The Rules of Style by Phoebe Buffay
She’ll be there for you
Oh, Phoebe Buffay. Weird and wonderful Phoebe Buffay. No Friends episode would be quite the same without her sly and bizarre commentary. Although Pheebs (Phoebez?) is known as the gang’s kookiest member, there’s always been the sense that she’s slow-playing us all, her mind pinging and ponging around an enlightenment just out of our reach. Perhaps she only seems strange because we haven’t caught up.
Case in point: her closet. Quirky and occasionally incomprehensible (see: Santa Pants), its contents may have never received the same mass adoration as Rachel Green and Monica Geller’s trend-driven ’90s ensembles — rife with pleated mini skirts, ribbed turtlenecks and 501s — but they came from the firmest point of view. Unlike the other two girls who adjusted their clothes to match the times, Phoebe’s outfits were rooted in an unwaveringly secure sense of self. Throughout the show’s 10 season tenure, her look changed the least. It was a masterful display of deeply realized personal style ahead of an era that celebrates it; the makings of a Tommy Ton photograph before fashion blogs existed. In short, Phoebe Buffay is a shining example of how we should get dressed: Only and always for ourselves.
So today, and every day, really, let us channel Phoebe’s devil-may-care attitude when it comes to clothes. And if that doesn’t work? Simply play a game of Marcel see, Marcel do and…
1. Harness the magical, mystical powers of an A+ jacket.
Abracadabra, alakazam, should you try two? (Better than one.) Yes, ma’am. And, because the weather gods have decided to put us on the North Pole diet this month, complete your outerwear parfait with a parka.
2. Introduce your sleeveless dress to a turtleneck. Start writing a toast for their wedding.
Because these two are meant to be together forever. If you don’t have the same ardor for long skirts as Phoebe, go shorter — all the important styling stuff is happening up top, so hemline options are flexible.
3. Turn the Lucky Charms jingle into your shopping list.
Also add: Flowers, smily faces and anything that resembles your favorite emojis. Happy symbols = happy mood = happy person. No wonder Pheebs was always laughing at her own jokes.
4. Imagine your favorite Skittles flavor as a coat. Now go buy it.
And if your favorite Skittles flavor is ALL OF THEM, POURED IN YOUR MOUTH AT ONCE (right there with you, friend), there’s no shame in buying more then one technicolor dreamcoat! Wear the rainbow.
5. Stomp it out with a silk slip.
It’s as if Phoebe knew that at some point in 2016, we’d experience sneaker fatigue and need something new to wear with a fancy dress during the day. Meet her easy and refreshing solution to your unfinished outfit equation: No nonsense, chunky sole ankle boots.
All in for a group rendition of “Smelly Cat”? I’ll let you start in the comments…
Feature collage by Emily Zirimis; carousel photographs from NBC/NBC Getty Images via Buzzfeed and Pinterest