This month I’m turning my focus to the small screen to celebrate the stylish sisters of some of my favorite ’90s sitcoms. Warning: There is PLENTY of inspiration here, so I hope your closets are ready! It’s no wonder their little brothers and sisters looked at them with sartorial awe and envy.
It’s safe to say that the Huxtables, the family at the center of The Cosby Show (1984–1992, NBC), were one of television’s most stylish families of all time. There are countless blogs and articles dedicated to Cliff Huxtable’s sweaters, the Gordon Gartrell shirts that Theo coveted, and of course, perhaps best of all, Denise’s cool outfits. Denise, the middle Huxtable sister, pretty much invented a style genre I’ll call “avant-casual”—her printed button-downs, attention-grabbing headgear, intense sweatshirt layering, and ever-changing carousel of hairstyles are just a few of the reasons she will forever be a style icon. Get her look by mixing some fun prints of your own and pile on the accessories like your life depends on it.
Kelly Bundy from Married…With Children (1987–1997, Fox) was the quintessential cool older sister who was always going on dates with bad-boy hotties. Her clothing, however, was even BADDER in the best way. Even though the show aired during the ’80s and ’90s, her outfits would still look great today. Cases in point above: Crop tops, bodycon dresses, shoulder-baring leather, big hoop earrings, and silver cross necklaces?! Someone give me a credit card ASAP, ’cause I’d totally I’d buy all of that, THANK YOU. Work some Kelly vibes into your own wardrobe with a velvet dress, black boots, and the biggest hoops your lobes can handle.
On The Wonder Years (1988–1993, ABC), Olivia d’Abo played Karen Arnold, the free-spirited big sister whose hippie mindset often caused friction between her and her conservative military father. With her psychedelic blouses and boho-style headbands, Karen was the ultimate flower child. You can pay homage to this ’70s babe by pairing up some bell-bottoms and a fringed cardigan, and accessorizing with peace-sign jewelry and beads.
Roseanne (1988–1997, ABC) focused on a tough and saucy matriarch and her close-knit family, whose favorite pastime seemed to be bouncing sarcastic jokes off one another. The middle child, Darlene Conner, inherited the lion’s share of her mom’s acerbic wit. Over the decade the show was on the air, we watched Darlene transform from a prepubescent tomboy into the Teen Queen of Angst. It’s this late period that gave us her best outfits. To conjure up some of Darlene’s style in your own life, stock up on flannel shirts, ripped jeans, and vests (to wear over T-shirts), and don’t forget the wisecracks.