5 unlikely style icons

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You get used to everyone on TV looking as fashionable as possible, as if the screen’s a catwalk into your home.

But occasionally you’ll get characters who turn heads and trends simply by virtue of not trying to following what’s in vogue.

Characters like Timothy Olyphant’s Raylan Givens in Justified, who focus more on what they’re doing than what they’re wearing. He’s not trying to be the most fashionable US Marshall. Even after six seasons (the final season is out this week on DVD) he’s still too focused on bringing law and order back to Harlan County to be looking in a mirror and wondering what everyone else will make of his look.

But of course he’s not the only unlikely style icon on our screens. Here are five of our favourites…


The Eleventh Doctor

Doctor Who Matt Smith Series 5

Oh, sure, now it’s all ‘Bow ties are cool’, but before Matt Smith’s Doctor lolloped onto our screens in Doctor Who in 2010, bow ties and tweed jackets were almost anti-fashion; the preserve of dusty professors, dotty uncles, and Bargain Hunt’s Tim Wannacott.

Then suddenly, with a sexy Time Lord in tie n’ tweed, bow ties were everywhere and on everyone, and the Harris Tweed industry was reporting a massive boost in sales.


Margot Tenenbaum

The Royal Tenenbaums

It’s been 14 years since Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums, but you know what they say, fashion is cyclical (or is it cynical?). That or, designers from Gucci to Lacoste have only just got round to watching the DVD.

Catwalks this year have taken an unspoken inspiration from Gwyneth Paltrow’s oddly-clothed character, matching tennis dresses and accessories with a oversize fur coats and loafers. Next year: a range of swimwear inspired by The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.


Raylan Givens


Look at that Stetson hat. That’s the hat of a man who doesn’t care if he’s stylish or not. That’s the hat of a man who dresses to get things done and bring outlaws to justice. He’s the man who dresses for the job, not to impress.

Justified‘s Givens’ look is a modern update on the classic sheriff in the Old West: solid, smart, practical for lawgiving, with always just the right amount of denim. Jacket and tie, or men’s designer jeans and shirt, it all hangs together well beneath that sweet, sweet Stetson.


Tommy Shelby

Peaky Blinders 2 Cillian Murphy

Has ‘murderous Brummie gangster chic’ ever been a fashion thing before? Well it was after Peaky Blinders began airing, and suddenly blokes everywhere were taking tips from Cillian Murphy’s smart and stylish Tommy Shelby.

Shirts buttoned right up to the collar, waistcoats, peaked flat caps, vintage work boots, and turned-up trousers all surged in popularity as the show inspired something fashionable without being too fancy.


DS Ellie Miller

Broadchurch 2

Anyone who can carry off wearing a cagoule on TV is a most unlikely style icon, which means Broadchurch‘s Ellie Miller deserves to be on this list.

Sporting a bright orange number which calls to mind ‘police traffic cone’ as much as it does ‘cliffside ramble’, she manages the rare feat of making such an unostentatious and crinkly mass of man-made fabric look wearable. Top it off with one of Givens’ Stetsons and that’d be a great look for the third season.


Who’s your favourite unlikely style icon on TV? Let us know below…

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