The CW/Disney Channel/Freeform
From Gossip Girl to Riverdale, teen TV has always been known for drama, romance, and fashion. The stylish teens of our favorite TV shows have been setting impossible standards for school-ready outfits since forever. The teen dramas of our youth inspired endless Polyvore inspiration boards and spurned bouts of fashion-related angst when it came time to get dressed. While statement headbands, crazy layering, and three-inch heels might not have been our typical school day looks, these 20 TV characters would be shoo-ins for "Best Dressed" if they went to our schools.
Blair Waldorf ruled the Upper East Side with an iron fist. Armed with an endless reserve of headbands, statement coats, and hangbags, she defined a generation of preppy style on Gossip Girl. Blair's looks were influenced by the layer-heavy, busy fashion of the early 2000s, but the sophisticated twist she put on even the most absurd-seeming outfits made her a true fashion icon. We bet that even Kate Middleton has an entire Pinterest board of Blair Waldorf looks that she turns to in times of need. We all bow down to the true fashion queen.
Move over Rachel Green, there's a new queen of '90s fashion in the house and her name is Hilary Banks. The The Fresh Prince of Bel Air character proved that being high maintenance isn't always a bad thing. Hilary's exacting standards meant that she served us with some enduring looks that we would still wear today. If we had gone to high school with her, we would have been constantly awed at her ability to remake the basics into something fabulous.
Before she was a beloved advice columnist, Carrie Bradshaw was just a teen trying to find her way in the world. While we saw plenty of iconic Carrie fashion moments in Sex and the City, we got hints of what Carrie's burgeoning fashion looked like during the 1980s in the prequel series, The Carrie Diaries. The teen series proved what we had long suspected — that Carrie Bradshaw has been a style icon for as long as anyone can remember.
Even though she was The Smart One on Pretty Little Liars, Spencer Hasting defied reductive characterization by bringing serious style to her time on the hit Freeform show. Like fellow Type-A brunette Blair Waldorf, Spencer stuck to a classic preppy style, though she often kept her looks more low-key than the Gossip Girl queen. Spencer proved that a good working relationship with blazers and a commitment to the color navy can take you a long way. When she debuted bangs on the show's later seasons, we knew that we were in the presence of a fashion visionary.
While her Riverdale bestie Betty Cooper likes to keep things sweet and simple, Veronica Lodge isn't afraid to turn up the drama. Riverdale High's most interesting new student take her cues from New York City fashion and favors dark colors and sophisticated silhouettes. Our girl knows how to build a visual brand, which is why you'll rarely catch her outside of her signature color range of blacks, dark greens, and purples.
On Glee, Rachel Berry became the idol for hardcore theatre girls across the world. Rachel's style prowess comes less from her innate taste than from her dedication to consistently rocking flawless outfits. Rachel's a shoo-in for the best dressed superlative because you can bet that the singer never came to school looking anything less than perfect. You have to admire Rachel Berry's ceaseless dedication to doing The Most.
The '70s are always in style, and no one have proved that better than Jackie Burkheart from That '70s Show. Jackie proved that bellbottoms, burnt orange, and corduroy are still worth our time. Like any true 1970s fashion icon, she also had major hair game. From Farrah Fawcette-esque curls to pin-straight locks, Jackie wasn't afraid to let her hair be her best accessory.
Of all the girls on One Tree Hill, Brooke obviously takes top spot as Best Dressed. The fashion visionary started her own clothing company, "Clothes Over Bros," while still in high school. She eventually turned the company into a multi-million-dollar business, which is a huge accomplishment for anyone, let alone a teenager. As Tree Hill's resident fashion maven, we award Brooke Davis best dressed for her classic 2000s wardrobe.
There is more to Lydia Martin than first meets the eye. Originally, it seemed as if the redhead from Teen Wolf was shallow and status obsessed, but we gradually came to learn that behind her calculated façade, Lydia possessed a genius IQ and an encyclopedic knowledge of chemistry. In addition to being top of her class and always dressing flawlessly, we'd like to nominate Lydia for Best Hairstyle. The girl seriously knows how to rock a braid.
