Pursuing natural health & thinking beyond the superficial. Deconstructing Culture.

Sometimes I watch a tv show and think ‘Wow, I LOVE her clothes‘ and in the case of The Nanny the thought process is more like ‘She has a killer wardrobe!’ The Nanny was a program about an atypical nanny who accidentally stumbled into the profession and became part of the family she worked for with a lot of stereotypical comedy and capers a long the way. The show consistently paid homage to an array of fashions, many of which were worn flamboyantly, confidently and gorgeously by the leading character Fran Fine (played by Fran Drescher) and the rest worn by the cast who were definitely not left out. I can’t even imagine the wardrobe budget for the show, especially as characters changed clothes continuously throughout each episode. Not only was The Nanny a feast for the eyes, it was hilarious as well so if you haven’t seen it and slapstick, over the top characters and self-deprecating humour in a family friendly format makes you smile then check it out. But back to the fashion! There were so many notable outfits that this subject has to be two posts long and yet this is just a taster.

I’ll warn you in advance for those who haven’t seen the show, the costumes were styled to each character and whereas some were continuously classically and unarguably well dressed, others were loud and striking sometimes to the point of tacky and garish. I’ve ordered them to what I consider was awesome, good and well, better left unsaid but there’s no accounting for taste and you might disagree with my choices. However, from a fashion point of view the variety was fantastic, with many being ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ pieces/combinations so either way they’d make an impression on the viewer and emphasize the mood of the wearer.

Now, without further ado:


Fran – Black mini skirt suit with Leopard collar, cuffs and large buttons. Maxwell – Well cut Navy blazer, tie and camel pants/trousers.

Now, there’s leopard print clothing and there’s leopard print clothing, same title yet different as night and day. Wearing too much animal print or in shapes, fabrics or colours that are not flattering to the wearer can make all the difference between looking hot and stylish and looking less so. Fran’s suit above is the perfect example of cute and chic animal print, more so on her, but even on a hanger or mannequin it’s obviously well cut, in flattering fabrics, not using an overpowering amount of print and nicely offset with the Black. Love it Fran! (Oh to have that suit…)

Fran – Asymmetrical White longline blazer, Purple scarf and skirt. Max & Niles – tailored suits (Niles’ being his butler uniform).

In this shot Fran was being uncharacteristic with Maxwell and Niles pretending she the lead in My Fair Lady, but the result was very chic and elegant, if a bit severe with the hair style and sharp lines of the blazer.

Fran – Black/White contrast bodycon dress and Red cropped blazer with Black collar.

This shot doesn’t do justice to her outfit, but it really was stunning and attractive. Black, White and Red always work well in blocks and contrast and this was no exception, the lines flaring outwards on the skirt as opposed to horizontal lines were genius on the part of the designer, very flattering on a woman.

Fran – Straight cut Black trousers, White ruffled shirt and mini Black lace waistcoat. Max and Gracie are smart/casual.

Where can you go wrong with this? It’s classic with individual touches, flattering and smart. The ruffles might be a bit for some but even with less fabric, the style would look great. I personally love the semi-sheer, lace waistcoat.

Gracie – Black dress with White faux fur trim and Red earmuffs and gloves.

Cute outfit, seriously.

Fran – Velvet(?) skirt suit with brocade and faux fur trim.

Again with the cuteness, the hem on the skirt just finishes it off perfectly.

Fran – Red body tight polo neck dress and tights with a high quality brocade Red/Gold/Green waistcoat over a metallic Green shirt.

This is a very well put together themed outfit and again the pic doesn’t do it justice but everything is flattering in a grand way; the figure hugging dress with high neck as a base for fitted but less clingy items in thicker/crisper fabrics was clever and pulling the colours together for uniformity made it smart as well as glamourous. I love brocade and she matched it well with a metallic, though I do wonder if she was hot wearing all those layers in the studio.

C.C – Royal Blue and Black block/grid print blazer with studs or brass buttons and a White Ruffled shirt.

C.C looking more distinctive than usual and it suited her.

C.C – Tweed blazer, brocade waistcoat wth metal buttons, White Shirt and a scarf or cravat?

