15 British TV Characters with Formidable Style

Some of the best in British style can be seen on screen


Fashion editor Patsy Stone and PR executive Edwina Monsoon typified the high octane kitcsh of the early 90s in Absolutely Fabulous. Both characters knew the power of excess with endless champagne-fueled parties and piles of Lacroix costume jewellery.

With brains and beauty, international spy Emma Peel had an equally powerful wardrobe consisting of mod separates, mini dresses and catsuits in The Avengers.

Busy body neighbour Margo Leadbetter's fashionable headscarves, accessories and high end outfits in The Good Life were a glaring contrast to the make do and mend approach of neighbours Tom and Barbara Good.

With a sky high beehive, prim blouses and and a face full of make-up, the lovable Sybil Fawlty provided some grounded glamour in the midst of her husband's short attention span and daily high jinks in Fawlty Towers.

Frilly shirts and a head rinsed in shades of pink, green and purple became Mrs Slocomb's signature look in Are You Being Served?

Miss Lemon's approach to dressing in Agatha Christie's Poirot was ahead of its time, fearless and fastidiously detailed, much like that of her employer, the world renown detective Hercule Poirot.

Always trying to appear more affluent than she really was, social climber Hyacinth Bucket was always resplendent in full attire — hat, gloves, handbag and pearls in Keeping Up Appearances.

The strong willed and stubborn Lady Mary Crawley was always a step ahead in terms of her fashion choices in Downton Abbey. Her bold haircut during the 20s period singled her out as a woman with a sense of adventure.

Alice Whelan arrives in India for the first time in the pilot episode of Indian Summers (the ‘new Downton Abbey’) in a bright orange safari dress and straw boater — signaling her character and wardrobe as one to watch.

Landlady to The Queen Victoria pub and tart with a heart, Peggy Mitchell's flashy choice of clothes in East Enders personified the type of women who would frequent those pubs: bold, brassy and not afraid to speak their minds.

Producing a new current affairs show for the BBC in 1956 was a major responsibility for the young Bel Rowley in The Hour, and her working wardrobe relected her no nonsense and modern approach to dressing.

Being possessed by evil spirits is a tall task and with a dark past and formidable nature, the mysterious Vanessa Ives' wardrobe reflects a gothic take on Victorian garb in Penny Dreadful.

Sisters Beatrice and Evangeline Elliot ran their own fashion house in The House of Elliot, providing plenty of opportunity to explore the rapid change to women's fashion during the 1920s in London.

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