If you were a tween in the mid-2000s, you probably idolized Alex Russo. The The Wizards of Waverly Place character nailed effortless cool. It's a testament to Selena Gomez's acting ability that she managed to convince a generation that vests and fedoras were the height of fashion. Alex Russo would have definitely taken home the superlative of Best Dressed. The teen wizard proved that sometimes more is actually more.
What is one to do if they're a quirky teen in a conformist Pennsylvania suburb? Obviously the only choice is to express your individuality through your sense of fashion! On Pretty Little Liars, Aria expressed her rebellious spirit through her wardrobe. The most independent of the Liars, our girl Aria became a contender for Best Dressed through her creative use of accessories and willingness to experiment.
If you think that Zoey Johnson from Black-ish and Grown-ish seems impossibly perfect, you're not alone. The teenager seems to have everything together, especially when it comes to the fashion department. For a college student, Zoey Johnson has some A+ style. Instead of the sweats and t-shirts that most college students rock, Zoey zips around campus with impeccable hairstyles and flawless outfits. We'd watch an entire show dedicated to her closet.
Like his longtime love-interest, Blair Waldorf, Chuck Bass has some serious style. The controversial Gossip Girl character proved that sartorial success isn't just for the girls. Never one to be outdone at anything, Chuck was the undisputed best dressed boy on the Upper East Side for the length of the series. Our boy Chuck never met a problem that couldn't be solved by a well-tailored suit and a liberal application of smolder.
Everything about the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina absolutely screams fall, including the wardrobe of our favorite teenage witch. Never one to turn down a miniskirt and tights, Sabrina rules the halls of both Greendale High and The Academy of Unseen Arts with her perfect fall-inspired ensembles. While Sabrina's day wear is good, her evening wear is even better. Both the dress she wears to her Dark Baptism and the gown she wears to her wedding to Satan are stunning. If you're going to hell you might as well show up well dressed.
If Buffy Summers had to save the world, she was going to do it on her own terms — and that meant a whole lot of '90s style and a side helping of teenage girl snark. Like Sabrina, Buffy liked to fight the supernatural in miniskirts, although the weather in Sunnydale meant that she was more likely to wear a tank top than a sweater. Buffy might have been so busy that her classmates didn't get the chance to appreciate her style. But if she'd been around, we're certain that they would have voted her Best Dressed.
Nancy Wheeler is the queen of 1980s style. The Hawkins, Indiana teenager knows how to rock a sweater. From mock neck, to plaid, to cardigan and back, Nancy makes us miss the 1980s trends of muted colors and slightly loose jeans. Some might call Nancy's style a little prissy, but we would defend it as relatable. When Nancy showed up on Stanger Things season three with bangs and a new perm, we knew that we had a certified style icon on our hands.
On The Vampire Diaries, Caroline Forbes started out as a deeply insecure teenager who was in constant competition with her friend Elena. Over the course of the series, she slowly grew into her own, although gaining some supernatural powers didn't hurt. We love Caroline's breezy style. Never one to shy away from the feminine, she rocked light colors and every type of spaghetti strap possible. We'll never forget your love of pastels, Caroline. Thank you for your dedication to the cause.
The 90210 reboot might have never been able to live up to the charm of the original, but it did serve up some serious fashion moments. Kansas transplant Annie Wilson might have felt out of place at West Beverly Hills High, but she tried her hardest to put her best sartorial foot forward. Annie seemingly nailed every trend of the 2010s. Her style might not have been timeless, but it was relentlessly on-trend. It's a dedication that we have to respect.
Secret Life of the American Teenager scandalized and captivated teenagers and their parents alike when it debuted in 2008. Unlike some teen series from a similar time frame, the show hasn't had a lasting impact with viewers, but its first several seasons offered teen drama of the highest order. When you begin your show with a teen pregnancy, there's really no where to go but up. Played by actress Shailene Woodley, Amy Juergens, the show's resident teen mom, gave us five seasons of regrettable side bangs and iconic tank top and cardigan sets. The world might have forgotten The Secret Life but we'll always remember.
Callie Foster has been through a lot on The Fosters. The tough-as-nails girl knows how to fight for what she believes in, even when it seems like the odds are stacked against her. In addition to being an unstoppable force for good, Callie is also an excellent dresser. Her low-key vibe makes her fashion much more accessible than that of most TV characters. She may favor skinny jeans and statement tops, but her style never seems stale.