Why the Fashion on Teen Television Shows Is So Goddamn Good
Confession: I’m a full-fledged adult who’s obsessed with teen television—and I know I’m not the only one.
These shows, with their soapy storylines (from falling in love for the first time to being held captive in an underground lair), quippy dialogue infused with up-to-the-minute references that may or may or not feel dated in the span of months, and unconditional friendships (through final exams or multiple blackmail attempts by a hooded villain) are incredibly addictive. But when I think about them, it’s the fashion—the outfits, the styling evoking trends of the era, and the iconic designer moments—that first comes to mind.
Even [redacted] years later, I can picture it clearly: Kelly Taylor and Brenda Walsh wearing the same off-the-shoulder black-and-white spring dance dress on Beverly Hills, 90210; a Chanel-clad Marissa Cooper at prom on The O.C.; all the over-the-top fantasy-themed dresses as the Pretty Little Liars spent approximately 5,000 years in high school. On all these shows, the fashion heightened the drama, suspense, and emotions the characters were going through. Style is and always will be self-expression—and that's particularly true when you're portraying teenage-dom.