Fashion inspiration isn’t merely found on the runways or even on the street. Sometimes the most stylish women display great fashion sense right on our TV screens. From the powerful and poised Olivia Pope to the impeccably dressed Claire Huxtable, we celebrate the 5 best-dressed characters on TV in no particular order.

1. Joan Clayton


From sharp bright-colored blazers to printed palazzo pants, Joan from “Girlfriends” had a quirky yet professional wardrobe to mirror her lovable personality.

2. Claire Huxtable


Always polished from head-to-toe, Claire Huxtable of “The Cosby Show” wore elegant, tailored separates that inspired generations of women to dress like a lady.

3. Olivia Pope


The no-nonsense boss of a crisis management-firm, Olivia Pope of “Scandal” is refined and modern in business-casual clothes, elegant coats and ladylike gloves. Her style is so celebrated, in fact, she’s inspired countless fashion blogs in her honor.

Who makes your list of best-dressed TV characters, Clutchettes?

  • ASK_ME

    Olivia Pope and Claire Huxtable YES….Joan Clayton…NO!

    Claire Huxtable was the original…the goat. Even today I don’t think anyone can touch her. Those paints suits, skirt suits and satin blouses she rocked were banging.

    Olivia Pope is always on point. I wish they would list the designers of her clothes because there have been times when I’ve been like “Damn, where can I find that blouse?” I LOVED the white blouse she wore in the water boarding episode.

    Now Joan Clayton…uh…I never looked at her and thought “I wonder where she got that dress?” That could be because Tracey Ellis Ross just looks plain weird to me. Something about her eyes, but I never dug her style.

  • amarie

    Olivia Pope always is well dressed and put together but I love, love, LOVE the creativity of Joan’s style. I think she might be my favorite TV character in terms of style ever.

  • Niki

    Olivia’s style might be spectacular her wig however is not.

  • binks

    Great list! My honorable mentions are Whitley Gilbert, Hilary Banks and Lisa Turtle who are often overlooked…side I didn’t care that folks thought they were “bougie” when I was growing up because I LOVED their idea of style, plus they were one of the few black women characters I viewed that actually used or spoke of designer clothing/items when that was usually reserved for the “typical” rich white women character on shows.

  • Jess

    I love Scandal, and Kerry Washington’s personal style is always avant garde, elegant and on point, but Olivia Pope’s clothes suck. And I agree with Niki (above) her wig game leaves much to be desired. But Joan Clayton? Oh that was my girl!! Love, Love, Loved her fashion sense. Fashionistas everywhere loved Joan.

  • KR


    Shush! Don’t you know everyone is suppose to act like we don’t know it when a black woman is walking around with those God awful looking wigs on her head.

  • raah

    I’ve been saying this since the 1st episode Scandal to anyone who would hear me. Didn’t the wardrobe stylist, or even, the producers see this unprecedented opportunity to make a style icon out of Olivia Pope’s character??? Instead I hear the stylist insisting that she reuse clothes like everyday women do (and Kerry agreeing whether she really meant that deep down). The clothes are always muted, neutral or pastel. Yawn. Newsflash-we don’t watch TV to rehash the mundane-we watch for the fantasy and entertainment. Her clothes should inspire and entertain as well. She can maintain her authority and levity in DC while experimenting with other colors and silhouettes. Also, I’ve felt many times that her pants were baggy and not flattering to her figure type (which is shown off fantastically on the red carpet).

    That said I do think this current season is an improvement from Season 1.

  • mikey kun

    YES! I loved lisa’s style on saved byt the bell

  • mikey kun

    I agree with this list. I would add Lisa from daved by the bell, and I really dug Toni’s style from girlfriends in the later seasons.

  • [email protected]

    Rachel Green on Friends, when she starts working at Ralph Lauren.

  • Guess

    You are so correct. Her clothes are always ill-fitted & sagging off of her arse. A women in her position wouldn’t recycle clothes to that extent..hell, I rarely repeat an outfit in a two-month span. Being that she’s not a working class woman, I would imagine her clothes would be immaculately taylored. And the Betty Rubble hairstyle. I can’t…lol

  • Skye

    I don’t think that’s a wig. It looks like natural hair straightened because its not silky straight. plus Kerry is natural too in D’jango that was her hair.

  • Shawn Richards

    I am a STRAIGHT MAN! But I do watch Scandal, AND Girlfriends (don’t judge me…) because Olivia Pope is just plain FINE! And Joan is the business as well. But it’s really SAD that most of the women I encounter these days (even the so called ‘PROFESSIONAL’ SISTERS…) would rather style themselves after a certain self proclaimed ‘BARBIE’. #smh #notSAYINGanyNAMES

  • Maya

    I would add Jessica Pearson on Suits and Naomi on Private Practice both are usually impeccably dressed

  • rando

    Olivia Pope is impeccable and very DC. You recycle clothing when you spend that much on them. DC professionals are not flashy. We don’t do that

  • Yvonna Russell

    Vanessa Williams as Wilhelmina Slater on ‘Ugly Betty”

  • Natalie

    Yall don’t know how to dress, if you endorse Olivia and her ill-fitting New York and Company clothes. She is definitely not shiwcasing DMV style on that show.

  • EntertainMeh

    You clearly have no idea what it looks like to be elegant and grown.

  • EntertainMeh

    I disagree so much. I think when black women see other black women wear clothes that don’t hug their ass or hips real tight that their clothes are ill fitted. And that is truly false. Not all women think that tight fighting clothes or snug fits are best, especially for they type of clothes that she wears. It’s refreshing to her not look like a stereotype, because she isn’t.

  • NYPoweRGirl

    Joan, similar to Tracee Ellis Ross in real life, has an eclectic style that’s part chic, part homegirl, and part bohemian. Loves her!

  • kc

    Yes! Totes agree.

  • kc

    Actually, pastels are a very big risk on Capitol Hill. An unspoken rule here is that the more formal the event, the darker the suit. Olivia’s pinks and grays would be a novelty in the White House. Think about it, have you ever seen Hillary or Condoleeza in pastels?

  • Melissa Griffin

    Okay I’m floored these are the only three you could come up with? Bill Cosby Show has been off the air for 20 years right? Girlfriends about 5 years. This is why “EVOLUTION” is so important because if you choose not too you get stuck. TV today is so diverse and beautiful embrace it come along for the right through the 21st century.

  • Afrostyling

    Jessica Pearson on Suits. She slays every episode!

  • Toi

    I would love to think of Clutch as a forum for progressive minds to expond upon complex thoughts and opinons. However the RHOA and Basketball wives opinons of a generation abound. As kc mentioned DC is a very conservative world. Black Blue and Grey are the approved colors the mere fact that her wardrobe strays from the norm is a statement. I would like you ladies to embrace another image of confidence and style. Scandal is a show that offers depth of content so there is no need to overcompensate with Designer fashions to distract the viewer. I love the show and Kerry Washington.

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