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.

Image via Fri-ends Tumblr

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.

Image via Pinterest

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.

Image via Pinterest

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.

Image via Pinterest

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.

Photograph from NBC/NBC Getty Images via Buzzfeed

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 


  • Weirdly enough I don’t have strong feelings about Friends either way but I have VERY strong feelings about Phoebe. So glad she’s getting her due!

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  • kduck

    I was all about the ribbon choker with a drop like in photo 20.

  • Lacey

    LOVE Friends and of course love Pheebs! I always wished I could have this kind of confidence with fashion.

  • Phoebe was definitely my favorite character from the show. Then Joey, of course.

  • Yara C. Kazan

    Let’s never forget the time she made her own shoes!!! :)))

    • Alison Syrett

      HAHAHA, Yara, but Ross’ face tho!!!

    • littlest lemon

      I feel like I’ve seen Miu Mius like these…

  • Alessia

    YES! Phoebe’s style is the best!!

  • Karen

    Why are we not bringing up her jewelry, mainly her rings? She always wore multiples and midi rings before they became a thing. Whenever I watch her on Friends I can’t stop looking at her jewelry!

  • Amelia Diamond

    I love Julie Skipper ‏@jcskipp on Twitter who just tweeted, “I feel like sartorially, Phoebe Buffay is Clarissa Explains it All would have grown up to be.”

  • Carina