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Dickinson: Every Main Character, Ranked By Fashion Sense

One of the most enchanting qualities of the Apple TV+ original series Dickinson is the stunning sartorial choices and costume designs of the mid-1800s period drama. Hailee Steinfeld stars as the famed poet Emily Dickinson who comes of age in a time of technological change, societal oppression, and extreme hardship, yet is able to express herself through her casual and formal clothing just as she is in her profound poetry.

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With Season 3 of Dickinson poised for a November premiere date, now is the perfect opportunity to reflect on some of the show's most elegant costume and wardrobe choices. Hopefully, even wilder outfits appear in Season 3.

8 Maggie

While Maggie is more of a recurring character than a series mainstay, her wardrobe underscores the distinct class disparity the show makes a point to highlight. As the hired maid of the Dickinson abode, Maggie's fashion sense is limited by an undersized wardrobe.

Often seen sporting the same brown and tan ruffled maid's uniform, Maggie isn't afforded the luxuries of the other characters on the show. Far from ugly, the design is more favorable than the black-and-white maid's outfits that became popular in the 1900s. Maggie's fashion sense is meant to crystallize the social stratification between the haves and have-nots.

7 Henry

While Henry's (Chinaza Uche) wife Betty (Amanda Warren) is a local dressmaker with a keen fashion sense, she only appears in a handful of episodes and rarely gets to show off her style. By comparison, Henry appears in half of the episodes and often sports very modest threads with earth tones that reflect his humble, grounded roots.

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As an African American hired hand in the 1850s, Henry's limited fashion sense is meant to underscore the giant chasm between the privileged upper-class and the lower working class. Henry can usually be found in a modest brown corduroy blazer, a grey undervest, and a cowboy hat.

6 Edward Dickinson

As the esteemed Dickinson paterfamilias and congressional hopeful, Edward (Toby Huss) exudes a regal air of fashion. Whether it's his silk paisley undershirts, towering top hats, gold pocket watches, draping overcoats, or his meticulous neckties and matching flannel ensembles, Edward sets the tone for all of the other male characters on the show. The tux he wore on the night out to the opera is his finest fashion moment.

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While Edward is often seen disapproving of Emily's poetic expressions, it's clear that she respects his opinion of her wardrobe and tries to eclipse the standard that he's set. However, Edward is far more driven by his craven desire for political power than his fashion sense.

5 Austin Dickinson

As the dashing young college student and handsome suitor of Sue (Ella Hunt), Austin Dickinson (Adrian Blake Enscoe) is the most stylish male main character on the popular Apple+ original series. The frilly neckerchiefs, woolen scarves, rakish tophats, colorful bowties, silken undervests, and accentuating gold jewelry are hard to beat.

Austin's fastidious fashion sense is part of the reason why Sue begins to fall for him, but her increasing mutual attraction to Emily creates a major love triangle for all involved. The more interested in Emily that Sue becomes, the more disheveled Austin appears physically, indicating an intrinsic link to his outer appearance and internal feelings.

4 Mrs. Dickinson

The strong, self-empowered Dickinson women have the greatest fashion sense of any other characters on the show. The trend starts with Mrs. Emily Norcross Dickinson (Jane Krakowski), the elegant matriarch mixes cozy casual-chic house wear with stunningly sophisticated evening gowns.

According to costume designer Jennifer Moeller via Elle, the gorgeous green silk dress worn by Mrs. Dickinson at the opera was the jumping-off point for the character. Aside from the green opera dress, Mrs. Dickinson is often seen draped in various shades of blue to accentuate her natural eye color. As a stylish role model for her daughters, Mrs. Dickinson sets the sartorial tone. As such, she's quickly becoming one of the best TV moms of the past decade.

3 Lavinia Dickinson

As the youngest Dickinson daughter, Lavinia (Anna Baryshnikov) has a more playful fashion sense than most, including her burlesque flashing to the crowd. Whether it's the stunning yellow gown she wears to the dance in "Wild Night," the ravishing ruby ensemble she sports in "Split the Lark," ruffly green and pink opera dress, and countless others, Lavinia is rarely unseen dressed to the hilt.

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According to whattowear.co.uk, Baryshnikov fell in love with the vintage corset covers used on the show, which provides a protective layer between her skin and the costume. While corsets imply an image of bound women, Moeller was sure to loosen up Lavinia's undergarments as the character becomes more open and confident.

2 Sue Gilbert

One of the most rewarding parts of the underrated period drama is seeing Sue (Ella Hunt) go from an impoverished street orphan to an influential 1850s fashionista. As such, her stylish sartorial expressions are bested only by the title character. The risque, tradition-challenging dress Sue wore in the library is among her finest fashion moments. The more empowered Sue becomes, the greater chances she takes with her fashion sense.

According to Moeller, the characters' costumes often reflected the themes of the Dickinson poems each episode is based on. In the Season 2 finale, Sue is wearing this brownish silk suit that has this floral pattern, almost like a garden." In conjunction with Emily's snakey green grass, the combination of the two outfits feels germane.

1 Emily Dickinson

Whether it's her modest house dresses, shapely corsets, lacy chemises, nap dresses, petticoats, white smocks, or absolutely jaw-dropping and colorful farrago of evening gowns, Emily Dickinson is the most fashionable character on the show after her. According to Moeller, her entire costume design is built around the title character and how her poetic moods are reflected in the garments she wears.

In season 1, Emily is largely confined to her home and spends a lot of downtime in her casual pajama-like house dresses and comfortable nap garments. But season 2, as Emily becomes more mature and popular, the sophisticated eveningwear is meant to reflect her escalation up the social ladder. Moeller tells PopSugar, "Emily's more confident in her writing, so her clothes have a little more confidence - there are bolder shapes and patterns." Hopefully, the trend continues in Season 3.

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