This is more characteristic of C.C, well tailored and old fashioned in a ‘wealthy’ way. I love the layering here and use of complimentary fabrics and colours.


Maggie – Full length gown with Blue chiffon in an off shoulder style.

What’s not to like? Even her hair style matches the upswept shape of the bust/shoulders of the dress.

Fran – Pink, Black and Green check/plaid skirt suit with Pink polo neck top and tights. Val – Multi-colour print blazer, Black skirt, tights and statement necklace.

It’s strange to see both Fran and Val looking stylish together, as usually one or both tend to be car crash fashionista when together but both are delightfully smart yet still individual here. I personally love Pink check/plaid. I’m not keen on Val’s jacket and find it dated in cut and pattern but she’s wearing it well in the overall outfit.

C.C – Blue and Black check/plaid blazer with White ruffled shirt or/cravat.

C.C showing more panache.

Fran – Rainbow waistcoat/vest and White flared sleeve shirt with big collar. Gracie – Floral/fruit print dress.

This wouldn’t suit everyone, but it suits Fran and the cut of Gracie’s jacket/dress is cute on young people (though it’s usually older people that wear it and hence look ever older or austere which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but that’s another topic).

Fran – Red and Black blazer with White ruffled shirt.

This may be a bit much for many viewers, but I like it and I think the thick Black stripes and big buttons are clever on the bold Red and double up as panels which accentuate the figure adding to the fitted cut. When going with Black and Red, it’s either subtle or bold, no in between which will look messy and threaten to fade the wearer; no matter how bold the clothing the wearer should be in the foreground, the clothes should accentuate or make the wearer, not steal the show (unless the wearer wants to hide). The ruffled front and cuffs on the shirt is a bit overkill and costume like in this case but hey, she’s playing a ringmaster of sorts.

Fran – Goth/Biker style Black blazer with studs, faux zips and cut out pattern on the sleeves.

I don’t like the cut out sections on the sleeves, but the rest is hot.

Sylvia – Classic leopard coat and leopard house dress. Fran – Black leggings, polo neck and casual cardigan.

Sylvia’s coat is a good example of a leopard coat that suits the wearer, nowadays leopard and animal print coats and jackets in general tend to be cut very loose and almost tent like – they look as if they aspire to the swing style but lost something, and are worn by all body types which is what helps widen the gap between tasteful or desirable animal print outfits and tacky ones. The length and tulip shape of Sylvia’s coat suits her, I just don’t like it matched with the day dress which makes it overkill. There’s not much to say about Fran who is wearing a comfortable, smart/casual home outfit.

Fran – Ivory and Black trim jacket over Blue dress and Black tights.

I love the contrast jacket, and had it been with a matching colour dress it would have been a lot more stunning.

Fran – Hot Pin trenchcoat. Val – Turquoise coat and print leggings.

Hot pink and trenchcoats aren’t to everybody’s taste let alone together, but it looks hot on Fran, and even more so had she been wearing it done up with the belt rather than in the act of removing it but the scene involved her and Fran returning and taking their coats off.

Fran – Red skirt suit with Green sleeves on the blazer, standout buttons and White lace shirt.

This was one of Fran’s Christmas outfits hence the colour combination, had it not been for that I would have liked it but I didn’t have the heart to put it in the  “Let’s not talk about it” section simply because of that. In different colours or at least not mis-matching sleeves it would have been fine.

Fran – All Black skin fitting tights, skirt and polo neck outfit underneath a multi-colour sequin waistcoat/vest.

This is a mixed shot – I like Fran’s outfit, the guy looks smart and Val’s qualifies for the next section but 2/3 ain’t bad. The all Black, figure hugging ensemble that Fran is wearing with the burst of colour on top works.

Fran – Black jacket with people/figures, White top, Red skirt and Black tights.

Cute and smart. The jacket is a bit dated but the figures add a fun factor to it.

Fran – Multi-colour spot/polka blazer with metallic Green shirt underneath.

The combination of this blazer with the shirt collar/cuffs sticking out and the Red polo neck showing almost got this picture into the next section, had it not been for the saving grace of the picture underneath which shows the outfit sans the blazer. I;m still not that keen on it but it’s more balanced overall.

Fran – Green metallic shirt, multi-colour spot/polka waistcoat and Black skirt. 

