Ross is known to have appeared to be one of the worst dressed in the central perk gang, but he predicted most of the trend that emerged since the beginning of the show.
The style hierarchy among the male characters of the show Friends was quite evident. Joey, Baby ben, Gunther, chandler, Mr. Geller and then Ross.
Joel with his crackpot magnetism adorned any outfit and made it work for him from plaid shirts to sweats, With his curtain haircuts and heart shaped face. He followed every fashion statement from wearing a man bag to wearing all of chandler’s clothes predicting Balenciaga style layering. So did Mr. Ross who had a specific older gentleman style about him always seen in a size big suits and jumpers.
But speaking about Ross… Poor Ross! He was always in a boring attire with his caramel-colored suits, stripy shirts and the egghead haircut. In the entire show which ran for 10 seasons, Ross had had some deep personal lows. He became the male phoebe, the Eeyore figure, a sad clown and a comedic foil for other characters. Which followed to his most outrageous comic moments on his fashion mishaps.
But if you re-watch the show after all these years again, you would notice that fashion wasn’t just functional for Ross’s character, but it was experimental which allowed him to try different personals for size. Which seems to mirror perfectly the view that men took concerning their clothes during lockdown.
If you have noticed in all the flashbacks in Friends, Ross was into role-playing since the beginning. The Bea persona, grey-gardens-ish older female kind look which saw Ross dressed up in a womans patchwork blazer and a pirate fedora hat. Then there was the Lionel Richie look with a caterpillar moustache and a perm, playing his keyboard as Rachel took off to prom with chip and then the Miami Vice Ross with the yolk-colored T shirt and electric blue suit.
In the first few seasons of Friends, you wouldn’t see Ross dressed up or flaunting any fashion statement. But then the costume designers and the show runners did something very interesting. As soon as Ross’s life took a fall and the depression phase began with his marriages ending and the pressures of co-parenting, the experimenting began with the persona.
Season 4 saw him in a different avatar all together where he discovered a new Ross with his relationship with Emily. He mentioned himself to be whole “Other guy” when they were together. Even ended up piercing his ears. Styled in a David Bowie look. “who am I? David Bowie? “he asked Emily. Bowie known to wear a single statement earring at the heights of his career and in the season 4 as it went ahead Ross too got experimental with fashion.
He wore Rachels Frankie Say Relax T shirt in season 3. Around season 10 he wore a womans top on a date which ended up being the same as the date which predicted gender fluid and unisex dressing. With other moments like experimenting with teeth whitening and bronzer which predicted the rise in self-care and male grooming.
Remember the time Ross attempted to wear something new for a date. He went on a date with leather pants which horribly went wrong but predicted a new beginning of breaking out of the funk. “This year was supposed to be great. Well, it’s only the second day and I’m a loser with stupid leather pants that don’t even fit,” he said when he turned up at his sister’s, trouser-less, legs covered in lotion and talcum powder”. Ross is the perfect style icon of 2020. He was always experimenting like all of us, but he was much more brave with fashion even though most of the times it went horribly wrong.