In the seven seasons that Pretty Little Liars was on TV, the central mystery was the identity of the mysterious “A.” But the real question was what Aria was wearing on any given episode.
As she was dubbed the “artist” of the group, by both the fans and the characters in the show, you’d think she’d know how to make some great and interesting outfits. Instead, we got questionable choices that made her look like a toddler dressing herself for nearly three seasons. Here are the most outrageous I can’t believe Aria wore!
Rocker Chic Flashback
The flashbacks always make me cringe – not just because of what the girls were doing. Out of all the flashback outfits, this is my second least favorite. The costuming department might have been trying to emulate Avril Lavigne or P!nk, but it just doesn’t look right.
Layering belts and graphic tees was very common in the early 2010s, so I’m not too mad about it. And the chunky highlights might have been popular at the time of filming, but let’s hope they stay out of the new spinoff, Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin.
Punky Preppy Flashback
My least favorite of the flashback outfits has to be this one. I can’t tell if Aria’s trying to be punky with the patterns or if Aria wanted to be preppy with the silhouette. Either way, if she had just toned down the clashing prints, I would have liked it.
And can we talk about the fishnets? I get she’s supposed to be the creative Liar, but what about fishnets is really innovative? Especially when nearly every teenage girl in the 2010s was rocking them.
I have two different outfits featuring suspenders on this list, so let’s get into the first one. I absolutely love this outfit… with the exception of the suspenders and earrings. But I can get past the giant earrings for now.
Suspenders are supposed to hold up pants or bottoms that might otherwise fall down without them. They’re also typically worn under a suit jacket, not covering up a cute shirt. Speaking of the shirt, I just noticed Aria’s wearing another one underneath it – and for what?
Now onto the next suspenders outfit – what even is that? Why is the suspender shaped like a bolo tie and goes around her neck? And what is it holding up? Her elastic waistband skirt clearly does not need the help.
But enough about the suspender halter thing. The skirt is kind of cute, the shoes are very “Aria,” and the top is just there. I wish costuming had looked at her outfit and said, “You know, we don’t need a strange accessory today.”
How Many Shirts Is She Wearing?
Aria was sixteen when the show started, so she should’ve been dressed like an average high schooler if just a little more fashionable. So tell me why she looks ready for a college party in the 2000s?
From the three shirts she layered (and shouldn’t have) to the low-rise mini skirt, what school dress code is she not breaking? I have yet to find any schools that would have allowed that. Honestly, the only things that I like about this outfit are her hair and bag.
Charity Fashion Show
With the number of fashion shows that went on in the show, I honestly can’t remember if Aria picked this outfit or was made to wear it. Either way, shame on the costuming department for this outfit. In fact, all the charity show outfits that included feathers were yikes-worthy.
Let’s go through everything Aria is wearing, starting with the hair. Were they going for a beehive but ran out of extensions? And what are those boots? I’ve never wanted to stay away from shoes quite as much. And I won’t even get started on the feathers because I think we all know that was a big mistake.
Were hats really that popular in the 2010s? These are just four of the many, many hats Aria wears throughout the show. And while I do love a hat moment every few episodes or so, seeing a hat in nearly every episode of seasons one and two was tiring.
From fedoras to pillbox hats to berets to bowling hats, there was literally no telling what she might wear on her head next. Nearly every time Aria wore a hat, they didn’t add anything to her outfit. In fact, they distracted from outfits that would’ve been fine under any other circumstance.
I’m all for mixing patterns… but only in moderation. Each of the pieces in Aria’s outfit is cute by itself. Taken all together, it looks like something I would’ve put together as a baby. And I get mixing patterns and chunky booties were popular when this show came out, but couldn’t the costume department have chilled out a little?
This was one of the worst outfits Aria wore in the later seasons. I don’t know what was happening behind the scenes, but they started trying to make her look age-appropriate toward the end. So what happened with this one? The same goes for Spencer’s outfit, too.
As someone who lives in the South and is surrounded by western-themed dances nearly every weekend, I have never seen someone dress like Aria. Emily in her white shorts is much more common at dance halls.
As much as I do love Aria’s outfit, I don’t think it would fly at any dance hall in the South. If she had just switched the poofy skirt for shorts (or even a less poofy skirt), it would’ve fit the vibe so much better. I mean, seriously, is this a scene from a Bratz movie?
Let’s take a look at Aria’s formal wear next. Who thought it would be the right call to make her look like a literal snow fairy? All the other girls, even the extras, were dressed in floor-length gowns. She might be small, but can she get a long dress every once in a while, too?
That said, it’s the least horrible of the formal dresses on this list. She was very on-brand for her clothing choices at the time and on theme for the Winter Wonderland dance. I just wish she’d gotten a little bit more avant-garde outfit for this dance. Shocking coming from me, I know.
I love the concept of masquerade balls, but Pretty Little Liars dropped the ball, if you’ll excuse the pun. While I will admit these dresses were very much of their time – except maybe Aria’s – so I’ll give them a little bit of leeway. That said, I still can’t stand any of the outfits.
Aria’s is the worst for many reasons. The costume department always put her in short dresses and extremely high heels to make her fit in with the other girls. Because of that, she never quite fit in whenever she wore formal wear. But she stood out even more with this carnival-inspired dress.
I get that the girls wanted to look cute at the Founders Day party, but couldn’t they have given Aria (and Emily) an outfit that wasn’t so bright or out-there compared to the other attendees?
I actually love the cut and style of Aria’s outfit, but there’s too much going on. She’s supposed to be creative, but shouldn’t she have known when to stop piling on the accessories? The dress and gloves alone would’ve been fine; why add a ton of necklaces and a hat?
I genuinely blocked out everything related to this arc in the show. The dollhouse scenario was so creepy that I would rather skip those episodes if I ever do a rewatch.
Despite the dresses looking a bit trashed in the picture, they did start out looking really beautiful. But that all changed when the Liars (plus Mona) managed to finally make it outside – sadly, they didn’t escape. Of all five dresses, Aria’s is the only one to look better after their escape attempt.
While I’m on the topic of the dollhouse, I had to end this with all four girls wearing prison jumpsuits. At the point they were wearing these, I had already lost most of my interest in the show. I only pushed through because I wanted to say I had years after it had finished.
The situations these girls found themselves in nearly every episode just got to be too much for me. But I almost called it quits on the show when all four girls popped up wearing prison jumpsuits. These don’t look crazy, but how often do you see people wearing these things with full faces of makeup?