There are officially no rules anymore when it comes to posting insta-worthy outfits. Even amid a global pandemic, creativity abounds, and that’s how I assume the #pillowchallenge got started on Instagram.
The social media challenge involves taking one or more large pillows and fashioning them into a mini dress via a belt around the middle. Yes, your back is totally exposed, but from the front it looks like the kind of waist-cinching, thigh-skimming confection you might expect to see on the runway. Personally, I think it looks like something Jeremy Scott would show—daring, irreverent, silly, and a little sexy. It is truly absurdist fashion and also the epitome of dressing for the ’gram. Why? Because it doesn’t matter what you look like from any other angle, so long as you capture that one shot! And the results are delightful. Brittany Xavier, an especially social-media savvy influencer (she’s big on TikTok) said she “I didn’t want the pillow to look too sexy like lingerie, but rather more of a structured mini dress. I thought it was a very cool look and the belt really pulled everything together, literally.” Her photo got over 60,000 likes and a common refrain in the comments section was “wait, this actually looks kind of chic.”
There are currently over 130,000 posts using the hashtag with the most common iteration of the dress comprised of a large white sham cinched with a black belt. Though that’s not to say there isn’t room to get creative here. Maybe a fuzzy/ruffled/minion-printed pillow is more your speed. What do you really have to lose? You’re already wearing a pillow!
In the name of journalism, I tried the pillow challenge myself. I took a pillow that is embroidered with my monogram and cinched it with a western belt. I did this in the bathroom, and man, I wish I had taken a picture of my boyfriend’s face when I came out. Bemused, I think, is the most appropriate word to describe his reaction. “Just… why?” Because! That’s why. Just because.
See some of my favorites #pillowchallenge uploads below.