The Office: Florida Stanley

Leslie David Baker as Stanley Hudson on The Office (Episode 8.15: "Tallahassee")

Leslie David Baker as Stanley Hudson on The Office (Episode 8.15: “Tallahassee”)

Vitals

Leslie David Baker as Stanley Hudson, bored paper company salesman

Tallahassee, Florida, Late February 2012

Series: The Office
Episode: “Tallahassee” (Episode 8.15)
Air Date: February 16, 2012
Director: Matt Sohn
Creator: Greg Daniels
Costume Designer: Alysia Raycraft

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Thanks to a “Celebrate Every Day” calendar I received from my girlfriend marking quirky observances throughout the year, I’m privileged to know that April 26 is celebrated as National Pretzel Day. And, of course, hearing the words “pretzel day” should remind most people of one man in particular:

"I like pretzel day." - Stanley Hudson

While there’s little that’s significant or interesting about how Stanley Hudson dresses for day after excruciating day racking up sales (or, more often, crossword puzzle victories), we see a whole different side of the banal salesman when he successfully campaigns to join a select team from his office for an extended business trip to Florida.

Florida Stanley smiles. Florida Stanley is happy to go to work. Florida Stanley is who you want on your Florida team.

After eight seasons of watching the unmotivated Stanley languishing under mid-level mismanagement in the florescent hellscape of Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch, the month-long trip brings out more animation than we’ve ever seen from Stanley… even on Pretzel Day! The transformation is most obvious for fellow salesman Jim Halpert (John Krasinski), who is nonplussed when Stanley pulls up to their hotel in a cherry red Camaro convertible, sporting a woven hemp trilby and tropical-printed shirt as he enjoys a cigar.

Jim: Whoa, Stanley… did you just come back from burning down a rival nightclub?
Stanley: Laugh it up, Halpert. I’m in Florida for a month without my family. I’m gonna enjoy this!

Jim may have been the office’s laidback prankster for the majority of the series, but Stanley rapidly rises to become an unlikely candidate for Jim’s role model for his refusal to let professional obligations get in the way of enjoying rum, music, and a well-earned nap during the opening session of a work conference.

“I’ve spent so much of my life telling myself, ‘please, don’t end up like Stanley’,” Jim confesses to the camera, adding, “and now I’m wondering if I even have what it takes!”

What’d He Wear?

When making his case at the office in the previous episode, “Special Project” (Episode 8.14), Stanley takes a page from the Miami Vice stylebook to make his case as a member of the Florida team with a white cotton two-button jacket worn over a hot pink crew-neck T-shirt that coordinates with his pink patterned silk pocket square and the pink puggaree band on his short-brimmed trilby made of natural straw, a lighter and more structured hat than he would actually wear in Florida.

More like Stanley Crockett.

More like Stanley Crockett.

“If anybody’s goin’ to Florida, it should be me. Every shirt I have that isn’t a work shirt is a Tommy Bahama. I’m the only person in this office who watches Burn Notice,” argued Stanley in “Special Project”, and he puts his money where his mouth is when the selected Dunder Mifflin contingent actually arrives in Tallahassee, spending the following two episodes bedecked exclusively in tropical-printed camp shirts that are undoubtedly Tommy Bahama products.

The most prominently featured of Stanley’s Aloha shirts gets its airtime in “Tallahassee” (Episode 8.15) during Stanley’s brief arc as Jim’s idle idol. A large green, yellow, and brown palm leaf print covers a cream diamond-textured ground. The silk shirt has a camp collar, elbow-length short sleeves, faux-coconut buttons on a plain front, and a matching breast pocket outlined by white contrast top-stitching. (As of March 2020, a very similar Tommy Bahama “Hawaiian leaves”-printed silk shirt is available on eBay!)

Cathy Simms (Lindsey Broad) may be vying for Jim's attention, but the married salesman is solely focused on Stanley... or at least the person Stanley becomes when he's set loose in Florida.

Cathy Simms (Lindsey Broad) may be vying for Jim’s attention, but the married salesman is solely focused on Stanley… or at least the person Stanley becomes when he’s set loose in Florida.

