7 TV Shows With The Most Unrealistic Teen Wardrobes

When did teenagers in TV shows [and movies] stop dressing like actual teenagers?

I know that TV shows aren’t real life–hell, most TV teens are played by 27-year-olds–but let’s not act like the average teen show isn’t trying to mirror real life to some extent. One of the easiest ways to do that, I’d imagine, is based on what the characters are wearing. Shows from the ’90s like Boy Meets World had flannel galore, and the early to mid ’00s like Lizzie McGuireNed’s Declassified, The O.C. were full of the most ridiculous hair accessories and low rise bootleg jeans. But lately? It’s been harder and harder to actually find TV shows that reflect what teenagers are actually wearing right now.

Let’s be totally real right now: How many of y’all went to class rocking heels on a regular basis like the gals on Pretty Little Liars. Right, thought so.

From grown woman chic to day-glo nightmares, check out these seven TV shows with some seriously unrealistic teen wardrobes.

Gossip Girl

I was never rich myself, but I went to private school and grew up around a fair amount of rich teenagers. I'm going to ruin some people's expectations but the truth is that rich teenagers don't really dress that glamorously, for the most part. Like, at all. Sure, their clothes are expensive, but lounging in evening dresses and heels? Nah. I swear, the most realistic Gossip Girl outfits are the school uniforms, everything else is so OTT.

Pretty Little Liars

Even some of the most "mature" high school girls are not going to school nearly every day wearing high heels and mini dresses. I say this as somebody who had a pair of massive platform heels in high school that I could only bear to wear a few times a year without feeling foolish. Hell, most girls in college don't even dress this gussied up.

The Vampire Diaries

Nothing says dark and sexy like a show about teenagers who look slammin' in evening gowns. Honestly, the outfits on this show became increasingly unrealistic as the show progressed. I get that some of these folks are old af vampires but like a Vampire teen can't rock a generic Stussy tee and some Converse? Aight.

Teen Wolf

Honestly, I think that as the seasons progressed, the characters' wardrobes stopped looking quite so high school-esque. Now it's going through The Vampire Diaries Syndrome: The darker the show gets, the more grown up these high schoolers start dressing. You'd think that none of these girls even own a sweatshirt.


Is it just me, or did the cast of Jessie always look like a Department Store catalog's idea of how #young #kids #dress #today? Like some sort of Macy's or Target Mother's Day commercial. It's like, what kid is actually wearing that? Answer: None of 'em.


Honestly, Victorious isn't the worst offender on this list. The wardrobe really wasn't too unrealistic, for the most part. But after a while, it was hard not to get a distinct impression that these kids dress a lot cooler than the average high schooler. I mean, too many dudes in high school are still wearing stupid graphic tees with bad memes and sexist sayings on them. These guys from Victorious look GQ in comparison.

Make It Pop

I know that Nickelodeon (and Disney) sort of has a Day-Glo set/wardrobe problem (EVERYTHING. IS. SO. BRIGHT), but Make It Pop is on another level. As somebody who wore a lot of bright colors in high school, even I'm a little taken aback. I get it, this show is K-Pop inspired and is meant to show off that aesthetic, but if we want to be real, if these girls were really in a K-Pop group, they'd most likely be forced to dress like they're 25-year-old women at the club instead of middle schoolers who lost their way out of box of crayons.

What other shows have some seriously unrealistic teen wardrobes? Which of these shows do you think actually had some realistic looks? Tell us in the comments!

You can follow the author, Ashley Reese, on Twitter or Instagram. Don’t worry, she doesn’t bite!

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  • xero

    you know the lead on make it pop acctually IS a k pop star right?