If there’s anything that Amy Poehler has taught us during her last six years as “Parks and Recreation’s” leading lady Leslie Knope, it’s that fashion isn’t made for a box, so we shouldn’t be afraid to think outside its walls.
Like Leslie Knope, I often find myself conflicted between two ends of the fashion spectrum—I’m a tomboy with a penchant for suits and flannel, but also a girly girl who loves patterns and polka dots. I used to think the two styles couldn’t be melded. Now, thanks to Leslie, I feel inspired to dress however the heck I want.
Leslie’s style is a breath of fresh air because it’s professional but also bright and cheery and uniquely her. She doesn’t keep her suits stashed away for special occasions. Rather, to Leslie, every day is a special occasion, and her style reflects that.
So, how exactly does someone dress like Leslie Knope? First and foremost, be yourself, but if you’re looking for a bit more guidance, then follow these five tips.
1. Suit up.
Leslie is famous for her suits. Find one in a medium-toned gray and another in a darker shade like navy or charcoal, and you’ll be well on your way to recreating Leslie’s look. (And, if you’re feeling adventurous, you might even look for one in bright red.)
If you’re on a really tight budget, the best places to look for suits are discount retailers like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Ross. (I’ve found really nice ones at these stores for less than $50.) You can also find affordable options at JCPenny, The Limited, and Express. And, if you can’t find both pieces, don’t be afraid to buy the perfect jacket or pants at the perfect price if they’re in a standard color and fabric. Chances are, you won’t find that good of a deal again, and you can always stay on the lookout for the other matching piece (assuming you don’t already have something similar in your closet).
3. Channel your femininity.
Speaking of polka dots, don’t shy away from being a little girly. Leslie often feminizes her suits with ruffles, bows, polka dots, and splashes of pink. Complete the look with rose-colored lipstick and soft curls.
4. Go all out for special occasions.
When you’re not dressing for everyday wear, take advantage of the opportunity to be creative. No matter the occasion, Leslie never fails to pull out all the bells and whistles.
5. Don’t be afraid to get dirty – just dress for it.
Leslie may be a bit girly, but she also knows how to rough it. Take her lead and remember that life isn’t all polka dots and bows, so your wardrobe shouldn’t be either.
Get Leslie Knope’s look on a budget
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