“Let’s not talk about it”

Well – contrary to the sub-title, I’m going to talk/write about the following pics 😛

Fran – Fruit and polka pattern jacket (notice the cherry closures).

First up to bat – this very cheerful fruit and dotty number. You know what, it’s cute, I get that, but in a catwalk or fashion shoot way or for kids, not for us non iconic adults who have to walk down the street everyday without getting mugged or attacked in some way. But hey, an adult could wear it if they want – just not in Summer when it’s hot and everybody wants a piece of that watermelon.

Fran – Black jumpsuit over Blue flared sleeve top. Sylvia – Rainbow pattern kaftan.

Fran’s jumpsuit/all-in-one and long sleeved top are actually attractive but in that combination it looks like 70’s disco night. She has a great figure and sashays as she walks though so… Sylvia’s kaftan is what it is, light and comfortable, but it’s a good thing she’s wearing it at ‘home’.

Yeta – Floral shell/track suit. Fran – Leopard print skirt suit.

I actually like the colours and the print on Yeta’s clothing, just not on a shell suit, maybe a maxi dress instead. Sad to say however, I don’t like Fran’s leopard print suit. If the skirt had been plain with leopard trim, like the jacket, it would probably be in the ‘GOOD’ section.

Fran – Black jacket with multi-colour embellishments and tassels over a royal Blue top and Black trousers.

Oi oi, what to say? It’s interesting, very interesting…

Sylvia – Gold and Black metallic pattern halter dress with Blue marabou on bust/shoulders and hem. Fran – Metallic Pink long sleeved, tiered maxi gown with Yellow flowers and trim.

Do I need a reason? I have to say though that Fran’s dress would actually be beautiful with some alterations and without the Blue fluff, Sylvia’s dress would be passable if full length with a slit. But as they are, no, just no.

Guest – retro Turquoise jumpsuit.

I didn’t dislike this one so much, until I imagined wearing it outside in an everyday place with lot’s of people.  The Turquoise jumpsuit is tough for many reasons, but I’d say in it’s case that it could be ok if retro inspired rather than actually retro. Get rid of the shoulder pads, the bulbous shape around the hips and in that colour it would have to be two pieces if worn together. For a modern feel make the trousers into a skirt and viola, a lot more wearable. As it is, in this day and age, it’s reminiscent of a skiing outfit.

Fran – Vegetable blazer, Red polo neck, Black skirt and tights.

Again with the food on the clothes, children can just about pull it off (see the Gracie pic in the ‘GOOD’ section) but adults? At times, but making it even more difficult with the check/plaid and a Red polo neck instead of Black or White, well, it’s a good thing she’s got flair and good legs.

Fran – Brown top and tights, multi-colour waistcoat and Chartreuse metallic skirt. Val – Multi-colour and print leggings and over sized Mustard jumper.

Fran – Too much going on. Val – home clothes, not for going out.

Fran – Bright Red over sized coat with faux fur trim.

Wow, striking but if one has to wear a huge coat then not in a practically flourescent colour. Big clothing + loud colour = not shouting, but screaming.

C.C – Retro Red blazer with Black flaps and fan collared White shirt. Fran – Flamenco ruffle style Black off shouler, crop top and trousers.

C.C is as usual, impeccably dressed and would have been placed in the ‘GOOD’ section had it not been for Fran’s top. She’s got a great figure, but still.

Fran – Rainbow colour diamond print shirt, Black waistcoat, light Blue jeans and Red ankle strap shoes.

Fran – I don’t like too many colours, prints and textures/fabrics mixed together, there’s layering and there’s piling it on, especially if one or more pieces looks like a clown could wear it. Gracie – they really insisted on dress the daughters in old fashion floral dresses on the show, of course it highlighted the ‘class’ difference and the change that Fran made to their lives but it was awful to look at. All that was needed were matching wall paper and furnishings and it would have been a vintage doll’s house. Oh wait, check out Fran’s and Gracie’s bedrooms were just like that… Fine for a beautifully made toy, but to live in and wear all the time? Migraines all round.

Fran – Black dress with Red, Orange and Pink spots/polka dots and Black leggings. Sylvia – Magenta Pink pattern skirt suit with lime Green polo neck top.

