Style Thief: Dress Like Josie and PJ From “Bottoms”

The Gen Z style vibes in the instant lesbian classic Bottoms movie are very Depop and delightfully all over the place — a lot of Y2K fashion, looks inspired by classic teen films of the 80s, 90s and 2000s and a color scheme that, for stars P.J. and Josie, starts with earth tones but settles into what costume designer Eunice Jera Lee calls “spirit colors” — the varsity blues and reds that underscore the school’s hero-worship of misogyny and football. While full of the requisite designer items, it’s still believable that P.J. and Josie’s outfits were thrifted, as our outfits so often are in high school.

Perhaps what the show accomplished most subtly but so authentically was how P.J.’s style was split between “attempts at doing something sexy” and simply dressing exactly like Josie, as women and especially lesbians so often do when they spend enough time with someone they love so much they can’t help but want to emulate.


“Bottoms” Best Friends Necklace

In middle school this stuff mattered, maybe in part because friendships back then were made or broken at the mall, and the appropriate jewelry could be purchased on the spot to commemorate said social shifts. But enough about me — Josie and P.J.’s necklace is a classic 90s throwback if I’ve ever seen one, and the spite involved in removing your half of the heart from your neck is a betrayal on par with removing a wedding ring.


Josie and PJ’s Rugby Shirts

Much of Josie and PJ’s clothing are menswear-inspired — rugby shirts, overalls, loose-fit pants (lots of cargos and drawstrings rather than jeans) and vintage tees. Josie specifically sticks pretty consistently to oversized graphic tees and men’s rugby shirts, as often did P.J.

1) JCrew Rugby Shirt in Stripe (Men’s XS-2XL) – $59
2) Kickers Stripe Rugby Polo (Men’s XS-XL) – $39
3) Levi’s Union Rugby Polo Shirt(Men’s XS -2XL) – $69.50


Josie’s Oversized Graphic Tees & Stripes

Unfortunately the incredible Atari tee Josie rocks in the film can only be found on resale sites like Poshmark — it was a Junk Food tee but has since been discontinued, as has the Kappa tee with logo ringer collar Josie wears in the film poster. But the spirit of these items lives on, elsewhere:

Graphic tees and oversized tees

1) Atari Missle Command T-Shirt (XS-5XL) – $28
2) H&M Oversized Printed T-Shirt (2XS-2XL) – $18
3) Todd Snyder x Champion Ringer Tee in Collegiate Green (XS-2XL) – $98
4) Adidas V-Neck Logo Tee (2XS-XL) – $45
5) Women’s Short Sleeve Jersey T-Shirt (2XS-4XL) – $18
6) Guess Striped T-Shirt (Men’s S-2XL) – $49

The Bottoms style team also sourced specifically from New Orleans artists. In the final fight club scene, Josie wears an “Artists Are The Gatekeepers of Truth” tee from local artist/activist BMike Odums who runs the arthouse StudioBe in New Orleans. They pulled the “spiritual playboy” shirt Josie wears in the opening carnival scene from Los Angeles designer Don Kaka.

Two t-shirts: Spiritual Playboy and Artists are the gatekeeprs of Truth

1) Spiritual Playboy Black Velvet T-Shirt by Don Kaka (S-XL) – $120
2) Artists Are the Gatekeepers of Truth T-shirt by Studio Be (S-2XL) – $80


P.J.’s Layers

Lee describes P.J.’s style as a “chameleon.” Her tiny/cropped/tight tees overlayed with patchwork flannels or hoodies is giving “insecure teenager in 1994” or “Brittney Murphy in Clueless pre-makeover” and I love that for her.

henly tank, block flannel, champion hoodie

1) Gap Henley Tank Crop (2XS-2XL) – $13
2) Gap Patchwork Flannel (XS-2XL) – $34.99
3) Champion Zip-Up Hoodie (XS-3XL) – $75


PJ’s Corduorys and Overalls

Josie’s wide-wale cords, tight striped long sleeved tee and suspenders she wore on the first day of school were intended as an homage to Cameron from the 1986 classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Overalls are another consistent item for P.J.: in the final fight scene, she dons a white pair over a baggy orange t-shirt, which itself is over a yellow-and-white striped ribbed long-sleeve shirt (very mid-90s!). Earlier in the film, she channels Angela Chase in her denim overalls, patchwork flannel and a mismatched rainbow-embroidered baby yellow tee.

corduroy pants and overalls

1) Blank NYC Wide Wale Corduroy Flare Pants (24-31) – $73
2) Old Navy High Waisted OG Corduroys (00-30) – $50
3) Boden Westbourne Corduroy Pants (0-22) – $140
4) H&M White Relaxed Fit Overalls (Men’s XS-3XL) – $65
5) Dickie’s Denim Overalls (XS – 24) – $45-$60
6) Lucy & Yak Original Dungarees Organic Corduroy (UK 4 – UK 32) – $91


P.J’s Little Dutch Boy

After P.J compliments the holes in Brittney’s pants at the carnival, she delivers the unforgettable feedback to P.J that “you look like a little dutch boy.” Lee was inspired by The Craft when constructing the outfit — Hervé Léger harness, white puff-sleeve Cider shirt, Rag & Bone pleated skirt and monk-strap Dr. Martens creepers.Sadly the Doc Marten Monk-Strap Creepers are no longer for sale but Mary Janes are fine, we can make it work.

Puff-sleeve white shirts, black harnesses, black pleated skirts, white knee socks and mary janes

1) Gap Organic Cotton Puff Sleeve Slim Shirt (2XS-2XL, petite -tall) – $60
2) White House Black Market Ruched-Sleeve Shirt (00-18) – $89
3) Old Navy Fitted Long-Sleeve Button-Front Top (XS – 4XL) – $30
4) Tilly’s Wide Double Buckle Womens Harness Belt (One Size) – $18
5) Lucy Harness Design Women’s Leather Belt Harness (XS – 5XL) – $23-$65
6) Banana Republic Factory Pleated Cotton Mini-Skirt (0-20) – $30
7) Cider Black Pleated Skirt (2XS-4XL) – $24
8) Xhiliration Women’s Solid Knee Socks – $2.50
9) Doc Marten Mary Janes – $115

“It’s what society is telling her sexy is, and her version of it,” Lee told Fashionista. “But she doesn’t necessarily ever get it right.”

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Riese

Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3178 articles for us.

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