Vulture TV Awards: The Year’s Best-Dressed Characters
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17 Of TV's Best-Dressed Moments

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Claire's white dress on House of Cards

Photo: Netflix

HoC is a show that knows its way around a white dress, and Claire Underwood is one of TV's most elegantly dressed humans, always in minimalist sheaths and angular blouses. This white crepe dress is a cut above, though. The flare and swinginess at the bottom offset the prim neckline and full-length sleeves; it's fancy but not frilly.

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Shirley's red minidress on Mad Men

Photo: AMC

If you're going to endure a weird bouquet mix-up that involves your boss screaming at you, do it in style. Shirley style.

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Dolly Parton's multipurpose pink dress on Drunk History

Photo: Comedy Central

This dress qua dress is perhaps nothing special, but think about the challenges of costuming Drunk History: The dress needs to conjure Dolly Parton without parodying her; it needs to function in several different segments of the story; and it has to be just a little bit silly itself. For some reason, this dress has been tattooed on my brain ever since this episode aired.

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Carrie's flouncy dots on The Carrie Diaries

Photo: The CW

Carrie et al. donned some amazing ensembles this season, but it's hard not to love this Carolina Herrera dress — it's just the right amount of fun, and punchy while still being glamorous. Man, we're gonna miss this show.

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Sansa's black ensemble on Game of Thrones

Photo: HBO

OH, DAMN! That's the only possible thought one could have seeing Sansa march down the stairs in this black dress with the oil-slick feathered shoulderpiece.

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Kenya's masquerade mask on The Real Housewives of Atlanta

Photo: Bravo

You know what? Go big or go be on a different show.

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Justin's unconventional-materials dress on Project Runway

Photo: Lifetime

Dom correctly won season 12, but it was Justin's finale dress that was the real highlight of all the collections. Justin's line was inspired by his personal story of being born deaf and eventually getting cochlear implants, and this dress — made of hundreds of tiny plastic test-tubes — notably made a hypnotic swishy-clicky sound on the runway. Stunning, dramatic, and really lovely.

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Watson's space-print shift on Elementary

Photo: CBS

What if more characters had Watson's fashion moxie? TV would be a much more fun place.

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The Baroness's pink-and-red outfit from NBC's  The Sound of Music

Photo: NBC

Most of TSoM sucked. But man, the Baroness looked good! Maybe it's time for the wide-leg trouser to make a comeback?

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Olivia's black-and-white ball gown on Scandal

Photo: ABC

Olivia's fashion game was weaker this season than in previous ones — having to disguise a pregnancy will do that — but there were still some highlights, namely this geometric dress that she wore to the White House. If Olivia's taste in men were half as good as her taste in clothes, we'd be watching a really different show.

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Leona's abstract gown on The Newsroom

Photo: HBO

The Newsroom is not a particularly fashion-forward show, so seeing Leona breeze in in this slightly edgy number was a real surprise. P.S. Jane Fonda's still got it.

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Laura's "living art" makeup on Face Off

Photo: Syfy

It's not all horror and goblins and witches on Syfy’s Face Off. Sometimes there's a sculpture and costume that edges into straight-up fashion, and Laura — who won the all-star season for this, among other fascinating designs — hit that here with her spin on cubism. It's practically couture.

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Mindy's plaid suit on The Mindy Project

Photo: Fox

Mindy wears a lot of fun brights, and pattern-mixes with the aplomb of a fashion blogger, so this Annie Hall–inspired skirt-suit was the grand finale outfit for a reason. It's more retro than most of her other clothes, but it's still sharp and modern.

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Myrtle's ensembles on American Horror Story

Photo: FX

Honestly, we can't pick just one. They were all great, though this play on volume and scale is among the standouts. Balenciaga!

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Actually, all of the outfits on AHS

Photo: FX

Everyone. All the time. This season was off in a few ways, but it was dead-on costume-wise.

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Ilana's catering tuxedo on Broad City

Photo: Comedy Central

Somehow a boxy, terrible cater-waiter tux still looks sort of perfect, irreverent, and festive here on Ilana, who wears a lot of distinctive getups. Plus the ensemble gets major bonus points for embracing curly hair: So often on TV (and in life!), characters with curly hair straighten it for fancy occasions. We need more curly-haired heroes.

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Mary Jane's cutout details on Being Mary Jane

Photo: BET

The best way to intimidate your enemies is to corner them at an art gallery and just look amazing, right in front of them. It doesn't even matter what you say! If you look this fantastic, your enemies will simply wither.

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