The Most Iconic Outfits In Real Housewives History

Regardless of your franchise of choice, avid Bravo watchers know that "The Real Housewives" series has provided us with some legendary outfits over the years. Ever since Vicki Gunvalson allowed cameras past the private gates of Orange County in 2006 (via IMDb), the women of Bravo have been taking every opportunity to show off their wealth and status. Between the New York ladies' attempts at high fashion, Beverly Hills' constant barrage of designer labels, and Potomac's Gizelle Bryant, we've seen our fair share of fashion do's and fashion don'ts.


We commend the ladies' efforts to stand out. Whether it be at a Hampton's beach house, psychic's dinner party or a backyard "casual" BBQ, they always embrace the spotlight. Sometimes, their commitment to originality pays off and sometimes it leads to the ultimate fashion faux pas (via People), but thankfully, it never leaves us bored.

While we're still waiting with baited breath to see the long-time promised She by Sheree fashion line (via Bravo TV), at least we have these iconic "Real Housewife" outfits to tide us over for the end of time.

RHOBH's Dorit Kemsley in head-to-toe gold

Dorit Kemsley of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" fame, first joined the cast in 2016 (via IMDb). Viewers were immediately struck by Kemsley's effected English accent, considering the reality star grew up in Connecticut (via Bravo TV). But Kemsley's unplaceable speaking pattern soon became an afterthought to viewers after witnessing her collection of designer looks. 


During her tenure on the series, Kemsley has blessed us with Balmain jackets, head-to-toe Versace and snake print Gucci pajamas (via Worn on TV), but it was the outfit she wore to ex-housewife Lisa Vanderpump's "Diamonds and Rosé" party in Season One that left viewers' jaws on the floor.  

For the lavish affair, Kemsley donned a Talbot Runof gold, sequined dress topped with a gold leaf hair detail by hair stylist Justin Marjan (via Instagram). To say her co-stars were shocked is an understatement. Fellow Housewife, Lisa Rinna stated in her confessional, "It looks like a big gold goose took a big gold s*** all over Dorit's head" while Housewife Kyle Richards joked, "It's very runway", in Kemsley's accent (via YouTube). 


Fans of Kemsley can look forward to seeing more show-stopping fashion moments in the future. In a 2021 interview with Vogue, Kemsley stated, "[RHOBH] is a great platform for me to be able to enjoy fashion and enjoy dressing up and putting together looks, and I think a large part of the audience really enjoys that too." We certainly do!

Cynthia Bailey's gray wedding dress on RHOA

Before Cynthia Bailey became a "Real Housewife of Atlanta" in 2010 (via IMDb), Bailey was gracing the covers of magazines like Essence, modeling in Paris and Milan and doing photo spreads for Vogue, Glamour, ELLE and Vanity Fair (via Essence). So when Bailey joined the cast of the reality show, viewers were ecstatic to see what kinds of fashions the supermodel would bring to their television sets.


But soon, Bailey's wardrobe took a backseat to the series' drama, including an on-again off-again friendship with co-star Nene Leakes (friendship contract included). Finally, Bailey had her epic fashion moment fans had been waiting for when she said "I do" to (now ex) husband Peter Thomas. Though it seemed the two would never make it down the aisle, Bailey and Thomas eventually worked out their financial struggles and booked a venue for the nuptials.

In lieu of a traditional white wedding dress, Bailey wore a gunmetal gray Rubin Singer gown (via Starcasm). The one-of-a-kind dress had viewers gagging (in the best way). "I didn't think about how much bigger than life it was going to end up being," Bailey told Essence regarding her wedding. And her dress was the cherry on top of a magical day.


Even though Bailey and Thomas' marriage didn't last, this fashion choice lives on in our hearts forever. 

Erika Jayne's abroad looks on RHOBH

Ever since Erika Girardi and her $40K-a-month glam squad (via Jezebel) joined the cast of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" in 2015 (via IMDb), the caliber of housewife looks has risen. And Girardi's team is responsible for her co-stars stepping up their fashion game. As she says, "It takes a gay village to look this good" (via YouTube). 


Girardi's squad has created a number of iconic looks for her and her alter ego, Erika Jayne, including "snatched" high ponies, Tom Ford blazer "executive realness" and "Stepford Wives" inspired confessional looks (via YouTube). However, it was when Girardi took her glam squad abroad that the gloves really came off. 

