Friends fans are bathing in nostalgia after the classic sitcom’s much vaunted reunion show finally aired, featuring celebrity guests (Lady Gaga singing “Smelly Cat” on the Central Perk sofa, David Beckham outing himself as “a Monica”), insider gossip (Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer had actual feelings for one another), and multiple tearful moments from the cast as they reflected on the glory days of love, laughter and lobster analogies. In honour of the big reveal, revisit some of the best ’90s Friends fashion moments—who needs a Pinterest inspiration board when you could just binge all 10 seasons one more time?
Rachel’s slip dresses
The only thing more ’90s than the ubiquitous haircut Rachel inspired? Her collection of slip dresses. Worn over long-sleeved T-shirts or simply with a tan, the slip dress was an early go-to for Rachel, along with flippy pleated plaid skirts and baby tees. Highlights include the LBD she wore with layered necklaces for the gang’s New Year’s Eve party in season one, a look that was peak Rachel—even accessorised with the black eye she acquired earlier in the episode during an altercation over a cab. In later years, having swapped waitressing for her dream career in fashion, she stuck to the same form-fitting silhouette, but the fabrics got a luxe upgrade.
Monica Geller, the Early Years, was all about a bold lip. When the show kicked off in the late ’90s, Monica’s look was defined by blue jeans and flats worn with figure-hugging tops, that textured, choppy haircut, and a matte pout that would have fit right in on a Molly Goddard runway.
Before Ansel Elgort was toting Prada at the shows, before Anwar Hadid refused to be separated from his ice-blue Goyard carryall, Joey Tribbiani was experimenting with the man-bag. It was back in the binary day when Rachel cadged a designer satchel from Bloomingdale’s to give Joey a sophisticated edge for an audition. He was dubious at first (“really, a purse?”), but quickly came to realise what Ansel, Anwar and Skepta have always known: a great bag isn’t just a means of expressing your personal style, it’s practical, too. In our case, that means roomy enough to accommodate wallet, phone, keys, current book-of-choice and other daily essentials. In Joey’s, it meant space for sandwiches.
Reese Witherspoon’s cameo
We thought turn-of-the-millennium Rachel, all midi dresses, ribbed polo necks and long boots, had that minimalist, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy vibe nailed. Then her younger, brattier sister Jill (played by Reese Witherspoon, since reunited on screen with Aniston in The Morning Show) burst into Central Perk and put her in the shade. From her leather skirts to her headbands, Jill was the picture of preppy Manhattan style.
The designer boots debacle
The One With Monica’s Boots told an all-too familiar tale of fashion woe. She spent more than she could afford on a pair of designer boots (been there), in part because she felt judged by the sales assistant (there too), only to discover that spending any length of time actually walking in them was an agony too great to bear (yep). Mon always was our most relatable Friend.
Ross’s leather pants
We could wax lyrical for hours about the advantages of the perfect pair of leather trousers. But Ross’s brief dalliance with a “rocker dad” look in season five was a lesson in the risks inherent in changing your style. A reminder for those who haven’t seen every episode at least 28 times: after over-heating while sporting his new purchase on a date, Ross swiftly excused himself to go to the bathroom and cool off, then realised there was no way he was going to get them back on again. Humiliation ensued, and Ross sensibly returned to the safety of his normcore wardrobe. Don’t try this one at home, guys.
This article was originally published on British Vogue.