The series finale of The Office is this Thursday! While this is bringing up a lot of mixed emotions for people (Is Pam making me dislike her? Do I still love Jim? Was I supposed to have continued watching The Office all this time?), we can all agree that the show has given us some grade A style advice. I’m talking Gossip Girl levels of televised fashion inspiration that have caused stores to sell out of pastel vertical striped shirts for the past nine years.
Okay, I know, the fashion on The Office wasn’t revolutionary, but it was an extremely well done, accurate depiction of what people working in an eastern Pennsylvania paper company might wear. Most shows make their characters look super stylish and sleek even though their lives and careers don’t exactly match up with dressing that way. All of the clothes on The Office could actually be purchased at any mall, Walmart, or Target by someone who is, say, a paper salesman or receptionist. You could literally dress just like them if you wanted to. When the cast weren’t all in their business casual clothes, we got some more fun style moments like during the holiday episodes and that time Kelly ordered a bunch of clothes online and declared to Pam, “Fashion show! Fashion show! Fashion show at lunch!” Just in time for your finale party (enough people still watch that finale parties are being held, yeah?) here’s how to dress like five of your favorite Office women.
I’ll start with Pam because her look has gone through the biggest change throughout the series so you have a couple options to choose from. I’m not gonna assume you want to look like well-coiffed season nine Pam, maybe you’re a season one kinda girl.
To look like early Pam, start with the hair. Pam had those crispy, crunchy-looking curls. To achieve this look, buy one of those gigantic jars of hair gel and dab it on to the length of your hair. But don’t– and this is crucial!– do not get any on your bangs! Bangs are to be flat ironed straight. Jenna Fischer was very clear about this look and had an agreement with the show’s stylist to not make Pam look like she spent more than 30 minutes doing her hair.
As for clothes, there was one staple of business casual lady fashion in the early to mid-aughts and it was the fitted button-up. If, like me, you were a teenager at the time, this was the shirt your wore to Model UN/to play clarinet in a school concert/to random family events that were neither formal nor t-shirt appropriate. Pam wore A LOT of these shirts and liked them with vertical stripes. She paired them with ill-fitting pencil skirts and sometimes ill-fitting pants.
In later seasons, Pam became more put together looking. Her clothes fit better. She wore cute blouses instead of a boring shirts. She threw a blazer on. And, most importantly, her hair stopped being so crunchy!
Kelly was always flashier than the other ladies. In the first season, she dressed conservatively and tended to wear her hair in a tight bun, but soon she was a fashion, gossip, and Ryan obsessed blabbermouth with clothes to match her loud personality. To dress like Kelly, don’t shy away from color. The brighter, the better. Don’t be afraid of prints either. Try switching up your hairstyle every now and then. During her time on the show Kelly rocked a bob, bangs, long hair, and a Snooki poof. Always stay work appropriate though, unless you’re trying to make your ex-boyfriend/co-worker really jealous. In that case, wear a low-cut polka dot dress.
Angela is the most conservative lady in the office. She’s also the blondest, so start by dyeing your hair super light. Dress in very drab colors. Think: tan, white, cream, brown. Just stick with that general color family. You can pick up some paint sample strips as a guide to the many versions of beige. For Christmas parties, plaid skirts and vests are permissible. Experimenting with colors like lavender and grey can be a fun way to switch things up ON OCCASION! You should probably buy some sweatshirts with cats on them to wear at home. I can’t say for sure that Angela wears these, but it’s a pretty good guess.
Phyllis clearly knows what’s up fashion wise because maxi skirts are so in right now. Wear them all the time with jewel-toned shirts and cardigans. Always accessorize with some sort of beaded necklace. The type that looks like you made it yourself in that jewelry making class you took or purchased from someone’s Etsy shop. Wear your hair in the same style and never change it. People will find this comforting. Also, don’t forget your signature glasses!
Do not get dressed unless you’ve had your daily Bailey’s spiked coffee. Wait, Meredith probably drinks whiskey spiked Mountain Dew in the morning, so do that first because it will get your sartorial juices flowing. Meredith is generally office appropriate (except that time she flashed everyone her boobs then her hoo-ha) and likes layering. Combine the following four items in some way and you’ve got Meredith’s look: jumper dress, vest, turtleneck, patterned button-up shirt. Oh, and don’t forget to add pants or a skirt. Or do. It’s whatever. Also, use your mini van as your closet.
Now you’re ready watch The Office finale! Remember, if you cry it’s fine. There’s no satin here! All of these ladies wear water absorbent fabrics!