Were TV shows to limit themselves to mirroring reality, high-school kids would wear only jeans, plaid shorts and black leggings. Shows need to step it up -- but not too much.
"I really believe the shows attract a certain viewer who watch for the story, and when they get bored they watch for the clothes," Mandi Line, costume designer on MTV's "Faking It," tells Zap2it. "You can do reality to a point where a viewer will find themselves in a character. Ever since 'Greek,' you will have an audience that identifies with somebody and the way they dress."
Line brought in some of the hip culture of Austin, Texas, where the show is set, but she also wanted the characters to be relatable to viewers anywhere.
Amy (Rita Volk) pretends to be gay, but during the ruse she realizes her deep feelings for her best friend, Karma (Katie Stevens). Amy's finding herself, and that includes her fashion.
Here she wears a Korean racing jacket with a scorpion on the back, which Line found in a thrift store. The orange striped top is from Nordstrom.
"That is where she does that balance of unique with relatable," Line says.
Though we can't see her feet, she is wearing old-school checkered Vans.
Liam (Gregg Sulkin) is the hot guy in high school, and his look is timeless. He wears his jeans cuffed and disdains plaid.
"He wears classic V-neck Hanes and Levis 501s," Line says. "This is the kind of guy who does Converse and a great pair of Red Wings."
"She is the kind of girl who wants to be popular but has so much thrift stuff from her mom because her mom is a raging hippie," Line says of Karma.
"This dress is from Urban Outfitters, the belt is from the '60s, (and) she wears a lot of bohemian jewelry."
Shane (Michael J. Willett) is a gay character who is very comfortable in his skin.
"We wanted to keep him very theme-oriented," Line says. "We didn't want to do a very flamboyant gay but wanted very trendy."
Shane would pick this sweater because "leopard is in, and he has axes on his shirt because he's [feeling] tough today," Line says.
"There is the one shirt with gold eagles, and we got him gold tennis shoes, and he just rocked it," Line says. "His clothes are masculine, with this on trend."
For teens trying to adapt any new look, Line recommends they start by shopping their closet.
"It is like recycling," she says. "Go into your new style, and say you like Karma's denim and find these jeans you never wore; you can cut them and fray them, and everyone's closet has the potential of what look they want to be. See what you can do with your closet and take it to the any level. I always tell kids (to) save up your money for one piece at a time."
Photo/Video credit: MTV