It doesn't matter if it is wedding attire, coronation garb, or battle couture — no one does power dressing quite like the characters on Game of Thrones. Lions, wolves, and dragons? All strong brand images. And that is something the Lannisters, Starks, and Targaryens understand more than most.
Award-winning costume designer Michele Clapton and her team have crafted numerous standout looks across 8 seasons — standout looks that might leave you wondering how to incorporate funnel neck gowns, capes, and leather strapping into your everyday wardrobe. The same goes for the wide range of accessories, from statement necklaces to crowns. How does one wear the latter on a daily basis if you are not part of a royal family?
While it is not an easy task to deliver Game of Thrones style pointers into a contemporary wardrobe, there are still plenty of moments to celebrate. Science-fiction and fantasy have inspired the runway on numerous occasions (and vice versa), Michele Clapton's work is set to influence fashion and costume design for years to come. Just look at the strong Dragon Queen aesthetic of the Gucci gowns worn by Saoirse Ronan and Florence Welch at the recent Met Gala. Not only is GoT set to impact the future of runway, but the costumes have also evoked past Alexander McQueen and Saint Laurent collections.
Narrowing this list down to 10 was already a mammoth task so there is a limit of one look per character — this list could've easily been a Sansa, Daenerys, and Cersei Top 10 — with a variety of seasons and pivotal moments covered.
Did we include your favorite? What did we miss?
Spoilers for Game of Thrones ahead.
Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey)
Only Cersei Lannister could pick an outfit that is fit for mourning the death of her last child and finally getting to take her seat on the Iron Throne. Cersei has always dressed to the occasion — whether it is a gold-armored corset while a battle rages overhead or softer flowing frocks in times of scheming. There is an image of strength and a desire for power in every single one of her garments, but none more so than when she finally got to wear the crown in "The Winds of Winter." Michele Clapton left the series at the end of Season 5, but her return was marked by this badass ensemble. A mix of leather, textured brocade and silver Lannister detailing, this is more than just sartorial power move. It is a statement that can't be denied.
Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke)
Let’s go back to a simpler time and a signature Daenerys look. Long before she wore sleeves, she was the queen of the “going out top.” This was followed by a stunning blue frock worn over leather riding pants. The more power she got, the more structured her outfits became. The white caped gown at the end of Season 5 is her most elegant, but it is the statement dragon choker curled around her throat that is the centerpiece. Dany has always been big on the branding and this is her best piece of dragon hardware (and available to buy).
Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk)
Official Thrones dirtbag Euron Greyjoy is the guy you should avoid in the club, but from afar you can admire his penchant for leather garb straight out of the Hedi Slimane for Saint Laurent playbook. If you happened to talk to him, he would definitely brag about how much he spent on this particular star embossed ensemble or regale with you with tales of the dude he stole it off.
Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau)
Jaime lost his fighting hand in Season 3, but stayed true to his Lannister roots with his golden glove replacement when he returned home. Sure, it is purely ornamental and means he can’t hide in a crowd without putting a glove on his glove, but when you're Jaime Lannister it is hard to fade into the background.
Jon Snow (Kit Harington)
There is little stylish imagination to Jon Snow as he has bounced from one uniform look to another. He looks great in winter attire, but it took his sister making him a new fur cloak to give him that extra bit of gravitas. Ultimately, he is just dressing up as his father figure, but a lot of these characters are paying homage to their perceived roots. This amount of Ned looks good on him. Clothing has a way of uniting on GoT.
Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer)
Two different gowns for two different kings. Margaery sure knows how to make a bold statement on her big day(s). The first ended in the death of her new husband, but this is par for the course when it comes to wedding ceremonies on GoT. Two-tone grey doesn’t sound particularly bridal, but the cool icy tone matches the mood of this marriage to Joffrey and how Margaery’s new mother-in-law feels about her. What really makes this the defining wedding dress of the series, is the 350 individually handcrafted roses that decorate the skirt and train. Cascading flowers sound pretty; however, these ones have metal thorns. Everyone needs protection in King's Landing.
Melisandre (Carice van Houten)
The Red Woman lived up to her name as she never deviated away from this particular color palette. If it isn’t broken and all of that. The most important part of Melisandre’s look was her enchanted ruby necklace, which brings a whole new meaning to power jewelry. This is what saved her life when she was poisoned back in Season 2 and also maintained her younger, hotter image throughout the series.
Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal)
No one quite had the swagger of Oberyn Martell — Euron Greyjoy wishes. The Dorne styling is unlike anything previously seen on this show with ochre yellow and tan dominating this fancy robe adjacent look. From sun embossed to gold brocade, this is a dude who is just as comfortable leaning toward feminine style as he is in leather armor.
Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner)
There are a number of Sansa style moments that could’ve made the cut including her wolfie dress as she reclaimed her sense of self toward the end of Season 6. The Dark Sansa feathered shoulder turn was an adolescent milestone at the end of the fourth season, not to mention her second wedding — the actual event was heinous, the gown was another stunner from Clapton. Season 8 saw Sansa taking on an even bigger mantle and while her series finale crowning moment is incredible, it is the woven leather bodice that is a moment of sartorial triumph. This is Sansa standing up for the North and everything she believes in.
Ygritte (Rose Leslie)
Daenerys nailed her fury coat look at the end of last season when she had to go on a rescue mission, but for the truly authentic winter clothing experience look no further than Jon’s original love, Ygritte. Some wildlings go for that skull accessory flare, Ygritte keeps it simple while rocking the hell out of a practical fur hood.