Denise Huxtable, The Cosby Show
Even though most of my preteen 80s wardrobe (especially the matching Esprit sweaters and miniskirts) was similar to Vanessa Huxtable's, I secretly longed to look as cool as her older sister Denise did on The Cosby Show. From men's hats and boyfriend blazers to parachute pants, Denise made all of the 80s' quirky fashion pieces look good. In fact, many fashion sites and blogs have cited her style as an influence seen on the streets and runways in recent years.
Did you wear a long string of fake pearls knotted at the bottom like I did? I learned not long ago that Denise wore them that way in an early episode, so I can only imagine I must have subconsciously copied her style!
Blossom Russo, Blossom
I bet a lot of people have long forgotten how cute the lead character on this show dressed. Blossom's fashion style took over my imagination once Denise Huxtable went onto A Different World. In the early 90s, when this show aired, I wore a lot of oversized tees, baggy sweaters, and dressy vests like Blossom did. I would have loved to have had some of her funky hats as well, if I hadn't been so self-conscious of what the other kids in my high school would have said.
Maude Findlay, Maude
It may sound strange that I've always admired Maude's style, especially as the character was older than everyone else I watched on TV growing up in the 70s and 80s. Yet Maude's fashion sense - at least, for a middle-aged woman of the 70s - always appeared as hip and no-nonsense as her tarty one-liners. She also rarely appeared in a dress or skirt, proving that she did indeed wear the pants (and vests) in her household. And she owned a smashing collection of scarves!
Ralph Furley, Three's CompanyYes, Mr. Furley has made lists of the Worst Dressed TV Characters of all time, but his flashy wardrobe was a vast improvement over the drab Mr. Roper (whose wife, oddly enough, loved colorful prints.) His style was the epitome of the tacky 70s Western bachelor, a curious mix of Bronco Billy meets Ron Burgandy. Polyester leisure suits, white platform shoes, and wide collared garish printed shirts made up the bulk of his wardrobe, and all the better to conform with his ladies' man image.
Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs, Miami Vice
Even though it's delusional to think that real vice cops can afford to wear Versace suits and drive Ferraris, Crockett and Tubbs' casual style was groundbreaking and made them fashion icons of the 80s. In fact, the whole show, with its sleek Art Deco style and palette, made for eye candy. I never actually saw a guy dressed during this time with a tshirt under a suit jacket and going sockless, but I did witness it on my friends during the Miami Vice theme party I requested for my fourteenth birthday (luckily, no photos exist of this embarrassing event.) Yep, If I couldn't have Don Johnson at the time, at least I could emulate his style, even if I was a girl.
Which TV characters do you remember that had a sense of style that you admired or made you barf? I'd love for you to add to my list.