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US TV’s most stylish characters

Stars are offering great fashion inspiration


We’re watching more TV — around four hours a day — than ever before, with Netflix’s dark political drama ‘House of Cards’, the latest American buzz show that has everyone talking. It makes sense, then, that we start taking style tips from our favourite characters. With ‘Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw and ‘The Killing’s Sarah Lund now consigned to your DVD collection, here are six new style stars waiting on your digibox now.

Claire Underwood, House of Cards

This is the kind of wardrobe that makes grown women sigh with envy. Nothing Robin Wright’s Claire, the wife of Kevin Spacey’s scheming Francis, wears is shouty or too flamboyant. Instead, it’s ordered, tasteful, classic and grown-up. Her sleek side-parted bob is sure to become “the Claire”. Mrs Underwood has no time for anything frivolous, clothes are her armour and they come in shades of grey, black, blue and oatmeal. To replicate it, you will need a pencil skirt, LBD, a black trench and a camel coat. Ruthless streak and power-hungry husband are optional.

April Ludgate, Parks and Recreation

Anyone trying to ape the style of disaffected youth should study Aubrey Plaza’s character in the local-government comedy ‘Parks and Recreation’. As office intern April Ludgate, she masters a flicking-through-magazines, roll-of-the-eyes attitude. With glossy side-parted hair, bold floral prints, stripes and Sesame Street colours, her geek-chic thrift-store wardrobe is a bright spot of hipster style in a world of cheap suits. She’s also a little like a modern, deadpan version of Winnie from ‘The Wonder Years’ — and that can never be a bad thing.

Kalinda Sharma, The Good Wife

While Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick might be the obvious style reference for this lawyer-based show — nice skirt suits are her thing — the savvy choice is actually Kalinda Sharma. Played by Archie Panjabi, the investigator with a shadowy past wears a NSFW uniform of short skirts, over-the-knee boots and cropped biker jackets, accessorised with a gun and/or ex-husband. It’s dominatrix goes to court and, with biker style still the fashion choice at brands ranging from Christopher Kane to Chanel, it’s bang on trend.

Selina Meyer, Veep

As a vehicle for Julia Louis-Dreyfus — aka Elaine from Seinfeld — Veep excels. It’s also an unlikely resource for work-friendly fashion tips. A female vice-president’s wardrobe — even a made-up one — has to be pretty top notch, after all. Meyer’s approach is half “don’t mess with me” power suits and half retro secretary — think Lily Tomlin in 9 to 5. While that sounds like a terrible combination, it actually means lots of pussybow blouses, “done” hair and bright colours. The trailer for season two stars a leopard-print pussybow, so expect even more style — along the corridors of power.

Carrie Mathison, Homeland

While Carrie’s style — trousersuits, white shirts, a security pass worn as an accessory — divides opinion, her hair is universally regarded as a triumph. Baby blonde, razor-sharp and fine enough to blow in the softest of breezes, it has given midlength cuts a much higher profile. Model Karlie Kloss even got a similar haircut. Mathison’s do is so perfect, in fact, that style-aware viewers have been known to be distracted from the show’s latest plot twist. That has to be the sign of seriously good hair.

Jessa Johansson, Girls

If in any doubt that Jessa and her cousin Shoshanna couldn’t be more different, look at their wardrobes. While Shoshanna is neat as a pin — see fascinators, polo shirts and alice bands — Jessa is what can only be described as a hot mess. A bit bohemian — dressing gown in the street, anyone? — her intrepid traveller look always involves a lot of stuff: jewellery, floaty florals and flea-market finds with stories behind them (“This old thing? I got it at the top of a mountain in Nepal.”) The wild blonde tresses and spontaneous marriages only add to the free spirit vibe. Hippy style has a new heroine.