Have you been seeing netizens donning pillows cinched at the waist with a Gucci Marmont belt? Or perhaps you’ve stumbled upon its streetwear version featuring an Off-White Industrial Belt? Well, you’re not hallucinating. Pillows have become the pièce de résistance of social media, and it’s all because of the “pillow challenge.” It’s the latest in a string of trends that have emerged from quarantine boredom (count those coffee recipes and TikTok dances in). Now before you dismiss it as something totally ridiculous, get to know more about it below:
The pillow challenge was created by Swedish fashion influencer @myforteisfashion and European fashion duo @styledbynelli. Both accounts posted photos wearing nothing but brightly colored pillows that clung to their bodies by way of chunky, blingy belts (think Saint Laurent A/W 2020). They went for a monochromatic look by wearing same-hued scrunchies and finished it off with dad sneakers. “I challenge you guys to do this look,” says @styledbynelli. Well, the challenge evidently took off as people quickly created their own renditions of this pillow-only outfit.
The pillow challenge isn’t for the sake of throwing on a pillow and slapping on a black belt on top (even if it’s a designer one). It is a creative challenge, and fashionistas all over the globe have been interpreting the humble lumpy pillow in various ways that reflect their personal style.
Some have embraced the “I woke up like this” vibe, their outfits replete with towel-wrapped hair and a sleepy smize.
Others interpreted this pillow couture as an elevated form of sleepwear to don during Netflix nights that may or may not come with aperitifs. A pajama party indeed.
There were also those who took advantage of this big fashion moment by holding their own photoshoots worthy of being on the cover of a magazine. We love how the photos above incorporated editorial-esque accessories like opera gloves and a military-style chapeau.
There’s even a breed of super extra fashionistas that have gone as far as draping their bedsheets to create gowns befitting the Met Gala-peak “I woke up like this” fashion. Plus, you can cross off making your bed from your to-do list.
Even kids are taking advantage of the challenge as a fun costume opportunity.
Some fashion folk have even let their dogs in on the fun, and we wonder how these furry creatures feel about it.
Given the trend’s sudden popularity, it wasn’t long before celebrities tried their hand at it, too. Locally, bloggers Laureen Uy and Lissa Kahayon took to TikTok to share a week's worth of pillow fashown. Filipina model Jasmine Maierhofer even hosted a little runway show with her friends to flaunt their creations.
Mikaela Martinez and Maggie Wilson went for the black-belted look in their respective Instagram posts. On the other hand, blogger Camille Co took it a step further by repurposing not only her pillow, but her rug and bedsheet, too!
53-year-old actress Halle Berry broke the internet recently with her insanely chic all-black outfit, which even led Vogue to declare that she has indeed won the challenge—so far. The posts keep coming, including Tracee Ellis Ross' own take on the challenge: an effortlessly minimalist aesthetic that’s an artwork in itself.
So, why exactly is everyone walking around their homes in nothing but pillows?
Whether you’re a fashionista or not, trying your hand at something creative can be a good way to deal with stress and anxiety, especially during these trying times. And it’s even better when it’s an activity you can enjoy with your family (and pets) at home. That said, the pillow challenge isn't just a way to pass the time—it's also a creative outlet.
Besides, let’s be honest here: Having a pillow everywhere you go won't hurt, especially if you're a perpetually sleepy person like the rest of us!