Style lessons from Friends
By Matt Glazebrook, 22 September 2014
It's hard to believe it's been 20 years since Friends hit our TV screens. Partly because we'd rather not accept how old that makes us, but also, with old episodes being screened on a constant satellite TV loop from the show's demise until, presumably, eternity (check Comedy Central right now, Friends is almost certainly on), it's tricky to get a handle on its exact location within the space-time continuum.
But if you need proof that our first meeting with the Central Perk loiterers really did take place two decades ago, you only need to observe that the clothes they wore back in the mid-90s have now completed a full turn on the great ferris wheel of fashion and become trendy again. Yes – as unlikely as it may have seemed until very recently – the comfortable, vanilla, almost anti-style basics of Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Phoebe, Joey and Monica are very much the bees knees again. Don't believe us? Check out five key style moments from the 10 seasons, and the lessons they teach us today.
The One Where They Looked Pretty Decent At The Start
It's easy to sneer at Friends' none-more-90s steez. But there were actually some solid garms on display in the early years. Check out Joey's tasty black denim shirt, smartly paired with a classic white tee. And Chandler's super-layered-up vibe, with his drapey shirt, ultra-relaxed sweater vest and baggy beige trousers, is kind of a killer autumnal ensemble.
The One Where They Invented Normcore
Normcore, for the uninitiated, is a very 2014-style confection that involves fashionable young things dressing in the manner of people from the mid-90s who don't care much for fashion at all. You can watch a nifty video about it here. Or you can simply stare in admiration at Rachel's trackie bottoms, flip-flops and tank top, and Chandler's capacious chinos, rumpled no-flips-given shirt and super-simple sneaks.
The One With All The Brown
Will she get off the plane? That was the key question from the final ever episode of Friends. A secondary question was: how is she ever going to find Ross, standing there in his brown apartment, wearing his brown shirt, brown sweater and brown corduroy trousers? Style lesson: don't wear all the brown.
The One With The Dad Jeans
For the irresistible ladies man of the group, Joey sure wore some very sensible denim. While we're not necessarily feeling the high-waisted, tucked-in look, there's absolutely nothing wrong with putting away the skinnies, slipping into to something a little more comfortably apportioned and letting your sweet Hawaiian shirt do the stylistic heavy lifting.
The One Where They Got Pretty Comfortable
As a show essentially about a bunch of nice, comfortably well off people slouching around their nice, comfortable apartments and their nice, comfortable coffee shop, the styles in Friends were understandably pretty slouchy and comfortable too. Look at Ross here, with his slouchy jeans, slouchy sweater and a pyjama-clad Jennifer Aniston draped slouchily over his shoulders.