Gracie – see what I mean about the dresses? Fran – I think different colored polka makes the wearer look older and since one of the hangups of Fran’s character is aging and being single, it’s not a good look especially when covering so much of the body. Sylvia – Pink and Green are actually complimentary and youthful but the pattern distracts from that theory.

Fran – Black top and skirt or mini-dress with Green tiger print waistcoat and Bright Red faux fur coat. Maggie – All Black ensemble of beret, long sleeve top, waistcoat and trousers.

Fran – like the above picture, in the theory of complimentary colour Green and Red are usually bosom buddies, but not in animal print or animal like textures, unless you’re a bird or water creature (not so keen on the reptile skin look…) Maggie – her outfit is fine and she was going for ‘poetry cafe’/beatnik anyway.

Fran – Multi-colour and multi-print blazer over a Mustard Yellow polo neck and light Blue jeans.

As separates the pieces are fine but together they are awkward; a multi-colour/multi-pattern (jacket)  matched with a strong solid block colour (top) and a mis-matching block colour (jeans) creates exactly what was said on the ingredients list – a mis-match explosion of something. Although in her case she can kind of pull it of as boho or hippy-esque.

Love what you’ve seen so far? There’s a chance for you to own original costumes/outfits as worn by Fran Drescher/The Nanny (and other celebrities) here:


Part 2 of Fran and friend’s awesome fashion coming soon… See you there!

Comments on: "Awesome Fashion in non-Fashion TV – ‘THE NANNY’ Pt1" (22)

  1. I love The Nanny, Fran Drescher just pulls off that role so great. I like her way of dressing, especially for her age. There are not many people that can pull off a miniskirt at the age of their mid thirties. Great take on the fashion displayed overall. Love, http://fourseasonstogo.wordpress.com

    • I completely agree, just like the theme song says ‘she had style, she had flair’, Fran Drescher is gorgeous and has the confidence to wear whatever she wants and yes, she has great legs! Thanks for posting and I’m glad you appreciated my interpretation of the outfits displayed 🙂

  2. I used to watch this show all the time and always loved her outfits… She is too funny..


  3. Awesome article! I loved the show when I used to watch it in Italy. It was dubbed, though, and many things were different (for example, she was Italian from Ciociaria?). Anyway, she could wear anything bold and make it look stylish.

    • Thank you, I’m glad you like it! Oh wow the differences sound interesting, I wonder if it’s like that for each country it was dubbed for and I agree, she could wear anything! Thanks for reading my post 🙂

  4. heather201 said:

    Fun stuff. She definitely had a great sense of style. Thanks!

  5. Very detailed and well-researched! Not many people look at The Nanny this way and it saddens me because her style was part of the reason I watched the show!

    • Thank you so much, I’m glad you liked my observations and I agree, the fashion was a bit of a double edged sword in that it probably made the show seem very superficial to some and a journey in fashion for others. It may have been one of a number of polarizing factors for the potential audience in that way since overall there wasn’t anything subtle about the characters/acting or storyline, it was very dramatic and stereotypical but being a comedy helped.

      It’s always nice to meet other fans, especially those that appreciate the detail 🙂 thank you for commenting 🙂

  6. Always loved this show, especially her clothes!!!

  7. I loved the fashion in this show…

  8. EVELYN DUBON said:


  9. I loved the show and still love the repeats. She enhanced my love of tights as well. She regally wore them with style and grace.

  10. Hi, thanks for passing by! Fran’s wardrobe always gave me a lot to think about, too 🙂 it express such a great personality!

  11. The Otaku Judge said:

    I remember watching some episodes of this show many moons ago on SKY. Man what an annoying laugh the main character had.

  12. Omg…I know! I was really into this show!! And sometimes I still secretly love catching re-runs :)!!

  13. Love your breakdown! Haha 🙂

  14. Bear Aspirin said:

    I worked at Neiman Marcus when “The Nanny” was on. A lot of her outfits were by Moschino, Dolce & Gabbana, Frette, Versace (lot of Italian designs). Fran Drescher has always been a fan of fashion…apparantly she did have a lot of insider help with securing the wardrobe.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s