While in Berlin, Girardi turned heads with a red latex top and black miniskirt, complete with a high pony and clip-in bangs. In order to slip into her latex blouse, Girardi revealed that she and her team were forced to use lube (via Screen Rant). The price of beauty is real! Other abroad fashion moments that had us shook were Girardi's silken Hong Kong pajamas and Tokyo "Samurai Barbie" look. In addition to a cotton-candy pink wig, Girardi's Tokyo outfit included a vintage Alexander McQueen kimono and Gucci knee-high boots (which she was immediately forced to remove upon entering a traditional Japanese tea room). 


Though the fashion icon is in the midst of a messy divorce (via Us Magazine), we hope she can come through the other side still looking fabulous.

RHOP's Gizelle Bryant's 'God Bless The Hugers' shirt

"Real Housewives of Potomac" OG, Gizelle Bryant, has been dragged for her lack of fashion sense on the show. Co-star Karen Huger even stated, "Thank God Gizelle is a good-looking woman because she can't dress at ALL" (via YouTube). While many of Bryant's outfit choices have been questionable, such as an embellished crown hat, a peplum leather blouse and a beaded, guitar-shaped cross-body bag (via Monsters and Critics), she did have one iconic outfit we had to include.


Bryant's season three "God Bless The Hugers" t-shirt has been seared into our memories forever. Bryant created the iron-on shirt herself, with additional quotes like "Free Uncle Ben" (referring to Huger's husband, Ray) and "#TaxReform" displayed on the back. Bryant stated on the show that her shirt was meant to "make light of what we know ... [Huger] owes money to the IRS. Just pay the bill" (via YouTube). 

Bryant publicly displayed the shirt at Huger's press conference "without the press" and, as predicted, her shirt was met with controversy. Huger, aka The Grand Dame of Potomac, called Bryant "messy as hell," creating more seasons worth of drama between the pair. All thanks to Bryant's shirt.


Tinsley Mortimer's RHONY circus look

Before Tinsley Mortimer became a "Real Housewife of New York" she was an east coast "it-girl" with her own 2010 reality series "High Society" (via IMDb). Mortimer brought old money to the series and with that came expensive, understated looks. We could always count on Mortimer for her signature peter pan collar, designer handbags and frilly, lace frocks (via Worn on TV).


But it was in Season 11, when Mortimer and co-star Sonja Morgan joined the circus, that we saw her most jaw-dropping look. Her Comedienne del Arte inspired rosy cheeks lent themselves to the rest of her outfit including a giant hair bow, hot pink stilettos, sequined tights and a puffy sleeved, sparkly midi dress. The look was particularly ridiculous on Mortimer, who tends to opt for more conservative styling, but the subject matter of the scene made her outfit seem even more out of place.

Amidst a deep conversation with her mother about her ex-boyfriend, Mortimer broke down in tears, sobbing "I'm not happy! I'm miserable!" over and over (via YouTube). The somber tone of the scene mixed with Mortimer's merry clothes were the perfect juxtaposition to earn her a spot on our iconic outfit list.  


The RHOC ladies' drag looks

The ladies of Bravo's original "Real Housewives" franchise, Orange County, aren't usually who viewers turn to for fashion inspiration. Their looks tend to include simple beachwear and casual button downs (via Worn on TV), not necessarily what we'd call "iconic" outfits. However, in Season 12, Episode 9, the OC housewives made waves when they attended their first drag bingo night. 


Housewives Kelly Dodd, Tamara Judge, Shannon Beador and Meghan King Edmonds traded in their cold-shoulder tops for male drag costumes, facial hair included. The ladies all seemed to be in different eras, with their looks ranging from Beador's off-brand '80s Brett Michaels to Dodd's '50s greaser. But perhaps the most iconic look of the evening belonged to Lydia McLoughlin. The Housewife didn't get the memo that the other ladies were "dressing down" and McLaughlin showed up in a three-piece suit, top hat and bowtie. 

It's unclear who McLaughlin was going for, but she ended up inadvertently channeling Charlie Chaplin (via YouTube). What made her outfit all the more humorous was her discomfort with the entire event. McLaughlin grappled with whether or not her religious lifestyle allowed for this kind of tomfoolery, stating, "I am very traditional with what I believe ... there's nothing in the Bible really about drag queens" (via Vulture). 


The unforgettable look mixed with McLaughlin's reaction has us re-watching this episode over and over again!