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4 Style Lessons from Our Favorite 90s TV Shows

With fall premieres upon us and our heritage theme in full swing, we’re looking back fondly at our favorite 90s TV style icons—and the style wisdom they have to impart. Here, the best tips from Angela Chase, Ally McBeal, Rachel Green, and (trust us) Steve Urkel.

Claire Danes

1. Find Your Signature Hair Color

Angela Chase, My So Called Life
Precocious, sensitive teenager Angela Chase gave us more than an unhealthy obsession with Jordan Catalano. She also taught us that hair color can help define a character. Within the first five minutes of the show's pilot, she dyed her hair a deep burgundy, which became her signature shade. While not everyone may choose to go quite that bold, the color you were born with isn't always the color you should live with forever.

Ally McBeal

2. Believe in the Power of the Power Suit

Ally McBeal, Ally McBeal
The show that introduced us to the craziness of interoffice relationships (before we'd spent any significant time in an office) was also notable for the titular character’s ah-mazing skirt suits. Fashionable and feminine and professionally successful weren’t mutually exclusive in Ally’s world (which, admittedly, included dancing babies and fantasy sequences). The next time you have a big meeting or presentation, take a page from McBeal's playbook and put on the outfit that makes you feel your most powerful.


3. Highlight Your Focus Feature

Rachel Green, Friends
For some women, it’s bright colors to show off full lips; for others, it’s liquid liner to play up big eyes. For Rachel Green, her defining feature was her hair. Oh, her hair. From the original layered “Rachel” that launched a nationwide craze to her long, sleek style in later seasons, her hair was always the focus. While we love mixing it up and trying new styles, there’s also value in finding your best feature and putting it front and center.


4. Embrace the Potential of a Good Makeover

Steve Urkel, Family Matters
We love a good metamorphosis, and Steve Urkel’s amazing transformation into Stefan Urquelle proved that a little confidence and the right outfit can do wonders. To find out if you’re in a style rut, ask yourself these questions: Do your go-to outfits flatter your body type? What do you get most compliments on, and is that what you tend to highlight? You might need to get out of your comfort zone to find your inner Stefan.

If you’re looking for modern inspiration, take a page from one of our favorite leading ladies du jour in this Connie Britton hair tutorial.

Photos: Ally McBeal: 20th Century Fox Television; Rachel Green: Warner Bros. Television, Angela Chase: ABC Productions; Steve Urkel: Bickley-Warren Productions

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