Stanley wears his usual pleated khakis that he would normally wear with a sport jacket and tie to the office. His brown shoes appear to be the clunky-looking slip-ons with heavy synthetic soles that, for better or worse, grew popular over the last few decades among the American “business casual” set. These loafers depart from traditional styles like the penny, tassel, or Venetian loafer for a relaxed-looking hybrid that often touts its shock-absorbing comfort technology systems to provide a footwear experience more akin to sneakers. Befitting their audience segments, these hybrid shoes tend to be the specialty of lower-priced brands like Clarks, Dockers, ECCO, Rockport, and Skechers. (We know Stanley is a Rockport wearer as a pair of Leslie David Baker’s screen-worn size 11WX black square-toed Rockport derbies were auctioned after production wrapped.)

Stanley makes no effort to hide the fact that he spends the entirety of Nellie Bertram's opening session listening to his iPod.

Stanley makes no effort to hide the fact that he spends the entirety of Nellie Bertram’s opening session listening to his iPod.

Channeling mid-century bon vivants who summered in the tropics with Panama hats topping their linen-suited kits, Stanley embraces the relaxed vibe of a tan Toyo straw short-brimmed trilby while in Florida, detailed with a tropical puggaree band in a static-like print in shades of green and yellow that echo his Tommy Bahama shirts. (Compared to the lighter, more structured hat he wears in Scranton, this rice paper hat more resembles the inexpensive headgear offered at stores like Walmart.)

The short brim of Stanley’s hat wouldn’t do much to shield his eyes from the sun, so he takes care of that with a pair of tortoise Persol sunglasses with large square frames similar to the Persol PO3135S in “Havana” acetate (via Amazon and Persol).

FLORIDA STANLEY

Stanley wears a large polished rose gold watch on his left wrist on a burgundy leather strap. The round black dial appears to be detailed with gold non-numeric hour markers and either decorative rings or gold-outlined sub-registers at 1:00 and 7:00.

While it’s decidedly not either of these watches, there are some similarities between Stanley’s timepiece and this Citizen BU2013-08E Eco-Drive and this Vincero “The Chrono S”, both in rose gold-finished steel.

Jim picks a seat next to his new idol Stanley in "Tallahassee".

Jim picks a seat next to his new idol Stanley in “Tallahassee”.

After the end of Dunder Mifflin Scranton’s first week in Florida, we can again spy Stanley among the seminar attendees in “After Hours” (Episode 8.16), sporting a different Aloha shirt—likely another Tommy Bahama—in azul blue silk with a pattern of orange flowers with green leaves. This shirt isn’t seen as clearly due to Stanley’s limited screen time during this scene, which the serene smile on his face indicates is just fine with him. (This colorway approach was evidently quite popular with Tommy Bahama as they issued quite a variety with this scheme; you can find an abundance of floral blue shirts on eBay as of March 2020, such as here, here, here, here, and here.)

FLORIDA STANLEY

By the end of that first week, however, Jim’s fandom appears to be waning as he tells us: “I thought I was going to be hanging out more with Stanley on this trip, but he’s turned out to be kind of a loose cannon.” Jim’s point is punctuated as Stanley, in his third Aloha shirt—printed in a yellow-and-pink floral pattern on a black ground—pulls his Camaro aside two women in a Fiat 500 and propositions them for a night out.

"My friend and I are new here in Tallahassee. Would you like to get a cocktail? Maybe go out for a little dancin'? Beautiful day, no?"

“My friend and I are new here in Tallahassee. Would you like to get a cocktail? Maybe go out for a little dancin’? Beautiful day, no?”

A Reddit theory suggests that the blonde in the Fiat is the one that Stanley is seen drinking with at the hotel bar before escorting her back to his room. We see a clear contrast between Stanley’s bright floral day prints and his more subdued evening look. His fourth and final “Florida shirt” is a soft silky black microfiber camp shirt with a subtle floral pattern stitched on the upper left chest and on the lower right hip, just above the hem.

Stanley, proven to be no stranger to extramarital relations, spies Cathy making herself at home on Jim's bed and gives his co-worker a word of warning—or encouragement—on his way out the door: "Careful, Jim, it gets easier and easier."

