The One Where Phoebe Buffay Is Your Unexpected Summer Style Icon

It's time to revisit the Friends' star's eclectic boho look.

phoebe buffay friends orange coat

by Laura Antonia Jordan |
Updated on

If you are one of the rather harshly named ‘geriatric millennials’ then you definitely wanted to be a ‘Rachel’ growing up. So much so that we don’t even need to add context to that statement. But for the benefit of anyone born after 1985, that is Rachel Green, the Friends character that made Jennifer Aniston one of the most famous women in the world.

phoebe buffay friends
Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay ©NBC/NBCUniversal

But, fellow geriatric millennials, haven’t we been there, done that, and got the layered haircut? This week’s Friends: The Reunion show, which saw the six stars reunited alongside a host of A-list fans, alerted us to the fact that there was one style star we overlooked during the original run: Lisa Kudrow's Phoebe Buffay.

Looking back now, while Rachel’s streamlined polish is appealing (and we advise you to check out Jennifer Aniston’s best off-screen ‘90s looks stat) it’s the Phoebe look – hippy-dippy, eccentrically eclectic – that really gets us excited for summer 2021. She has some of the biggest trends of the moment ticked off: crochet, clogs, fringing, cottagecore dresses(way before anyone was actually using the word ‘cottagecore’).

lisa kudrow phoebe buffay red coat
Just one of Phoebe's excellent coats ©NBC/NBCUniversal

And although summer seems to have finally arrived, bookmark her excellent coat collection for next winter. That orange faux fur coat she wore in 'The One Where Everybody Finds Out' (shout out to the GMs, you know the coat, and you know what everybody found out) is as unforgettable as 'Smelly Cat'. Lady Gaga clearly agrees – she paid homage to the look on the reunion show in a Colin LoCascio cardigan dress (in fact, she went for a full Buffay buffet, wearing it with a vintage ‘90s Jean Paul Gaultier top, floral Desigual jeans and platform Marc Jacobs boots. Take note, this is how you give the Phoebe look a 2021 revamp).

But more than the pieces themselves, it’s the Phoebe style spirit which feels right for now. For starters, she was repping cruelty-free clothes and vintage back when it still seemed ‘kooky’ (remember when she bought ‘the late’ Shania Twain’s shoes on eBay?). Then there’s the fact that boho is back in a big way. It makes sense, we’re all coveting a free-spirited summer of love. And, after a year of restrictions, who can be bothered to follow rigid fashion ‘rules’ anymore? Not her, and not us. Clothes should be about self-expression – whatever that means to you.

phoebe friends fringed waistcoat
Phoebe is Friends' queen of boho ©NBC/NBCUniversal

And if you still don’t think of yourself as a Phoebe girl? Consider another breaking style star from the show: Chandler. Yes, really. His sweater vests, baggy blazers and baseball caps also feel newly relevant. Just think of this summer as The One Where We’re Not All Rachels After All.


Phoebe Buffay's Best Boho Style Rules

Maxi It Up1 of 10

Maxi It Up

A floor-sweeping maxi skirt is a Phoebe signature. Just add trainers and a denim shirt.

More Is More2 of 10

More Is More

Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes... To go full Phoebe, pile on the jewellery.

Even Workout Wear Can Be Fun3 of 10

Even Workout Wear Can Be Fun

Hitting the gym - or, here, the park - doesn't mean you need to ditch your signature style.

Go Faux4 of 10

Go Faux

Keep it kind - fur should always be faux.

Try A Tea Dress5 of 10

Try A Tea Dress

An easy, breezy tea dress is an all-summer essential.

If In Doubt... Put A Fringe On It6 of 10

If In Doubt... Put A Fringe On It

Can you claim to be boho if you're not wearing something fringed? No. No, you cannot. Extra points for a vintage find.

Clash Your Prints7 of 10

Clash Your Prints

See also: why not try a headscarf?

Yes You Can Do 'Minimal'8 of 10

Yes You Can Do 'Minimal'

You might think Phoebe's style and minimalism are completely at odds with one another? But they can happily harmonise. Just keep the palette pared-back, steer clear of prints and add some free-spirited energy courtesy of fluid silhouettes and bohemian jewellery.

Don't Be Afraid To Stand Out9 of 10

Don't Be Afraid To Stand Out

Sure, Joey is wearing a turkey on his head - and, more disturbingly, a leather waistcoat - but who's looking at that? Budding Buffays always know the power of a statement piece.

And Finally... A Guitar Is Your Ultimate Accessory10 of 10

And Finally... A Guitar Is Your Ultimate Accessory

Does it matter if you can't play it? We'll let you answer that one.

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