Our Favorite Fictional Fashion Icons

The Devil Wears Prada

If you’re style-inclined, getting dressed isn’t just a matter of covering your body with fabrics—it’s a lifestyle. There’s no such thing as articles of clothing! Only outfits. Costumes. Statements.

For the rest of us, sweatpants are both comfy and convenient. But does that mean we can’t appreciate a well-dressed man or lady? Of course not. So let’s all get together and stalk our favorite pretty people. Because if we’ve learned anything from reading all these books, it’s that it’s what on the outside that really counts—after all, some of the people on this list are straight-up murderers, so we’re only judging aesthetics here. Now, let’s get to WERK. (No? Ok.)

Nigel (The Devil Wears Prada, by Lauren Weisberger)
We’d be remiss if we didn’t include a staffer from Runway magazine, so we obviously chose the one who could be described as the most outrageous (he’s gonna let his light shine whether we approve or not, so we might as well celebrate his sartorial choices). Plus, he’s tall, British, and the only one who can throw shade on what Miranda’s wearing. This man is a shining star. One thing bothers us, though. We get that this book is a roman à clef about Vogue, but do we believe for one second that anyone there actually tells Anna Wintour what to wear if they value their lives? No way. Not even André Leon Talley can get away with that, we bet. And so not only is Nigel a fashion plate, but he might also be superhuman.

Patrick Bateman (American Psycho, by Brett Easton Ellis)
Ok, he’s a murderer, and a psychopath, and a sadist, and all the most horrible things a human being can be—and we use the term “human being” loosely because he’s basically just a nightmare with fancy business cards. But dude’s got some serious swag. Serious, serious (and probably blood-stained so don’t shine a blacklight on it, k?) swag. The suits. The watches. The cuff links. The fine leather goods. Vuitton. Ferragamo. All the big guns. Also, Patrick Bateman has a gun. Several. Let’s leave him alone now.

Cinna (The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins)
In the midst of all the tacky disasters running around the Capitol with wings and face tattoos and ruffles bigger than your head, Cinna rocks simple gold eyeliner like a boss. And considering the fact that we all know what that man’s hands are capable of (dresses that can erupt in flames or start a revolution, etc), it’s a testament to his fashion dominance that he’s down with the “less is more” aesthetic. So talented. So beautiful. We shall never stop firing our cannons in the air for you, Cinna.

Weetzie Bat (Weetzie Batby Francesca Lia Block)
Weetzie Bat wears whatever she wants, whenever she wants, and honestly, we could probably all stand to take a page out of her book. She’s the perfect reminder of fashion the way we used to do it when we were 5 years old and insisted on dressing ourselves. Remember? What whimsy! So make like Weetzie and experiment a little, why don’t you? Pile on everything at once. Wear a costume. Get a cool 1950s car to match your cool 1950s outfit. Scarlett O’Hara the crap out of some sheets from your old childhood bedroom. More taffeta! More glitter! More charm bracelets! It’s fun! (Or crazy.)

Tante Padva (The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern)
Tante Padva has been killin’ it for years. Nails done, hair done, everything done. Not only is she a retired dancer, but she’s also a sassy old broad and the mastermind behind all the costumes for the Night Circus, which is basically like being a weaver of dreams. People are always bowing to her and stuff because she’s got the best dresses (um, a silk kimono GOWN embroidered with cherry blossoms?!) and makes everyone around her look like a million dollars. She only likes you when you compliment her clothes, which is awesomely self-indulgent. And she’s a feminist. Basically, she’s everything we wanna be when we grow up.

Claudia Kishi and Stacey McGill (The Baby-Sitters Club series, by Ann M. Martin)
If you want to disregard everything that’s come before this section, we can’t say we blame you, because the queens have arrived. If you read BSC and don’t specifically remember these two and their fashion sense, then you’re probably wearing some sort of potato sack right about now. Seriously, who even WERE the other baby-sitters?! They were nothing! No sparkle! No flair! Claudia and Stacey were the sun and the moon, particularly for those of us who had to wear school uniforms every day (ahem).

Stacey, with her big ole perm and glamorous NYC upbringing, was never afraid to experiment with hats (how many 8th graders do you know who casually wear berets?) or color blocking. Claudia’s style was way more outlandish because she was an artist, and if we learned nothing else from her, it’s that everyone should always dress like their hobby. Claudia never shied away from oversized overalls. Her sneaker game was always on-point. She had novelty earrings for days. Seriously, if I had to sit next to them at a meeting every week, I’d feel terrible about myself. True facts: If they were real people, they’d be blogging sensations. Even Ann M. Martin’s ghostwriters couldn’t handle Claudia and Stacey’s preteen fashion dominance and described their outfits every chance they got. Claudia and Stacey inspired us all.

Who are your favorite fashionable fictional characters?

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