Crime fighters range from the absolutely well-dressed to those who can’t even manage to get the crumbs off their shirts. Can you imagine Magnum without his Hawaiian shirts or Columbo without his trench coat? Clothes make the detective, or help turn an ordinary character into an icon. Below you’ll find the Crime Fighter Fashion Awards, the good, the bad, and the super sloppy.
Don’t Mess with Me Award
Winner: Joe Pike from the books of Robert Crais.
Joe Pike always wears his sunglasses— always—so you can never see his eyes, but the real fashion choice that delineates his character is the famous red arrow tattoos on his arms. His natural scowl and man-of-few-words-style doesn’t hurt either.
Honorable Mention: Ranger from the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich.
Ranger might have made it to number one, but since we always see him through Stephanie’s eyes, his description is always a bit biased. According to Stephanie, “Ranger only wears black, smells warm and sexy and is one hundred percent pure perfectly toned muscle. He gets his dark complexion and liquid brown eyes from Cuban ancestors.”
Most Feminine Wardrobe
Winner: Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, The Closer.
Instead of hiding her femininity to succeed in the male dominated world of law enforcement, southern belle Brenda Leigh Johnson wields it like a weapon. Pastel colors, flouncy flowery skirts, and twin sets make for a wardrobe that helps her lull suspects into a false sense of security while she wrings confessions out of them. And of course there is the fabulous big black bag that she carries everywhere fit to hold Twinkies and hand guns alike.
**Wouldn’t you like to have an amazing purse like Brenda Leigh’s? Keep reading, because you can win one right here!
Honorable Mention: Nancy Drew from the books by Carolyn Keene.
Nancy Drew always looks great in her carefully selected smart skirts and neatly pressed shirts, as she zips about River Heights in her blue convertible. From parties to kidnappings, her outfit is always appropriate for the occasion.
Most Popular Fashion Victim
Winner: Barbara Havers from the Inspector Lynley novels by Elizabeth George.
After showing up to work in an outfit consisting of red high-top trainers with purple socks peeking out, olive corduroy trousers, and a lint-covered brown pullover, Havers’s new boss gave her a clear directive to buy new things and clean up her look. In This Body of Death, it led Barbara to turn to her little nine year-old neighbor, Hadiyyah, for fashion and shopping advice. Barbara’s fashion choices are even more marked when compared to the easy elegance of her partner for most of the series, Inspector Lynley, the 8th Earl of Asherton. This award only applies to the print version of Barbara. Her TV version isn’t quite as sloppy or poorly dressed.
Best Designer Wardrobe
Winner: Dr. Maura Isles, Rizzoli and Isles, based upon the novels by Tess Gerritsen.
Despite being known as “Queen of the Dead” around the force, Dr. Maura Isles always looks like she is headed for a photo shoot instead of a crime scene. She often wears designers like Balenciaga, while her partner Jane Rizzoli wears the same suit for days in a row, and Maura’s doctor handbag is absolutely fabulous.
Best Dressed Police Department
Winner: Major Crimes Unit, LAPD, The Closer.
There aren’t any real slobs in this department, and Gabriel, Flynn, and Provenza spend more time talking about their wardrobe than most women I know. Where do they get the money for all of these suits? Is there a special budget line item for clothing for LAPD?
Winner: Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock.
Yes, the deerstalker is iconic, but I never thought they would trot it out in the series set in the current day. Surprisingly, Benedict Cumberbatch doesn’t look silly in this deerstalker as he dons it to hide from the press. It just looks like it belongs right there on top of his head.
The High-Heel Detective Club
There is a large contingent of female crime fighters who love their high heels. We know they can’t possibly run in them, but somehow they do. It must be part of the magic of TV. I couldn’t think of one book in which a female detective wears heels to work.
Here are the Top Five:
Detective Kate Beckett, Castle
Deputy Chief, Brenda Leigh Johnson, The Closer
Dr. Maura Isles, Rizzoli and Isles
Captain Sharon Raydor, Major Crimes
Dr. Megan Hunt, Body of Proof
The sweepstakes has ended. Good luck to all our entrants!
And here’s the extra squee as promised! You can enter for a chance to win one of two fantastic MAXX New York totes, officially modeled after Brenda Leigh Johnson’s, the original of which was designed by the costume department of The Closer. These handbags come with protective covers and even little tags with the show name on them, and to TNT, we must say: Thank You, Thank You So Much! Just make sure you’re a registered member of the site, and then leave a comment, maybe even telling us YOUR picks for fashion awards below! TIP: Since only comments from registered users will be tabulated, if your user name appears in red above your comment—STOP—go log in, then try commenting again. If your user name appears in black above your comment, You’re In! NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 or older. To enter, fill out entry at https://www.criminalelement.com/blogs/2012/07/crime-fighter-fashion-awards-best-worst-closer-castle-major-crimes-isles-joe-pike-sherlock-havers-beckett-heels-brenda-leigh-purse-sweepstakes-deborah-lacy beginning at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) July 8, 2012. Sweepstakes ends at 11:59 a.m. ET on July 15, 2012 (the “Promotion Period”). Void outside of the 50 US and DC and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules at https://www.criminalelement.com/page/official-rules-closer-comment-sweepstakes. Sponsor: Macmillan, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.