How TV Shows Influence Our Fashion Choices

Elisabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks in "Mad Men"

There’s no getting around the fact that TV shows influence the way we dress. This goes beyond you personally being inspired by your favorite TV characters. Entire collections are being brought out based on trending TV shows.

Remember when boys in their early 20s suddenly seemed to all be wearing flat caps? It’s no coincidence that this happened around the time Peaky Blinders became one of the most-watched shows on Netflix. Nor is it a coincidence that Banana Republic released a capsule collection of tailored menswear that looked strikingly similar to Don Draper’s wardrobe in Mad Men. The collection and the costumes on the show were created by the same designer, after all.

When it comes to womenswear, TV is just one of the many platforms that influence fashion. Still, it is a prominent one. When it comes to talking about TV and fashion, it is impossible not to mention Sex and the City. Although we all fell in love with the characters, many of us watched the show for the clothes. Carrie Bradshaw had us lusting for a $40,000 pair of shoes and even though we could never afford it, Carrie became our fantasy-style icon.

Prior to the rise in Instagram influencers, TV characters would be our models when we headed to the hair salon. How many of us asked for “The Rachel” after years of Friends on our screens? Or perhaps you asked for blonde highlights like Buffy or wanted wedding hair like Mad Men’s Betty Draper. The characters we watched on our TV screens became models for how we wanted to wear our hair, do our makeup, and dress at home or in the office.

When we couldn’t afford to dress like Carrie Bradshaw, fashion magazines told us how we could get the look for less. Gossip Girl had an Anna Sui collection that sold out within 24 hours at Target and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air made pairing suits with turtlenecks the cool-guy look of the 90s.

In conclusion, if you are noticing similarities between high street fashion and what you’ve been watching on Netflix — don’t worry. You’re not going mad and seeing your favorite TV show everywhere. TV has long been an influencer of fashion and even as platforms like Instagram continue to ramp up their influence, there will always be those of us who secretly live out our TV fantasies through our subtle wardrobe choices. We may not be living in a Manhatten apartment just yet but with our knock-off Luis Vuitton handbag, we can live out our own satisfying snippet of the Sex In The City pipedream.