.” For once, we were deeply grateful that all the parents of Monterey are unreasonably competitive about literally everything.
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Princess Margaret at her engagement party, The Crown
Elizabeth may be the queen, but The Crown’s true fashion star is Princess Margaret — and she didn’t disappoint in season 2, as she entered a whirlwind romance with photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones. Their relationship may have raised a few red flags, but the caped, bejeweled pale pink dress Margaret wore to their engagement party certainly wasn’t one of them.
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Jackie Kennedy, The Crown
Princess Margaret might be the fun-loving foil to Elizabeth's buttoned-up, duty-bound attitude, but Elizabeth's true rival arrives on a plane from Washington D.C. "Dear Mrs. Kennedy" was one of the strongest of The Crown's second season. Poor Elizabeth spent the episode comparing herself to the most fashionable and glamorous woman in the world, and even though Elizabeth's riding clothes have always been enviable, nothing can compare with Jackie's sleek, modern style when it comes to fashion inspiration.
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Mindy Lahiri at Morgan's wedding, The Mindy Project
Look how far our girl has come! In the show's pilot, Mindy attended a wedding in a sequined green dress that came with her to the bottom of a pool. By the show's finale, we've upgraded to a timeless black deep-V (still sparkly, of course) that remains dry the entire night.
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The handmaids, The Handmaid's Tale
The Handmaid’s Tale’s handmaids are designated babymakers who regularly suffer ritualized rape at the hands of the leaders of Gilead’s totalitarian theocracy — but those red dresses! Somehow, the women of this tragic class of Margaret Atwood’s dystopia, wearing that perfect shade of red and those winged white bonnets, became style icons (and Halloween inspirations) in spite of the disturbing reality of their situation. Praise be?
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The batsuit, Outlander
Claire is a 20th-century woman making the choice to go back to the 18th, and she decided to take the perfect outfit with her. Warm, waterproof, layered, and with countless pockets, Claire's batsuit dress is the ultimate in utility-wear. If she ever gave up being a doctor, she would do just fine as a designer of the super chic and very practical.
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The girls' last group confrontation, Girls
The first season of Girls ended with Shoshanna accidentally wearing white to Jessa’s surprise wedding; the series’ penultimate episode (before its coda of a finale) put Shosh in white again, for her own engagement party, and brought the four stars together for one last big group argument. Each of the Girls girls is her quintessential sartorial self here: Shosh is tastefully trendy and perfectly dressed for the occasion; Jessa exudes a mismatched bohemian glamour; Marnie’s look is crisp and feminine; and a pregnant Hannah is… a little sloppy. Goodbye, Girls. We’ll miss you. And all your clothes.
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Eleven's Snow Ball dress, Stranger Things 2
The Snow Ball had a few climactic fashion moments — Dustin's hair! — but the standout was Eleven's entrance in a dress. Post-punk makeover, Eleven got a chance to feel like a pretty girl again, with hair clips and a cute blue frock perfect for slow dances and first kisses.
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The young pope, The Young Pope
We all made fun of it at the time, but who’s laughing now that Jude Law got such a head start on next year’s Met Gala? Paolo Sorrentino’s The Young Pope was one of the weirdest things to hit TV this year, and it’s got to be one of the most high-fashion makeovers that the Vatican’s ever gotten (up there with the one Michelangelo gave it). Sacrilege never looked so good.
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Hedda's hats, Feud: Bette and Joan
Feud was full of genuine lewks — most of them courtesy of the image-obsessed Joan Crawford and Mamacita's lipstick — but when Hedda Hopper was in the room, no one could compare. I mean, those hats! It takes guts to get scoops on the hottest Hollywood celebs of the day, but that hardly compares to the confidence one needs to totally pull off that many feathers.