9 TV Shows That Overestimate The Average High Schooler’s Fashion Sense

Rihanna Are You Kidding Me


Here’s the thing about most teens: when they’re being forced to wake up at 7 AM or earlier to go to hell school, they generally don’t care what they wear there. That makes enough sense, right? I’d say so, especially considering that 10/10 people would wear literally nothing to any place if that was a thing that didn’t get you arrested. (I know because I did the necessary science, thanks.)

But here’s a conflicting thing about TV: it never got the memo and it’s under the impression that the opposite is true. That’s really the only explanation for why the people in Hollywood costume departments are all, “A $300 Lauren by Ralph Lauren dress for this 16-year-old’s scene in algebra class? What else would anyone be wearing in this situation?!” To which, the answer is always “sweatpants.” Or, since we’re talking about high school, “a pair of too-tight Hollister jeans” works, too.

But not for the characters on these 9 TV shows, who only wore hand-spun silk and golden robes to school. Because Hollywood wants to make you feel badly, but also doesn’t have a clue.

1. Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl Blair Chuck


You’re never supposed to forget that these kids are richer than even your dream version of yourself. But, even still, the sheer amount of ascots and expensive coats —that were so impractical! A winter coat with half-sleeves? BYE.— worn in this show were just out of this world.

2. Pretty Little Liars

Pretty Little Liars Walking


Let’s play a game called, “Let’s Guess What Time A Real Student Would Have To Wake Up Every Morning In Order To Arrive To School Looking Like This”. I’m in the market for a shorter name, if you’ve got one.

3. Clarissa Explains It All

Clarissa Explains It All Opening


Clarrisa explains it all, except apparently how she managed to find time between all of her ~teen probz~ to acquire the wardrobe of every ’90s kid’s dreams.

4. Every Disney show ever

That's So Raven Excelente


I don’t know which adults Disney execs went to school with, but I knew approximately zero classmates who wore fur and heels to school.

5. Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer What


True, Buffy wasn’t a legitimately “normal” high school student. Which, if by nothing else, is proven by her wardrobe.

6. Saved By The Bell

Kelly Kapowski Hair


Zack was way too put-together to be a gross teenaged boy. But also Kelly was a damn supermodel. Get out of here.

7. 90210

90210 Yay


Did they just wear couture to class on the reg? I’m pretty sure that’s something that’s happened before on this show.

8. Glee

Glee Kurt Blaine Talking


Sorry to your ego if you’ve ever seen and then wanted to buy an outfit on this show worn by any of the following people: Rachel, Quinn, or Kurt. Because you can’t afford it.

9. The Carrie Diaries

The Carrie Diaries Perverted


I suppose that it’s only fitting that the miniature version of TV’s most ridiculously frivolous-spender would dress like that, even in high school. But are we expected to believe that every character dressed like they just stepped off of a New York Fashion Week runway? I want to, but my brain won’t allow it.

You can reach this post's author, Olivia Wilson, on twitter.
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    • Sara Steinfeld

      I remember when I first started watching Gossip Girl I tried to see if I could dress like Jenny and I looked up a bag she was wearing thinking, “Oh that can’t be so expensive, it looks like it’s from Forever 21 or something,” and SURPRISE, it was $500. So yes. This is all accurate.

      • Olivia Wilson

        I can’t even explain how many times this exact thing has happened to me. As far as Gossip Girl goes, my style is closer to Blair, but like, I’d be a joke if I even attempted that.

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      Even Kurt’s hair on Glee would take like forty-five minutes.

      • Olivia Wilson

        And that’s still not as long as it took him to finally perfect his vaguely judgmental facial expressions.

    • .

      For some reason I feel the need to defend That’s So Raven? … but I feel like everyone on that show dressed normal, and highschool-y- it was only Raven who didn’t, and that was because the character was really into fashion (eventually getting an intern ship with a super famous designer in the final season!).
      I know too much Raven.

      • .

        The rest of them, for real though. Pretty Little Liars being the WORST. They’re not even supposed to be rich characters on the show, are they? Atleast Gossip Girl had that. At LEAST.

      • Laura Palmer

        I know. I dont know much about PLL, but if my dead friend was stalking me or something, i wouldn’t have time to every so slightly curl my hair in the morning.

    • Laura Palmer

      I think the clothing on Buffy was very reasonable! I love willows ugly sweaters

      • JennyWren

        I think Willow and Zander both had pretty realistic wardrobes, but Buffy herself had waaaay too many nice coat and boot combos, especially given that her and her mom were meant to be struggling a little financially. I mean, there can’t have been that many good thrift stores around the hellmouth.

      • Laura Palmer

        Gilmore Girl and Veronica mars had pretty realistic clothing. All these new disney shows way over estimate how well a 12 year old can dress.

    • Samantha Escobar

      Seriously @ PLL. They’re all impractical and totally absurd. (Not that the show isn’t, but like…seriously.)

    • Guest

      This was one of the things that bugged me about Glee, in the first season (or two) they dressed ‘High-Schoolish’ and then all of a sudden there comes the couture!

    • Lucinda Blackletter

      Pretty much any show where the parents or kids dress above what the families financial means are, is, unbelievable. The Cosby kids dressed pretty basic for dad being a doctor and mom being a lawyer.