How to Dress Like Leslie Knope

Leslie Knope Parks and Rec patterned blouse

Leslie Knope is the strong, independent, kind and hilarious main character on the hit TV show, “Parks and Recreation.” She is first introduced in the pilot episode, talking about how amazing government and parks are to her and society. It is obvious from the beginning that she is a dedicated civil servant with a good sense of humor.

Her style definitely changes throughout the series from being more on the moderate and mature side, to a stylish and sophisticated wardrobe. One of the aspects of the show that I find so great is how relatable all the characters are. They are regular people with normal jobs, which also mean that their wardrobes fit that style, as well.​

Most of Leslie’s clothes are business to business casual. As the series progresses we do see her more in street clothes, which are also very cute and attainable.​

Clothing Purchasing Guide

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Dresses & Blazer

Shirts

Skirt & Jeans

Shoes & Accessories

Leslie's style overview:

  • Business jackets, skirts & pants
  • Floral pattern blouses
  • Medium & dark wash jeans
  • Black pumps, booties, & sneakers

Leslie Knope's Business Attire

Leslie Knope Parks and Rec gray suit red shirt

​Leslie’s business style throughout the series is pretty straight forward and basic business attire. The outfit that comes to mind that is a staple wardrobe for her is a single button blazer, like this one by Calvin Klein.  Paired with either the matching Calvin Klein skirt or the pants.

​Paired with this suit would be a basic button down shirt, like this one by LA Basic.  It comes in a large variety of colors, any of which would do, although she is wearing red in this picture where I got my inspiration for this outfit.

​Then there are different blouses that she will pair with her business attire, such as in season five, episode four.  The actual shirt is one from Bloomingdale’s and is currently sold out (which is probably fine, because it is $218)!

But I found two different blouses that I think are close matches and are definitely up Leslie’s style. This first one is very sheer, so I would suggest wearing a camisole underneath.

The next one is a button down and comes in many different colors and patterns​, all of which would work for Leslie's style.

Leslie Knope Parks and Rec blue patterned blouse

Casual Tops

We get to see Leslie outside of the office quite a bit more as the series progresses, which is nice because we get some different apparel, in addition to her business look. She definitely has more of a cute and quirky sense of style but that also seems comfortable and put together.

One top she wears is a blue and white plaid button down shirt. I found two that would work perfectly. This first one is more of a tunic​.  The second one is shorter, just like a normal blouse.

​Another top that comes to mind is when she and Andy go to Washington D.C. for the first time and she is wearing a blue striped shirt.  I couldn’t find an exact match, but obviously a blue striped shirt is a fairly common piece of clothing. I found a few that I think would work really well, like this one by Asherangel, this one by Allegra K, and this other one also by Allegra K.

All are close enough to resembling Leslie’s and are cute and casual.

Casual Bottoms

​Most of the time when we see Leslie outside of work, she is wearing a cute sweater or blouse paired with jeans. Her style is pretty classic as well as comfy. This is a good depiction of what she wears on a regular basis.

​She wears a medium wash, straight legged jean, just like these jeans by NYDJ.  These jeans are great because they can be dressed up with heels, or worn casually with sneakers or flats. These particular jeans also come in a few different washes.

​The jeans she wears are a lighter wash, but she also wears a dark wash, straight jean as well. We rarely see her wearing actual skinny jeans and never leggings or boot cut. In season 3, when they are going camping after the harvest festival, we see Leslie in casual clothes. The jeans I found that match well are these Levi's 525s.  

Levi’s are always a good brand and these are a good price, too. These jeans also come in a variety of washes, so any of these would do well for “Leslie” jeans.

Leslie's Dresses

Leslie Knope Parks and Rec green dress

​Leslie is also seen wearing dresses on several occasions. There are quite a few times when she attends a nice event, or throws a party, where she would be wearing a semi-formal dress.

In the episode where Ann and Chris leave, Leslie throws them a huge party the night before. At the party she is wearing a green dress.  Although I could not find an exact match, I found a few dresses that are very similar and definitely give off the same feeling as this dress.

This dress even though it’s sleeveless (whereas Leslie’s is ¾ sleeve), it is form fitting like hers and has similar ruching.

This next dress is also not ¾ sleeve, but it does have sleeves. It also has a belt, which does make it a little less formal, in my opinion. Nonetheless, it is a similar color and fit as Leslie’s and has a pretty design at the top. You could certainly dress it up for a party with nice heels and accessories.

This last dress is the most similar I feel​.  Although these sleeves are longer than Leslie’s dress, they are closer to the length and it is form fitting and has ruching at the top. Again, it is a good substitute for Leslie’s dress.

At the beginning of the episode where Ben and Leslie get married, Leslie is wearing a red cap sleeve dress, with lace on the top and bottom. I found three dresses that are very similar, although none of them only have the lace at the top and bottom.

The first dress is all lace​, but it is cap sleeve like Leslie’s and a good length, from what I can tell. The color looks pretty spot on, as well.

The second dress is also all lace, but has a little more detail at the top and no belt, like the first dress. It isn’t quite cap sleeve but it is definitely a modest sleeveless dress.

The last dress I found has no lace on it, but has the shape more accurate to Leslie’s and the sleeve is similar. The color looks the most exact to me, as well.​

This next dress is less formal than the previous two I just talked about. Leslie wears this dress at the end of season six. It is a silk shirt dress, with pink cherry blossoms​.  The dress is Diane von Furstenberg Freya Printed Silk Dress, but it is also currently sold out. I found three dresses that I think would be good alternatives to this dress.

This one by ASOS is similar in color​.

This next one by Lucky Brand is similar in the pattern, although it is black instead of blue.​

The last one is also black, but again has a similar look to the original dress.

Accessories

Leslie Knope Parks and Rec blue dress waffle necklace

​Leslie is a pretty simple and classic lady when it comes to most of her accessories, especially when she is at work. In most of the scenes where you can see her shoes when wearing business attire, she is wearing a simple, black pump.

​I found two similar ones, like these by LifeStride and these by Paprika.  You definitely can’t go wrong with either or any black pump, to be honest.

She is also seen wearing boots on occasion when she is wearing more casual clothes, like in this scene where she visits Ann after having her baby.  These booties by Rocket Dog are very similar in color and the heels looks almost identical.

Leslie is also seen wearing red Converse shoes.​  These are easy to find of course and I found a quick link on Amazon here.

​And of course it wouldn’t be a real article about Leslie Knope if we didn’t mention waffles.  She wears a waffle necklace (from her stuffed otter).  You can find and buy this necklace on Etsy here.  You can definitely complete any Leslie Knope outfit or costume with a waffle necklace!

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Megan

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