The Serpent fashion—here’s how to recreate those '70s inspired looks

The Serpent has it all—nail-biting drama, escapist sets, and covetable clothing

The serpent
(Image credit: BBC)

With current restrictions taking holidays off the menu, most of us are leaning pretty hard on our TV for a much-needed dose of escapism. 

And while The Crown had us lusting after Princess Diana’s power suiting and Bridgerton's costumes inspired an unexpected (and slightly questionable) interest in corsets, it’s The Serpent’s 1970s-inspired fashion we’ve fallen the hardest for.

The Serpent, an eight-part BBC drama, retells the story of serial killer Charles Sobhraj and his partner-in-crime Marie-Andrée Leclerc. The couple earned a notorious reputation in the 1970s for murdering backpackers on Asia's so-called 'Hippie Trail', eventually being sentenced to life imprisonment in 2003. While the real-life relationship between Charles Sobhraj and Marie-Andrée Leclerc was arguably more fascinating than their on-screen portrayal, we're willing to bet the same can't be said for their costumes and set design. 

The breathtaking, bohemian backdrops of Bangkok and Nepal, alongside a bustling 1970s Paris, propel the series into sensory overload. As the episodes progress (don’t worry, there are no spoilers here) and Marie-Andrée falls for Sobhraj’s charms, she embraces an alter ego called ‘Monique’. 

And it just so happens that Monique has one of the most covetable wardrobes we’ve ever laid eyes on. Not to mention the sharp suits and oversized shades donned by Sobhraj himself and sinister sidekick, Ajay Chowdhury

With Marie-Andrée played by Jenna Coleman, it’s not hard to see why the immaculate (in style rather than morals) Monique has become our muse. We see little of Charles Sobhraj's first wife, but the other female leads in the BBC show put The Serpent fashion firmly on the map. 

Think flowing kimonos, flared jeans with neatly structured waists, and sharp, vibrant suiting—all topped with oversized sunglasses, printed headscarves, and a sprinkle of statement jewelry. And don’t even get us started on The Serpent beauty– the waft fringe! The moody kohl liner! It's a look that encapsulates the '70s perfectly.

The green power suit

The serpent

(Image credit: BBC)

The character Charles is a big fan of suiting in The Serpent, something that Monique is keen to emulate in this scene with a pop of color and immaculate tailoring. 

Get the look

jigsaw CASUAL LINEN BLAZER

(Image credit: Jigsaw)

Jigsaw Casual Linen Blazer

Specifications
RRP: £180
Sizes: 6-18
Reasons to buy
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There are blazers, and then there’s this beautiful bottle green linen blazer. The perfect cover-up for inbetween days, wear alone or team with the matching trousers. Both pieces are now in the sale, so move quick to avoid missing out. 

Joules Elvina Button Front Shirt

(Image credit: Joules/John Lewis)

Joules Elvina Button Front Shirt

Specifications
RRP: £59.95
Sizes: 6-26

A feminine take on the classic white shirt, we love the addition of Joules’ signature florals. The soft, draping fabric makes this easy to tuck in to trousers or skirts. 

jigsaw LINEN PALAZZO TROUSER

(Image credit: jigsaw)

Jigsaw Linen Palazzo Trousers

Specifications
RRP: £98
Sizes: 6-18

Believe us when we say everyone looks good in a wide-leg trouser. The nipped-in waist will make the most of your middle before skirting over your hips and thighs. 

quay australia sunglasses

(Image credit: Quay)

Quay Australia Paparazzi Sunglasses

Specifications
RRP: £39

While we love the idea of designer sunnies, the stress of someone sitting on them on a sunlounger can sometimes take the shine off. These are stylish and purse-friendly – win-win. 

The yellow jumpsuit

Quite possibly one of our favourite looks of the series, we love everything about this jumpsuit – the square neck, the wide legs, the colour pop shade. 