Stanley, proven to be no stranger to extramarital relations, spies Cathy making herself at home on Jim’s bed and gives his co-worker a word of warning—or encouragement—on his way out the door: “Careful, Jim, it gets easier and easier.”

Florida Stanley fans are given a reprieve during the series finale, “Finale” (Episode 9.24/9.25). A year into his retirement, the erstwhile paper salesman returns to Scranton for a panel discussion with his former colleagues. Now firmly ensconced into his new life happily carving birdhouses in the Sunshine State, Stanley brings his Florida fashions to northeast Pennsylvania via yet another tropical-printed silk Aloha shirt, this one in pea green with a large blue and white floral pattern, camp collar with loop, and coconut buttons. (As with the others, I haven’t been able to track down this exact print but a few similar Tommy Bahamas are out there on eBay as of March 2020: here and here.)

Stanley’s short-brimmed straw hat with its colorful puggaree band returns, as do his tortoise Persol sunglasses, clipped into the breast pocket of his tan windowpane sport jacket.

Retired from Dunder Mifflin and living in Florida, there's no doubt that Stanley is living his Tommy Bahama dream by the end of The Office.

Retired from Dunder Mifflin and living in Florida, there’s no doubt that Stanley is living his Tommy Bahama dream by the end of The Office.

What to Imbibe

Stanley makes the most of his mini bottles of “Donato Gold Rum”, pouring it into his cup during the breakout session with Sabre’s president of special projects, Nellie Bertram (Catherine Tate).

Jim: Wow, are you that bored?
Stanley: It’s just rum. I’m not bored, I’m a pirate.

Unable to argue with that logic, Jim allows Stanley to pour a “healthy” amount of rum into his own diet soda can.

Arr!

Arr!

As often seen with network TV shows, particularly ones featuring drinking in an unfavorable light (i.e. during a business seminar), the brand depicted on screen is fictional, though the name suggests the real-life brand Ronrico, an inexpensive Puerto Rican rum introduced in 1935.

Jim’s hotel mini-fridge is stocked with “Donato” rum as well, which Stanley liberates in “After Hours” (Episode 8.16).

What to Listen to

Stanley: You’re a nice guy, Jim, but you have no idea how to vacation. Now find some Kenny Loggins.
Jim: Loggins and Messina…
Stanley: Did I say Messina?

Stanley peels away before we get to hear the Kenny Loggins anthem of his Florida vacation, though it probably wasn’t “Footloose”, which Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) had danced to two episodes earlier in “Jury Duty” (Episode 8.13).

Leslie David Baker as Stanley Hudson on The Office (Episode 8.15: "Tallahassee")

Leslie David Baker as Stanley Hudson on The Office (Episode 8.15: “Tallahassee”)

How to Get the Look

Dunder Mifflin is hardly a breeding ground for fashion plates, but a business trip to Florida gives the otherwise subdued Stanley Hudson a chance to embrace the wild side of his personality as a tropical-printed, rum-swilling hedonist picking up dates from a red muscle car.

  • Cream tropical leaf-printed silk short-sleeved Tommy Bahama camp shirt with loop collar, plain front with coconut buttons, and matching breast pocket
  • Khaki pleated slacks with belt loops, side pockets, back pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
  • Brown leather square-toed hybrid slip-on loafers with black synthetic soles
  • Tan Toyo straw short-brimmed trilby with green-and-brown tropical-printed puggaree band
  • Persol tortoise acetate square-framed sunglasses
  • Rose gold wristwatch with black dial on burgundy leather strap

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Check out the whole series, currently streaming on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu before it will be exclusively streaming on the upcoming NBC Universal platform Peacock. Of course, you can also purchase the DVDs.

While this episode arc is hardly the The Office‘s best, the “Florida Stanley” transformation may be one of my favorite bits.

The Quote

Life is short. Drive fast, leave a sexy corpse. That’s one of my mottos.

2 comments

  1. jdreyfuss

    I don’t know if anyone involved in the writing staff or the fictional brands supplier is from Ohio, but Donato’s is also the most well known maker outside of Columbus of Columbus-style pizza, which is a truly awful experience that I do not recommend.

    Like

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