The history of TV receptionists includes Carol of The Bob Newhart Show, Jennifer of WKRP in Cincinnati and Pam of The Office, but none have been more stylish than Amanda Tanen of Ugly Betty, airing Thursdays on ABC. Of course, none of them worked at Mode — a fashion magazine with more characters than a Neil Simon play.
It stands to reason that when you work in the fashion industry, even if you’re stuck answering phones, you’ve got to keep up appearances. Ugly Betty costume designer Eduardo Castro (Judging Amy) has Amanda meeting the challenge and then some with high-end labels caressing every inch of her body. From L.A.M.B. to Burberry to Roberto Cavalli, with a little Dolce & Gabbana mixed in, Amanda is one of the most fashionable characters on television.
Castro keeps things sexy with clingy shirts, body-hugging skirts and beautiful dresses that all work perfectly for young professionals looking to get noticed. Take, for example, L.A.M.B.’s safari skirt in black. It’s a lightweight wool pencil skirt that gracefully kisses the knee. This is one of the hottest skirts around, and on Amanda it’s even hotter. Sadly, they’re rarer than a supermodel playing a transsexual on network television, so you’ll need to do some searching. You can always substitute another clingy brand, like a Bebe double-knit pencil skirt.
A great choice to complement a sexy pencil skirt is a BCBG Max Azria eyelet bubble blouse. Delicate and flirty, it has a black bubble-hemmed peplum (a flounce at the waistline) that contrasts with an embroidered eyelet bodice in blue trimmed with black velvet ribbon. Castro also seems to gravitate toward tops from Marciano that hug Amanda’s curves without crossing the line. Options such as its Sonia top or Marti charmeuse trim shirt work perfectly in a stylish office.
For a more subdued but no less stylish look, Amanda works the preppy schoolgirl/London punk angle with L.A.M.B.’s plaid scoop dress. Again, this choice might be hard to find, so consider going with the label’s schoolgirl jumper instead — just remember its length is unabashedly mini, so don’t forget the leggings!
For an evening out, Amanda has been seen in a beautiful Black Halo Jackie O dress you may find at Saks Fifth Avenue. It features an asymmetrical front neckline, cap sleeves, a wide waistband, skinny belt and a slit in the back. It’s a modern classic.
And while Amanda is outfitted beautifully head to toe, it’s those toes that make most girls jealous. Our favorite shoes she has worn are a pair of Giuseppe Zanotti platforms with gold beading detail and metallic-lined ankle straps. If you buy them, expect to not make the rent payment next month.