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Television inspires popular fashion trends

Whether it’s for the plot line, for our favorite actors and actresses, or for the sake of routine, we all have shows we tune in to regularly. In my case, it’s to check out the fashion worn by the characters on the show — I use it to inspire my wardrobe choices for the week.

Each TV show has its own characteristic style. At times this flavor is so dynamic that the characters inspire fashion choices across the country. For example, when Gossip Girl first aired, Blair Waldorf’s headbands took the country by storm. Department stores began to sell the preppy staple in a multitude of colors and patterns, ranging from polka dots to stripes to flowers. The headband trend died down eventually, as most fashion fads do. However, for a lot of people, the headband remains a staple accessory. Just as many other trends have gained popularity through silver and small screen, the fashion in shows makes up a significant part of pop culture.

Headbands weren’t the only thing in Gossip Girl to make waves in the fashion world when it was airing. The two main characters, Serena and Blair, presented styles that people immediately attempted to emulate. Although both are Upper East Side New Yorkers, they wear outfits that are radically different. Yet, despite the incongruencies of their style choices, they act as perfect complements to one another. Serena’s almost Bohemian vibe offsets the “classiness” of Blair’s wardrobe, while Blair’s prim and proper fashion accents the “cool, barely-trying” look Serena pulls off.

Blair is quintessentially preppy. Known not only for her headbands, Blair is also renowned for wearing bright colors — especially bright tights, girly dresses, and feminine skirts. If you want to get Blair’s look, shop at J. Crew: it’s the number one place to pick up all your preppy essentials.

Francesca’s Collections is also a great place to get Blair-like clothes. They sell a lot of blouses, which the character (or, actually, Gossip Girl’s costume designer) would pair with a nice skirt and heels or ballet flats. These flats are another style that Gossip Girl brought into the fashion world — they have been in style since the show’s premiere in 2007.

While Blair’s look is easy to describe, Serena’s style is a lot more nebulous. Serena, the other half of Gossip Girl’s dynamic fashion duo, is distinct for outfits that are put together, yet maintain a definite Bohemian edge. Her primary staple is the leather jacket; she has a variety of these, all ranging in cut and color.

Not all of us can be characters on Gossip Girl with unlimited shopping funds; however, we can still emulate Serena’s style with one nice leather jacket paired with various outfits. In episodes taking place during the summer, Serena wears bright and bold maxi dresses, paired with statement necklaces, of which she appears to be a fan. In almost every episode of the final season, Serena wears a large necklace with her outfit. If you’re looking to imitate Serena’s style, Anthropologie is a great place to look for clothing and accessories like these.

Another show that offers style inspiration is New Girl. The show features its protagonists, Jess and Cece, wearing cool and collected styles. After watching an episode, I sometimes find myself incorporating their style into my outfits. Jess and Cece are people with completely different styles. Jess’s is quirky and indie while Cece keeps it cool and casual. If you want to dress like Jess, definitely check out Modcloth. Jess wears a lot of polka dots, sweaters with animals, and blouses with Peter Pan collars. While her style is somewhat conservative, it is undeniably cute. Cece’s style is on the other side of the spectrum and, therefore, easier to copy. She dresses casually: usually a T-shirt with an interesting cut or design paired with jeans. This kind of clothing can be found just about anywhere. Check out stores like Urban Outfitters for interestingly styled tees.

Yet another TV show that has made a huge impact with fashion is Pretty Little Liars. Aria, Spencer, Hanna, and Emily, the four main characters, are known for their own unique styles. The costume designer for the show, Mandi Line, has even specified that her intention was to create styles that will make an impact and that other girls will want to follow.

Each character’s style has changed over the seasons. Aria’s starts out as edgy-Bohemian, then evolves to become quirky and bold. She pairs the sort of things that one would not expect to look good together, like florals with stripes, and ends up looking flawless. In fact, it’s speculated that Aria may have been the source of the shorts-with-tights trend that came into style when the show started. To find a style that’s bold and quirky like Aria’s, shop at Topshop and Urban Outfitters. Aria also loves accessorizing, so wear a lot of jewelry if you want to get her look!

Spencer’s style is preppy, but a lot more Victorian than Blair’s from Gossip Girl. Spencer rejects bright colors, opting for a darker, more muted color palette. Many of her clothes actually come from Urban Outfitters, so for some of her preppier or vintage items, this is the place to shop!

Hanna’s style used to be glamorous but has recently moved toward edgy. As of late, she’s wearing ripped tights, ripped shirts, and embraces gray, dark green, and black as her color scheme.

Finally, Emily has also amped up her style from the beginning of the series to now. Gone are the days of plain T-shirts and jeans; she’s moved on to sweaters and shirts that feature unique cuts. To dress like Emily, shop at edgy stores like All Saints.

As you can see, TV shows are a great source of fashion inspiration that you can use to put together your day-to-day outfits. If you’re ever feeling lackluster and bored with your wardrobe, turn on the tube; it’s the perfect place to get a fresh feel for fashion.