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Fashion Icons Of The TV World

Lydia O'Connor |
October 31, 2010 | 2:04 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Mad Men (AMC)
Mad Men (AMC)
Emma Pillsbury — "Glee"

Emma Pillsbury, played by Jayma Mays, could be the girl in the plastic bubble with her mysophobia and OCD that once sent her to the emergency room for four decontamination showers after a student vomited on her feet, but fortunately for all the style-savvy Gleeks that tune into Fox Tuesdays at 8 p.m., this McKinley High guidance counselor opts for a demure and delicately detailed wardrobe over a plastic, germ-free safety sphere.

Emma has one of the most signature yet inspiring styles of any character on TV as evidenced by blog posts popping up around the net proclaiming her a fashion icon. Her wardrobe is dominated by ensembles consisting of one or two colors, oversized bows, peter pan collars, and an endless array of cardigans.

But that doesn’t mean the Emma uniform lacks flavor. She is a fan of statement necklaces and brooches, and she’s on top of her fashion game sporting one of fall’s biggest 90s revival trends in her cropped sweaters and jackets.

Emma’s meticulously matched ensembles, peculiar sweater guards, larger-than-life bows, and colorful Mary Jane shoes may be a sartorially pleasing manifestation of her quirky OCD, but more so than that, they reflect her character this season as gentle and careful yet void of any hesitation to be entirely herself, whether that means standing up to a philandering Will Schuester and showing off her new dentist boyfriend or berating a heartless Sue Sylvester for her Glee Club ambushes.

With a new man on her arm who seems to both soothe and embrace her obsessive compulsive tendencies, Emma might have even bigger bows and crazier cardigans in store as the season progresses.

Betty Francis — "Mad Men" 

Betty Francis, played by January Jones, may be the cold-hearted, life-ruining mother from every child’s nightmares, but she is undoubtedly the period show style icon of every fashionista’s dreams.

She triumphed in past seasons with ballooning dresses and skirts in sherbet hues, glove and scarf combination wins, and dazzling party frocks for nights out with ex-husband Donald Draper.

But in season four, Betty was ready to wear the pants in the relationship — literally. After demanding a divorce from affair-friendly Don and remarrying, and as the show nears an era of women’s revolution and gender role changes, she was seen this fall in slacks and high-wasted pant ensembles, double-breasted suit jackets, dainty turtlenecks, and a plethora of plaid that is a far cry from the floral prints and polka dots from her Draper days.

Betty went a little power-happy in her pants this season, from firing their long-serving nanny to deciding to uproot the family to a new town over a dispute with her elementary school-aged daughter.

When she knows she’ll see Don though at the end of this season, she slips back into a feminine dress in a moment of weakness. Regardless, it hasn’t gotten any easier to be sympathetic toward ice princess Betty. While her wardrobe has successfully blended masculine and feminine looks, she hasn’t quite learned to blend her newfound strength with a tinge of sugar.

Blair Waldorf — "Gossip Girl"

When things go from troublesome to tumultuous — or as close to tumultuous as one can get with enough money to fly off to a chateau in France when things are tough and with a loyal following of minions to do one’s dirty work — reigning Upper East Side queen Blair Waldorf, played by Leighton Meester, won’t be found curled up on the couch in her pajamas eating Ben and Jerry’s by the half-pint.

Blair, a championed one-upper, demonstrates her social superiority and claim of invincibility simply by taking her wardrobe to the next level, maturing her style each season as romantic and social drama infiltrates her life.

Blair started out on "Gossip Girl" in collar-bone-concealing frocks and school-girl-chic tights and blazers, but thanks to three seasons of turf wars with Jenny Humphrey, rages of jealousy in her friendship with boy-magnet Serena van der Woodsen, and of course her love affair with damaged heartbreaker Chuck Bass, she’s emerged this season the most grown-up, coiffed, and tasteful she’s ever been in silk printed day dresses, padded-shoulder form-fitting dinner ensembles, ruffled ball gowns fit for an evening with a prince, tweed pencil skirts, and electrifying orange — spring 2011’s most up-and-coming color.

With a new crowd to both impress and terrorize at Columbia University and with flame- turned-enemy Chuck Bass prowling the campus with a promise to tear away from Blair everything she wants, viewers can only anticipate Queen B to suit up for a showdown in a pair of new Louboutins.

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