IN THE 1990s, NBC’s Thursday night “Must See TV” lineup included sitcoms like “Friends,” “Frasier” and “Seinfeld” that earned stratospheric ratings and Emmys galore. What they didn’t receive was praise for their clothes. Few people considered the blue button-ups and flouncy khakis of Ross Geller, Dr. Frasier Crane and Jerry Seinfeld’s eponymous TV alter-ego the peak of fashion. You can find articles declaring that “Seinfeld had the worst clothes” published as recently as 2017.
But something has shifted in the past few years. Once written off as frumpy, ’90s sitcom characters like “Friends” wiseacre Chandler Bing have somehow become genuine fashion icons. On image-sharing site Pinterest , searches for “Chandler Bing fashion” are up 200% compared with this time last year. Vendors on the vintage-clothing resale website Depop are using “Chandler Bing-style” as a positive descriptor to help shill beige sweater vests. TikTok, Gen-Z’s favorite video-app, is awash with videos showing how to dress like your favorite “Friends” or “Seinfeld” characters. In October 2020, Tim Dessaint, a popular men’s fashion content creator, re-created the outfits of “Friends” characters in a YouTube video. One channeling Ross Geller comprised a blousy pink button-down, voluminous pleated jeans and chunky sneakers. The video has been viewed nearly 60,000 times.