I Watched a Lot of TV in 2020—Here Are the Year's Best On-Screen Fashion Moments

Since there was more time spent at home this year, many of our habits and activities changed. For me, it was the way I watch TV. I'm someone who dreads starting a new series and would much rather watch the same shows I've been watching for years (I'm talking about you, Gilmore Girls), simply because it gives me more comfort. But things change, and with more time on hand, 2020 was the year I actually ventured into watching new shows. To my surprise, I actually found myself adding new series' to my obsession list, from The Crown to Schitt's Creek

As a fashion editor and avid lover of costume, I have a special love for shows that put effort into their characters' wardrobe. Even if it's a stand-out accessory or an ongoing color palette, every detail adds to creating the story for viewers to understand better. Whether it was the coats on The Undoing or the chain that Connel wore in Normal People, it's safe to say that costume designers put in their best work this year, if I do say so myself. Ahead, you'll find a roundup of not only shows that grabbed the attention of many with their plot but also with their collection of looks.

The Queen's Gambit


(Image credit: Netflix)

Who would've thought that a show about chess would become this popular, let alone inspire people's fashion taste? Anya Taylor Joy plays Beth, a chess prodigy who learns to express herself through the game and her clothing throughout the series. She perfects retro style, from Peter-Pan collars and shift dresses to looks inspired by the chessboard.

The Crown


(Image credit: Netflix)

If I could, I would add all of Princess Diana's looks because every single one was iconic. While royalty rules don't like their women to wear pants, the Princess of Wales clearly broke the rules. What I love most about her looks was the way she played around with the way she dressed, adding youthful and playful touches to anything she wore, which the show's costume designers exuded perfectly.

Normal People


(Image credit: Hulu)

While I loved seeing Marianne's relaxed style outside of her school uniform, it was her style at Trinity College that really grabbed my attention. Her clothing truly marked pivotal moments in her life, and as she grew as a character she became more playful and assured with her dressing, wearing unique and expensive staples that captured her newfound confidence.


(Image credit: Hulu)

I can't talk about Normal People without talking about Connel's chain, which became instantly viral and even got itself a growing Instagram account. And let's be real, if Connel didn't kickstart an obsession with Paul Mescal, did you really even watch the show?

High Fidelity


(Image credit: Hulu)

Although Hulu, unfortunately, canceled Zoe Kravit's High Fidelity after one season, Robyn Brooks’s impeccable style is one to remember. Rob often mixed highs and lows like Gucci loafers and Vans to vintage tees and Hawaiian tops, encouraging many to experiment more with their outfits. One episode in and you'll want to copy her '90s-inspired looks.

The Undoing


(Image credit: HBO)

The Undoing had everyone I follow—including the Kardashian family—on their toes. But what else caught my eye? Grace Fraiser's coat collection. After all, her character is a New Yorker with a combination of bohemian and upper east side flair, so I'm not surprised.



(Image credit: HBO)

In HBO's Insecure, Issa has grown significantly and taken a leap forward with her personal style, which is evident in the fourth season of the show. Costume designer Shiona Turni also made it a point to dress the cast in powerful black designers like Pyer Moss and Telfar, plus trendy brands like Staud and Nanushka.


(Image credit: HBO)

In the first few seasons, Molly, who's a lawyer on the show, very much stuck to the standard of corporate dressing. But in this season, she donned a lot of bold monochromatic colorways and luxury pieces that helped her stand out.

Emily in Paris


(Image credit: Netflix)

When I think of French style, Camille's slew of cool-girl outfits come to mind. From her mini dresses to her oversize jackets, I wanted it all. She not only represented the ideal dream-girl in fashion, but her innate kindness also had me mark her as my favorite character of the show.


(Image credit: Netflix)

While Emily's outfits may not have been my personal favorite, the girl knew how to bring out all the stops for her formal wear. This specific look gave me major Audrey Hepburn inspiration, and I'm 100% for it.



(Image credit: Netflix)

Twenty-twenty was definitely the year of the mini series, and Hollywood was one of the many that did not disappoint. Created by Ryan Murphy, I was already expecting great costumes, and Camille Washington, played by Laura Harrier stole my heart many times in her eye-catching ensembles.



(Image credit: Netflix)

While this is set to release on Christmas day, from the trailer it's evident that this new Shondaland series is Jane Austen meets Gossip Girl in the best way possible. If there's anything that will bring great costumes, it's a period drama. 

The Flight Attendant


(Image credit: HBO)

There appears to be an ongoing theme of women in thrillers with fantastic coat collections in 2020. Kaley Cuoco, who plays Cassie, a flight attendant facing a series of traumatic events dons coats by designers ranging from Marni and Theory to Isabel Marant and Saint Laurent. 

Up Next, The New Gossip Girl Cast Is Filming in NYC—See Their Next-Gen Outfits

Associate Fashion Editor
Yusra Siddiqui is an editor who resides in New Jersey but bounces between the suburbs and NYC. (She's a Jersey girl at heart.) After interning at Who What Wear in 2019, she found her way to the team after graduating from LIM College in 2022 with a fashion media degree. She's also spent time writing and working for publications such as Fashionista, Coveteur, and Nylon, but she always knew that Who What Wear was where she was meant to be. When she's on the job, she's perusing runway shows, analyzing the latest thing fellow Gen Zers are up to on the internet, and sharing what she can about the modest-fashion market. You can also catch her dabbling in entertainment, talking about the costume choices of the latest Netflix series or diving deeper into how the plotline affects the viewers in a myriad of ways. Lastly, she likes to create content for Who What Wear's TikTok. Her personal time is spent doing similar but also different things—deep diving into almost every new TV show (Bridgerton, Gilmore Girls, and Stranger Things are favorites), planning her next local getaway (whenever that may be), and reading the latest Emily Henry or Sally Rooney novel in one sitting.