5 TV Shows Where Fashion Overshadowed the Plot

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5 TV Shows Where Fashion Overshadowed the Plot

Where, I, a serial binge watcher, give you both style inspo and TV show recommendations

Like many of us, I have consumed an unhealthy number of TV shows this past year. I have had ample time to watch and rewatch episode after episode of comforting TV goodness. From these many hours spent in front of my laptop, I have come to realize how integral fashion and clothes are in television. I know I’m not alone when I say I’m fascinated by the way clothes can add an exciting layer to the plot, deepening the complexity of the mood and aesthetic. Below are five TV shows for which I think the costume designers especially popped off: 

Sex Education:

For me, there is no single TV character more iconic than Aimee in Sex Education. She dresses exclusively in cool prints, bright colors, and 80s vibes — my ultimate TV fashion icon. While watching the second season, I remember actually pausing the show to try and find a pair of flared light-wash jeans because I had never seen anyone pull them off so well. The entire show is a tribute to retro aesthetics, bright colors, sexual liberation, and empowerment; it’s no wonder Sex Education has so many enviable fashion moments. From Maeve’s unapologetic grunge looks to Ola’s iconic stripes to Lily’s eccentric pastel theme, there is a lot to be taken from Sex Education

Here are some of my favorite Sex Education fashion moments: 


If you’ve already watched Euphoria: enough said. It was bound to be on this list — we all saw it coming. The makeup, the aesthetics, the Halloween episode: there are so, so many iconic looks in this show. Each outfit speaks to the characters and what’s happening to them in their character arc in such an interesting way. The ultimate casual cool girl, Rue dresses in long shorts, Converse, and oversized shirts. Kat goes through a style transformation to end all style transformations, eventually pulling off collars, harnesses, and the like. Maddy and Cassie pull all kinds of hot girl fashion stunts; it’s actually ridiculous how frequently I screamed in awe. Jules is by far my favorite Euphoria fashion icon – her makeup, her perfectly styled eccentricity, and above all, her tartan skirt: chef’s kiss. 

Some faves: 


Bridgerton is a show for which the entire plot revolves around one girl (with horrible bangs) learning about the art of the pullout method in Regency-era England. Like, that’s the entire first season I swear to God. And YET, I would still recommend it purely based on the beautiful costumes. These dresses are actual art.  

Here are some looks that made me want to immediately purchase a corset and go for a “promenade” around my backyard:

Normal People:

This is perhaps one of my favorite shows of all time: tracing, with beautiful cinematography and aesthetics, the relationship between two people (with frustratingly poor communication skills) from high school to the end of college. Amidst the rainy, Irish setting of the show are some beautiful looks from the female protagonist Marianne, as she slowly finds herself and grows up over ten episodes.

This show is charming and moving with a beautiful, sensitive depiction of love and mental illness. I would totally recommend even outside of Marianne’s simple yet beautiful wardrobe:

The Queen’s Gambit:

Like everyone else who watched The Queen’s Gambit last October, I found myself itching to buy a chess board just in case I was a prodigy with untapped chess-playing potential. My interest was short-lived because it turns out chess is totally boring when you lack basic logical reasoning. What did stay with me after finishing the show though was an admiration for Beth Harmon’s impeccable style. Her effortless, clean looks were phenomenal, curated perfectly to accompany her absolute victory over each opponent. 

Statement coats, turtlenecks, full skirts, collared shirts– I’m here for it all:

From Aimee’s quirky, colorful style to the academic aesthetic of Marianne in Normal People: fashion is undoubtedly a fun lens through which to view TV shows. 

All images courtesy of Pinterest

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