Fashion From 'The L Word' and Why These Women Are Still So Important 5 Years After the Finale

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In 2004, Showtime produced something pretty special: The L Word . The epic television show that ran for six seasons brought us the first portrayal of lesbian, bisexual and transgender female characters on mainstream television — and not as some kind of slapstick comedy, either. It was touching, dramatic, intense and sexy. And it was what a lot of us needed to get through closeted days and the fear of the never being accepted.

Like any TV show, it wasn't perfect. The L Word often fell short when it came to depictions of race and toward its final season, it had a tendency to opt for the bizarre and jaw-dropping when it was totally unnecessary. But in the five years since its finale, it's still the most influential show of its kind. As Dazed writer Jossie Thaddeus-Johns writes, "The main strength of The L Word was breaking the boundaries of writing all this stuff down, becoming iconic for lesbian and bi women everywhere."

Among its many fortes, The L Word did a lot in terms of fashion. I don't just mean that the characters often looked cute, and that that was a good thing. I mean that each of them taught us something about the relevance and importance of fashion — and the ways in which we can become more ourselves by using the wonderful outlet that is clothing. So here are the leading ladies of The L Word, and a few of the many lessons they instilled.

Image: Naomi Kaltman/Showtime

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