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PALOMA WOOL Beirut V-Neck Linen Jumpsuit

(Image credit: Paloma Wool/Liberty London)

Paloma Wool Beirut V-Neck Linen Jumpsuit

Specifications
RRP: £160
Sizes: 6-14

A statement piece, sure, but a yellow jumpsuit like this beauty is one that will work hard in your wardrobe. Wear à la Monique with a glamorous kimono and waist-cinching belt, or more simply with white trainers and a tote. 

reiss HAYLEY LEATHER SQUARE HINGE BELT

(Image credit: Reiss)

Reiss Hayley Leather Square Hinge Belt

Specifications
RRP: £60
Sizes: XS-L

Easy to wear with everything from jeans to jumpsuits, a good neutral belt is always worth the investment. The metal clasp on this one makes it look like a designer piece. 

boohoo Black Dark Tropical Floral Belted Kimono alternative image Black Dark Tropical Floral Belted Kimono alternative image Black Dark Tropical Floral Belted Kimono alternative image Black Dark Tropical Floral Belted Kimono alternative image Dark Tropical Floral Belted Kimono

(Image credit: Boohoo)

Boohoo Dark Tropical Floral Belted Kimono

Specifications
RRP: £18
Sizes: S-L

Never shopped at Boohoo before? Us neither, but this look-a-like kimono was too good to scroll past. At a price this low, you can't go wrong. 

The halterneck

A defining neckline of the 70s, the halterneck is back in a big way. Top with a blazer if you feel conscious about having too much skin on show. 

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reiss joanna SCARF-PRINT HALTERNECK TOP

(Image credit: Reiss)

Reiss Joanna Scarf-Print Halterneck Top

Specifications
RRP: £125
Sizes: 4-16

Almost identical to the one Jenna wore on the show, this Reiss number is now in the sale and selling out fast. Race you to the (virtual) checkout. 

& Other Stories Flared High Waist Jeans

(Image credit: & Other Stories)

Specifications
RRP: £65
Sizes: 24-32

Despite being some of the best jeans you can buy, a good pair of flared jeans can be hard to find. Lucky for us, & Other Stories have more than delivered. We love the patch pockets and retro true blue shade. 

The headscarf

Jenna Coleman in The Serpent

(Image credit: BBC)

The Serpent’s costume designer Rachel Walsh recently named Bianca Jagger as one of her influences when working on the drama, apparent in Monique's love of a good hair accessory. 

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Anthropologie head scarf

(Image credit: Anthropologie)

Kachel Active Paisley Print Headband

Specifications
RRP: £24

No time to expertly arrange a headscarf? No problem. This band is easy to pull on and go. It's a stylish way to hide day-three roots too. 

Paul Smith Large Swirl Stripe Silk Scarf

(Image credit: Paul Smith/John Lewis)

Paul Smith Large Swirl Stripe Silk Scarf

Specifications
RRP: £155

The scarf is expensive, we know, but we just can't get enough of this squiggly multi-coloured pattern. Wear over your hair, around your neck, tied through your belt loops – the possibilities more than justify the price tag.  

The kaftan

Jenna Coleman in The Serpent

(Image credit: BBC)

We're always on the hunt for the perfect kaftan, and The Serpent has only added fuel to the fire. We love the long line of Monique’s easy-breezy crochet kimono. 

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MELISSA ODABASH Yasmin belted crochet-lace maxi kaftan

(Image credit: MATCHESFASHION)

Melissa Odabash Yasmin Belted Crochet-Lace Maxi Kaftan

Specifications
RRP: £288
Sizes: XS-L

Shopping for a kaftan in the winter is tricky business, but you can rely on Melissa Odabash all year round. The detail on this crochet piece is beautiful. 

h&m High leg ribbed swimsuit

(Image credit: H&M)

H&M High leg ribbed swimsuit

Specifications
RRP: £19.99
Sizes: 4-22

Monique might have opted for a khaki two-piece, but if like us, you tend to feel more comfortable in a cossie, give this H&M number a try. It's never too early to start shopping for summer, remember.