BySophie Atkinson, writer at
Sophie Atkinson

This just in! A senior editor at Lucky Mag forgot to drink their morning frappucino, just started typing merrily away, and then all of a sudden, looked up, to find...they'd published an editorial saying that The OC's Marissa Cooper was the most stylish leading lady on TV Of All Time! Naturally, they didn't fancy printing a lengthy apology and retraction, so they left it up.

Now, don't get me wrong. In the words of The Virgin Suicides' Trip Fontaine, Marissa Cooper is a stone cold fox. That glossy caramel hair! The sunkissed Cali perma-glow! Those heartbreaking baby blues! But one thing that hasn't aged well is Marissa's outfits. Are we really going to stand by someone who sports these zany belts ...and these hangover-breakfast hoodies:

...and this seriously troubled fringe (not to mention a lime green strapless top): and say she's the most trendy lady ever to grace TV?

No, MPers, we are not. Because it just isn't true. Listen, I get that we all have our different sartorial leanings. As such, I'm giving you the most stylish TV lady in a variety of categories.


Look, if you're into Marissa's preptastic stylings, you've got to admit that one lady since has done it a whole lot better. Namely, one Blair Waldorf.

In or out of school uniform, Blair never had a hair out of place. While she cited Audrey Hepburn as her style icon, her white tights and dizzying array of bow-bedecked headbands suggested that Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Girls were just as much of an influence.


If you've read more than one of my articles, you're probably aware that I'm obsessed with My So-Called Life. And if we're judging by what people actually wear right now, then who's more stylish than Rayanne Graff?

Doc Martens and floral patterned tights - why the hell not? I'm also enjoying the way the floral tights clash with Angela's claustrophobically flowery wallpaper.

Great jacket. It's like she stole it from a country and western singer. Also, scrunchie.

Rayanne Graff was trust-fund grunge East London before East London existed.

Rayanne Graff was American Apparel before American Apparel existed.


I'm not so sure actual glamour exists anymore, y'know? At least, Mad Men seems to have raised the bar pretty damn high and I'm not sure any of us can join them up there. In the real world, your tights get a ladder in them, or you cut your own fringe because you're too busy to go to the hairdressers or maybe you think it'd be fun to buy a leotard from American Apparel and just end up looking like a fitness instructor from the 80s. In Mad Men, women just seem to sort of float around looking fantastic the whole time.

Obviously the show is replete with beautiful women in even more beautiful frocks. Joan Holloway and Betty, in particular, always look flawless. But they're not quite as creative with their clothing as the one, the only, incomparable Megan Draper.

Megan's that rare breed who can do casual and dressed up as well. Don underestimated her - presumably he thought she'd make great eye candy. In reality, her fashion know-how means that she's always center stage, whatever the occasion.


Ok, she's not an out-and-out fashion pioneer a la Rayanne Graff, but I'm sure we've all noticed that Pretty Little Liars' Aria cuts quite a dash with her outfits. Layering, fun shoes, pretty hair stylings - Aria always looks good, though we do have to ask ourselves - how big of an allowance is this girl getting?? Srsly, when you've got Marc Jacobs tees just lying around and you've not even graduated high school, you know you're doing well.

Ultimately, as awesome as Megan's style is, how often do most of us have the occasion to rock a gold lamé minidress? Virtually never. Aria's style is more accessible, because it's just what your most stylish best friend would wear - boots, layerings, pretty necklaces. It's real world stuff, not fantasy 1950s gear.

Carrie Bradshaw

Yeah, not a category: so sue me. I don't want the whole of the internet sending me hate mail for the next ten years. Love her or hate her, Carrie Bradshaw pretty much invented the idea that clothes could be a central part of a female role on television. Clothes became a talking point, rather than background detail.

Special Mentions

I could go on forever. Ultimately there are just so, so many TV heroines that were more stylish than Marissa Cooper (sorry, Coop!). So, just a few of the trendy ladies that should have made the list: Twin Peaks' Audrey Horne, Clarissa from Clarissa Explains It All, Pretty Little Liars' Spencer, The Hour's Bel Rowley and Lix Storm (both fantastic in their own way)...and many, many more.

I'm sure I've missed a ton of fashionable ladies off the list. Which TV starlets have caught your eye this year? Let me know below.


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