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September 4, 2015

Ten great fashion statements on TV

by Paul Goebel, posted May 14th 2008 11:04AM

Catherine BachTelevision has often been a benchmark of current popular culture. Whether it's clothes, cars or furniture, people have always looked to TV to help them decide how to look and how to live. Here are ten great examples of how TV characters have "helped" us look our best.

Daisy Duke's Daisy Dukes (The Dukes of Hazzard)
No one knew it at the time, but when Catherine Bach slipped on those ultra-short denims, she was making an impression on more than the teenage boys who were watching. Years later, a brand new and very different generation embraced the Daisy Dukes, much to the delight of those teenage boys who were now old enough to know better.

Fonzie's Leather Jacket (Happy Days)
Not only did Fonzie make his choice of jacket synonymous with being cool, but he also helped a generation of motorcycle enthusiasts ride safely. Who needs a helmet when you're that cool?

Emma Peel's Catsuit (The Avengers)
Sydney Bristow, 99, April Dancer -- none of them could hold a candle to Mrs. Peel. I would have gladly taken a kick to the head, if it meant coming in contact with that sexy poly/vinyl blend.

Mr. Roarke's White Suits (Fantasy Island)
Anyone who has ever been to a tropical island knows that a three piece suit is the last thing you want to wear. More importantly, wearing a white suit while drinking brightly colored beverages is an accident waiting to happen. Only the combination of magic and awesomeness possessed by Mr. Roarke could end each day without a spot on him.

Mork's Suspenders (Mork & Mindy)
When I was a kid, I begged my parents to get me a pair of rainbow suspenders because I was sure it would make me as funny as Robin Williams. The good news is it worked. The bad news is that it made me as funny as Robin Williams in Bicentennial Man.

Cliff Huxtable's Sweaters (The Cosby Show)
By the time The Cosby Show debuted, Bill Cosby had already cemented himself as an American icon. So how was he supposed to catch the eye of the TV viewing public and prove that he was different from Chet Kincaid or Alexander Scott? Fancy, expensive sweaters!

Sonny Crockett's Pastel Shirts (Miami Vice)
It's hard to pick one fashion statement from the hit '80s cop drama. Some enjoyed the expensive suits of Tubbs, some preferred the beachwear of Zito and Switek. I, myself, was partial to the hooker outfits of Joplin and Calabrese. However, the easiest to copy were Crockett's shirts that came in colors named after fruit.

Amanda Woodward's Power Suits (Melrose Place)
Sexy and strong, Amanda made million dollar decisions behind the desk. But when she stood up, there was no doubt she was all woman. Scoff if you must, but how else is a blonde, rock star wife supposed to be taken seriously?

Doc Severinsen's Jackets (The Tonight Show)
One night shortly after Skitch Henderson left The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, his replacement decided to wear a particularly fancy jacket. Johnny, being the quick wit that he is, spent a good portion of that night's monologue mocking Doc's fashion choice. Thus, a legend was born.

BA Baracus' Jewelry (The A Team)
Not only was BA's jewelry eye-catching, it was also functional. I remember watching Battle of the Network Stars when during the Simon Says tournament, Adrien Zmed was instructed to cuff Mr. T. Because of all the gold around T's wrist, the handcuffs wouldn't fit. All part of his master plan to pity fools.

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I thought for sure your list would include Bea Arthur's caftans on "Golden Girls."

May 15 2008 at 8:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was cool like that... I had those suspenders.

May 15 2008 at 7:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

mein gott in himmel, HOW could you forget columbo's raincoat!?

May 15 2008 at 5:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have to say, that I disagree a bit with Cliff Huxtable and his sweaters. While they were probably the most fashionable challenged of all the sweaters ever to appear on television. My heart belongs to Mr. Rogers' sweaters. They will forever rock!

May 14 2008 at 1:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Erica's comment
Paul Goebel

I considered including Mr. Rogers but he was a real person not just a TV character.

May 14 2008 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

But.... I NEED someone to bring back the "Tight-roll!!" Isn't someone from 90210 responsible for that?? If the kids in the highschool on the new version of the show start tightrolling I will be cheering non-stop!!

May 14 2008 at 11:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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