The Style Evolution of "Girls"

February 10, 2017

all images via HBO

A look back on the TV show's best fashion moments

When HBO's series Girls started, I was a senior in high school ready to move to a big city and begin my college career. There was something fascinating about Hannah Horvath & Co. navigating the murky waters of early adulthood, and watching the main characters as they tried (and oftentimes fail) to find jobs, boyfriends, and themselves was comforting in a weird way. As a high schooler, I felt reassured that it was okay if I didn't have it all together by the time I was out of college, but of course, I would have it all together, or at least that's what I assumed.

These past few weeks I rewatched the series in preparation for its sixth and final season, and I find myself commiserating with the struggles of these four girls so much more now. I relate particularly to Shoshanna's challenges of being a bright student who is begrudgingly realizing that an honors degree from a good college doesn't automatically translate to a perfect job, but there are facets of all four characters—Hannah's troubles balancing creative work with making money, Jessa's closed-off attitude, and Marnie's feelings of inauthenticity—that I see in myself, and it's nice to have a television show that captures the weird in-between nature of being a semi-independent twentysomething (not a girl, not yet a woman, am I right?)

I know people have issues with Lena Dunham, and I do too, but I'm so thankful for this show and the ways that it has guided me through my own coming-of-age story. 

With the final season beginning on Sunday, I thought it would be fun to look back on the style evolution of Hannah, Marnie, Jessa, and Shoshanna, because as with all good TV shows, their fashions change as their characters do, and it's a beautiful thing.

(there are some spoilers, so if you aren't caught up on Girls, binge-watch it now and then read this article!)

Season One

Jessa just returned from Europe, and is thus the epitome of French cool girl chic, while Shoshanna is still rocking Juicy Couture tracksuits (hey, they're back in now!)
These outfits aren't particularly exciting, but I own the dress that Hannah's wearing! See!
This is the epitome of each girl's style: Hannah is wearing bright colors from Urban Outfitters, Jessa somehow makes a wild feathered concoction look totally cool, and Marnie is just a little too stuffy in her gallery girl dress for a Bushwick warehouse party
Of course Jessa would wear an off-the-shoulder dress and what appears to be a fishnet as a veil to her surprise wedding

Season Two

Hannah delves further into vintage dressing. Season 2 is definitely when she looks most cutesy, but that may be masking her internal issues
Marnie is the one who transforms her style so completely based on what she's doing, and when she becomes an artist's muse, she wears this awesome futuristic-looking dress. I think Marnie oftentimes feels that if she dresses the part, the rest will come naturally
Season 2 is also when we get Shoshanna at the peak of her donut hair and wild braids. I've yet to meet anyone who could pull this off in real life

Season Three

After Shoshanna's breakup with Ray, she really transforms and goes on a bit of a destructive streak, and her more mature style in Season 3 reflects the ways that she's grown up mentally (or at least she thinks she has)
This is one of my favorite Hannah outfits, and of course I love the ice cream cone as accessory 😀
My favorite thing about Jessa is that her clothes could come from a thrift store or they could be The Row, and she makes slip dresses and robes look so elegant
Another favorite Hannah moment: when she gets her first paycheck at her new job, she sees this dress at Intermix and decides to buy it. It's a huge milestone for her, not only because she finally has money to buy a nice dress, but because the dress makes her feel confident

Season Four

As Marnie embarks on her music career, her style becomes very boho, but in a calculated way. Of course she's going to wear clip-in feathers
Shoshanna has always let her hair do the talking, and when she starts interviewing for jobs, she starts wearing bold hair clips and a bob to exude professionalism
Jessa's ethereal style becomes more subdued as time goes on and she works at being a better person, but she's still going to rock cool sculptural jewelry and the perfect vampy red lip

Season Five

Marnie's wedding is a perfect way to see how different each girl's style is. Even though they're wearing the same bridesmaid dress, each one wears it in a totally different way. And of course Marnie wears a flower crown to her Coachella-chic wedding
Shoshanna in Japan is the storyline I never knew I needed, and I think she really comes into her own abroad, where people are just as willing to experiment with style as she is
This might be the best fashion moment in all of Girls. In a Marnie-centric episode, she reconnects with her transformed ex-boyfriend and lives a fairytale for an evening in a gorgeous dress she says makes her feel like "a Bob Mackie Barbie". Of course, all dreams come to an end, and in the daylight she—and the dress—are transformed.
Season 5 ends with Hannah getting back into writing and telling a story at a writing event. She wears a simple Eileen Fisher dress that she bought with her mom earlier in the episode, and while it's a simple look, we see Hannah return to her passion and once again feeling confident in her looks and in her talent.

I can't wait to see how the style of the girls will continue to evolve in the final season, and more importantly, where the characters all end up!

What's your favorite Girls fashion moment?


  1. The style evolution is amazing! Such a difference :)

    Liebe Grüße

  2. Love this post! Girls is amazing!

    Bella x


I love hearing your thoughts! Thanks for reading! ♥︎Lindsey