The 8 most stylish TV shows to catch-up on this Christmas break

The most stylish TV shows of 2020

The Queen's Gambit
The Queen's Gambit Credit: Netflix

Thankfully, for the house-bound and the news-fatigued, 2020 has been a fantastic year for television. From The Crown, to Normal People, to The Queen's Gambit, there have been some excellent, entertaining new shows to devour - with outstanding costuming efforts to excite, alongside the plot lines. 

In some cases, such as in The Undoing, the clothing is subtly important to a character's identity, giving away visual clues. In others, such as Emily in Paris, the fashion is the main event - arguably the absolute reason to watch the show.

Storytelling and fashion go hand in hand in all of these series, which have been selected as favourites by our editors this year. How many have you watched so far? Make it your Christmas mission to finish the lot...

The Queen’s Gambit, on Netflix 

The Queen's Gambit

If someone would have told me I’d find style inspiration from a television series about chess, I would have scoffed. But The Queen’s Gambit has proved me wrong. Set in the 1950s and 1960s, Anya Taylor-Joy plays Beth Harmon, a chess prodigy who grew up in an orphanage. This series is captivating for its storyline alone, diving into addiction, feminism and obsession. But as Beth’s confidence in her game play grows, so does her personal style. Think 1960s monochrome looks inspired by André Courrèges and Pierre Cardin. She wears mini skirts, bows, berets, peter pan collars and plenty of chess board checks. I guarantee you’ll be searching for an A-line chequered coat by the end of the series.  - TS

Selling Sunset, on Netflix

Davina Portratz and Christine Quinn, on Selling Sunset Credit: Netflix

As this year draws to a close, I have little patience left for actual reality. Hence why my recommendation for you is to watch the fantastical, couldn't-possibly-be-scripted reality television series Selling Sunset, if you haven't already. Following the antics at estate agency The Oppenheim Group in Los Angeles, there is incredible property porn to take in in each episode. But also revel in the competitive drama between the agents and behold the unofficial staff uniform of spike stiletto heels, fuchsia power suits, flasher-than-flash handbags and embellished ponytails, best modelled by the formidable Christine Quinn. -CL

Emily in Paris, on Netflix  

Lily Collins as Emily Cooper in Emily in Paris

When the fashion publicist from Chicago, Emily Cooper, gets transferred to Paris, her life becomes one big run of style and etiquette blunders. Yet there is something compelling about this fluffy show, and the way our protagonist parades around her new city wearing berets, Breton tees, Eiffel Tower bag charms, crop tops and stilettos. 

Would it make more sense if I mentioned it was brought to you by some of the creatives behind Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada? Emily in Paris is a feel good show, a guilty pleasure. Am I impatiently waiting for season two, to see what else could go wrong? Of course, oui! - HM

 Schitt’s Creek, on Netflix

Schitts Creek Credit: Alamy

Looking for some outrageous fashion chutzpah? Meet Moira Rose, a former daytime television soap star, and her son David, both disciples of monochrome drainpipes and both designer label addicts. Schitt's Creek follows the once-rich Rose family as they fall from grace, losing everything and ending up living in a motel room. If you’re still deterred by the show’s uninviting title, you’re missing out on a warm-hearted treat, with endearing characters and some laugh out loud and moving moments.  - LA

The Undoing, on Sky Atlantic and Now TV

Nicole Kidman in The Undoing

Nothing is as perfect as it seems in the gilded New York world inhabited by Nicole Kidman’s Dr Grace Fraser and husband Jonathan, a leading oncologist played by Hugh Grant. Except, of course, Kidman’s boho-luxe wardrobe. Grace favours vintage velvet coats, burgundy boots and other pieces in rich tones that play well against Kidman’s trademark loose curls. She’s not averse to high glamour, either, as we learn when she wears a sunray-pleated lamé Givenchy gown to a school fundraiser. As Grace moves from being a paragon of placid, controlled uptown motherhood to a highly strung suspect at the centre of a brutal murder trial, the hair grows wilder. The pussy-bows unravel. The coattails fly. But she always looks fabulous, doesn’t she?  - EC

The Crown, on Netflix 

Emma Corrin as Princess Diana in The Crown Credit: Netflix

As a Princess Diana obsessive, my 2020 was basically spent counting down to November 15 when the fourth season of The Crown hit our screens. As expected, many of Emma Corrin’s outfits were a delight, particularly those from Lady Di’s early royal life - the glimpse of that famous black sheep jumper, the gingham trousers for rollerskating down the corridors of Buckingham Palace and the embroidered cardigan at Badminton Horse trials.

But Diana isn’t the only ‘80s style star to revel in here… Margaret Thatcher and her immovable hair are exquisite, as are the PM and the Queen’s beloved - and very similar - handbags. A shout out too, to Princess Anne and Camilla, who represent the horsey, country style set which couldn’t give two figs that shoulder pads and pussy-bow blouses are in fashion.  - BH

Ratched, on Netflix

Sarah Paulson as Mildred Ratched in Ratched Credit: Netflix

It’s unsettling just how polished Mildred Ratched is. Working at a psychiatric hospital, Sarah Paulson stars as Nurse Mildred in the dark, twisted thriller. Plot aside, gore meets glamour as Ratched serves up flawless '40s fashion from the first episode. In an early scene, the camera pans back to reveal her A-line canary-yellow skirt suit, with a cinched waist and a coordinating cloche hat, complete with chocolate brown accessories - a look that could easily pass muster on a Fendi autumn/winter catwalk. Even her uniform is tailored to perfection, and almost Alessandra-Rich esque in its vintage design and chic duck-egg blue hue. Her fabulous looks distract you from her heartless and unstable behaviour. Well, almost.  - KT

Normal People, on BBC iPlayer 

Characters Marianne and Connell in Normal People Credit: BBC

If there was a single television moment from 2020 that I would like to live out right now, it wouldn’t be Parisian idylls or jaunts to Buckingham Palace, it would be the scene in Normal People where Marianne – who is played by Daisy Edgar-Jones – eats an ice cream in an Italian piazza in a spaghetti strap black cotton sundress and Bensimon tennis shoes. Heaven. This is followed closely by the time she wears an A-line tunic in sun-faded gingham by the pool. Although her Dublin wardrobe of cream silk blouses, artfully draped scarves, dangly earrings and knee-high leather boots is almost as tempting. This coming-of-age series about the extraordinary twists of ordinary young love captured audiences when it aired in the spring lockdown, but can be watched on BBC iPlayer if you missed it the first time. It is a show made famous by scenes where nobody is wearing any clothes, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a fashion classic. - MT