The Fashion On ‘Friends’: The Secrets Behind The Show

Like - which was Rachel's most popular outfit?

We love Friends for so many reasons: its hilarious jokes, its life lessons, its aspirational friendships, its one-liners – and also, its fashion.

Sure, so we may not be demanding ‘The Rachel’ as often as we were in 1997 – but it would be impossible to forget the impact the show had on fashion sense in the nineties and thereafter.

The leather blazers, slip dresses, high-waisted trousers, cropped tops and oversized checked shirts of the show jumped off the TV set and into the hearts of fashion-conscious viewers all across the world, with fans everywhere trying to emulate everything from Monica’s lipsticks to Rachel’s dresses.


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Now we can find out a bit about what went into creating the iconic looks for the six cast members and the guests on the show, because costume designer Debra McGuire has told The Telegraph all about it.

She told the newspaper that the impact of the show’s style lives on to this day – and that one of the pieces she picked up in London was the most popular with fans.

‘To this day, in 2016, I get at least one email a week saying, “My wife and I are watching Friends and I loved that dress – where can I find it?”’ she said. ‘I always write back and say “That was 20 years ago!”

‘When I was in London doing Friends, for the episode when Ross gets married, I went to this boutique called Idol (now sadly not there anymore) and bought so much stuff for Phoebe and for Rachel.

‘And some of those pieces are the most loved pieces by the fans. There was a strapless yellow dress that Rachel wore that I think I got thousands of emails over the years just about that dress.’


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McGuire, who revealed that she had to source 75 costumes every single week, also said that the actors never ‘borrowed’ their clothes from the wardrobe because they didn’t want to be ‘seen as their characters’.

You probably also thought that the clothes the friends – who were constantly broke and borrowing money from each other – wore were cheap and affordable, but not so.

‘So I wanted to find a great leather jacket for Joey, something that could be his best friend, and the one I found was Armani, which was a riot because he never could have afforded Armani,’ McGuire said. ‘We made it look like a poor man’s choice, but really it wasn’t. And that was the case for a lot of things actually, which is very funny.’


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What is your favourite Friends outfit of all time? Let us know @MarieClaireUK

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