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How “Friends” Can Inspire Your Wardrobe

Friends was a popular television sitcom during the 90s. Over the course of the ten years, Rachel Green, Phoebe Buffay and Monica Geller had a multitude of hairstyles and partook in countless different fashion trends. Whether you love to dress casual, sporty or fancy, Friends has go to looks to help inspire your wardrobe!


One of Rachel’s most iconic outfits features a plaid, pleated skirt paired with a white cropped sweater and knee high socks. She also pulls plaid into her wardrobe into her professional wardrobe as she worked in fashion with Bloomingdales and Ralph Lauren. Rachel paired a mid-length plaid skirt with a green sleeveless top for a perfect business casual look. Rachel is also known for the variety of mini-skirts she sported throughout the ten seasons. In this specific look, she paired a plaid mini-skirt with a bright yellow top and denim jacket.


Within the past year gingham became increasingly popular. Gingham printed dresses, skirts, shirts, etc., have been spotted everywhere from Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters to Forever 21. Rachel wore a gingham sleeveless dress with a silver watch that could be worn for a day out in the city or dressed up for a nice dinner.


Denim is a staple in anyone’s wardrobe, especially Monica and Rachel’s. Monica is known for her simple but chic outfits, and her high-waisted jeans paired with a spaghetti strapped red tank top is no exception. The rips in the pants and the white sneakers makes this outfit perfect for any casual occasion. Rachel also loved everything denim including overalls, jeans and denim shirts. Overalls similar to the ones pictured on Rachel have come back into style the past few summers.


A turtleneck is a great way to stay warm during the colder months while staying in-line with what is trendy. Throughout the show, Monica, Joey and Rachel each had their own take on how to style a turtleneck. Monica wore a red turtleneck with a pair of jeans, while Joey wore an orange-reddish ribbed turtleneck. Rachel wore a sleeveless blue turtleneck, which can be used as inspo for bringing turtlenecks into the spring/summer months.


From time to time, the characters were shown in their sweatshirts, pajama pants and even workout clothes when the scene called for relaxed attire. Rachel loved wearing plaid pajama pants with a tshirt. In “The One with the Football,” Rachel wore a pair of black sweatpants tucked into a pair of socks. She topped the outfit off with a backwards hat, which helped her look more “sporty,” despite her lacking athletic skills. Working out was rarely reference throughout the show, but when it was, it was a focal point of the episode. For example, when Chandler and Ross tried to quit the gym, when Phoebe ran funny and when Monica trained Chandler to get back in shape. Monica’s workout outfit in one of the episodes consisted of spandex, a Nike sports bra and a sweatshirt. This was simple but a very distinct look.

Business Casual

As the show progressed, Rachel became more and more professionally confident. Rachel’s fashion gradually changed with her. These are just a few examples of the types of outfits she would wear on a daily basis to her job at Bloomingdales or Ralph Lauren.


I always love it when shirts or dresses have cutout detailing. It helps the item of clothing stand out from everything else. This first shirt that Rachel wore has a similar neckline to shirts that were very popular. This crisscross detailing at the top of a shirt was all the rage about two or three years ago. Another example of cutouts is shown in this dress that Rachel wore when the whole gang went to Barbados for Ross’ work conference. This dress had two diamonds connected in the middle with a cutout where the top met the bottom half of the dress. The bottom half flared out into a longer floral print skirt.

Front-tie shirts

Front-tie shirts have come in and out of style every couple of years. I remember these being very popular when I was in middle school, around 2009. Rachel and Monica both wore front tie shirts throughout the shirt. Three of the most memorable occasions were Rachel’s plaid front tie shirt, Rachel’s black button down tied in the front and Monica’s white button down tied in the front. These shirts are very easy to pair with a pair of jeans for a casual look.


Within the past year or two, velvet has made a come back. I can remember when I was about five or six, early 2000s, wearing matching velvet dresses with my sister for Christmas. One of Phoebe’s most iconic looks was when she wore a blue short-sleeved button down velvet dress. Recently the velvet trend has come back and I am all for it!


Finally, the cast of Friends never turned down an opportunity to get dressed up and go to a dinner or support one another at a work event. These type of events called for them to wear fancier dresses. One of my favorite outfits was “The One Where Nobody is Ready.” This episode is very relatable being a girl. After Rachel finally got dressed, she wore this beautiful green ankle length dress with a slit. Another very popular outfit was Rachel’s in “The One with Monica’s Thunder.” In this episode, Rachel wore a black dress that came to her knees with a slit up the side. This dress had a straight across neckline with thin straps. This is a perfect example of a LBD that everyone should own!

The wardrobe designer for the show, Debra McGuire, did an excellent job at creating individuality within each characters’ wardrobe. McGuire was able to create a legacy for the Friends’ characters beyond the show. The fashion inspiration from Rachel, Monica and Phoebe will continue to inspire viewers. These ten trends plus more are excellent examples of how a show can inspire your everyday wardrobe!  

Laura Riemer is a strategic communication major with a concetration in public relations. She also has three minors in finance, accounting and business. She hopes to continue her education by getting her masters in something in the realm of finance. Laura enjoys writing, listening to music, hanging out with her friends and traveling. She went to England, Scotland and Greece during high school and hopes to have a career that that allows her to continue her travels. 
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