We all love tuning into our favorite guilty pleasures each week for drama and laughs, but there’s no denying that part of the reason we keep reaching for that remote every night is to have all our wildest fashion fantasies fulfilled as we dress vicariously through stylish on-screen sirens. Whether you prefer stepping into Betty Draper’s ’60s-inspired closet or Blair Waldorf’s modern-day armoire, take a look at how you can capture classic and contemporary seen-on-T.V. looks without waiting for Halloween to roll around or—for those without the limitless credit cards television’s fave fashionistas seem to carry around—breaking your budget.
From the show’s start in ’98 to its most recent movie sequel, SJP and her alter ego have become bona fide fashion icons. And while we all wish we could afford her paparazzi-ready outfits for nights out with our own BFFs, take a look at a few similar looks that will treat your wallet much kinder.
Browse B. Darlin for Charlotte’s white Prada V-neck dress, Wet Seal for Carrie’s Ralph Lauren racer vest and Charlotte Russe for her crisp ivory pants, JS Collections or Spiegel for Miranda’s Alberta Ferretti champagne dress, and Fred Flare or Alloy for Samantha’s red Thierry Mugler jacket. And be sure to check out ASOS’s affordable set of lookalike outfits like Carrie’s ’70s-style Halston Heritage white jersey dress and mirrored Mykita & BW shades.
The show’s style influence, from its characters’ perfectly coiffed hair to all the Upper East Side glam, is unmistakable, hence the many style guides showing aspiring gossip girls how to dress just like its couture-covered gals. And while its leading ladies couldn’t be any more different, here’s our faves from Serena’s and Queen B’s outfit archives and, of course, how to get their looks for less.
Her mother demanded she change into something more “enchanting,” and enchanting Blair sure is. This Marc Jacobs Dita lace dress and Trina Turk capelet ensemble with crochet tights was a season 1 fan favorite. Finish with B’s trademark headband and patterned tights.
Pictured: ASOS Cropped Sleeve Lace Tunic Dress. Shop other lookalikes at TFNC, Jin-Ja, Fred Flare, Adrianna Papell, Yumi or Lara’s Closet. And Tahki and etsy have cute capelets galore. Bonus: Another cute dress we loved from B was her White Party dress, another Marc Jacobs hit. A similar one here.
Rachel Berry’s quirky, buttoned-down look might clash with Quinn Fabray’s (post-Cheerio uniform-and-ponytail-ditching) simple, pastel-shaded style, but it just goes to show how endearing it can be to stick to your own aesthetic. And while Rachel’s all about argyle and pleated plaid numbers while Quinn prefers delicate empire dresses and youthful cardigans, they both still light up the stage.
We also totally dug the girls’ sweet mash-up of “Walking on Sunshine” and “Halo.” Light up your summer with a cute yellow dress.
Whether you grew up on the original or otherwise, the zip code is synonymous with glitz and glam. Play up your inner SoCal style!
Jennifer Aniston helped define ’90s style. Don’t pretend you didn’t run to the salon with the other flocks of women for the “Rachel.” And even if you don’t work in fashion like Ms. Green did, you can still create an outfit just as influential as hers were.
Not only do they prove you don’t have to be a size zero to be sassy and sexy, but the Mad Men women—cue Betty Draper’s impeccable, ladylike wardrobe and Joan Holloway’s femme fatale fashion—also have killer outfits.
Stick with A-line lace or cotton dresses like trophy wife Betty, show off that hourglass figure with simple crepe dresses and ruby red lipstick and nail lacquer like seductive Joan, or retro prints and three-quarter sleeves like good girl Peggy.
Mary and Rhoda know best. From the women who taught us ladies it’s ok to be single with careers, we should also learn not to be afraid of wearing bright colors.
Try the Mary Tyler Moore dress at Etsy.
Who doesn’t envy Alexis Carrington Colby’s outrageously glamorous garb from this late-night soap? Think sequins and shoulder pads and perhaps you’ll give rise to an haute couture label too.
Shop for a couture hat like this at Ellen Christine.
Twihards beware. Your beloved blood-suckers may have some competition in the wardrobe department with these vogue vamps.
Southern gal Jessica keeps it summery with a floral dress like this one.
Stay tuned for part deux when we step it up a notch to tips on recreating looks from the big screen.