Billie Eilish Is What Fashion Will Be For A Long Time
One of the cool things about Billie Eilish is that even though there are a bajillion scenes she'd have fit into perfectly in any previous decade -- music, fashion, and otherwise -- she's still very much her own person. She'll dress like Shego from Kim Possible or a character in a Ryan Murphy show or like a substitute Nirvana singer, and yet somehow still be totally herself.
However, one common thread in her outfits is that they are baggy enough to fit three other Eilishes (Eilishi?) in there. Unlike many other stars who can show up on red carpets looking like they walked out of a Hunger Games ball or a Renaissance painting, Eilish looks like she's actually going to be comfortable for the duration of whatever 3-hour awards slog she's gotta sit through.
Tell us that's not more or less what you're wearing right now, self-isolating in your home, not required to wear anything presentable to anybody. If you found a reasonably-priced version of the outfit Billie's wearing at your local Kohl's, would you or would you not wear Powerpuff Girls sweats all the damn time?
Which brings us to recent news: J Crew is officially filing for bankruptcy, with Neiman Marcus probably up next. J Crew was already suffering pretty hard due in part to an inability to find a sustainable target demographic (getting saddled with debt Toys"R"Us-style, didn't help either). Based entirely on looks alone, they were marketing to a crowd of people who were theoretically on the lower cusp of being able to afford boarding school in New Hampshire (and even then, only on scholarship), and that's a segment of the middle class that just doesn't exist in America anymore. And Neiman Marcus? Christ, who's gonna wear suits to anything anytime soon?
Now, the real middle class is honing in hard on athleisure. There are podcasts and articles galore exploring the rise of athleisure in America, but they can all effectively be replaced by this SNL sketch.
This look has also been fostered by a rise in stores such as Marshalls and TJ Maxx, which famously allow styles to blend together in their disorganized stores as customers become their own fashion create-a-character for $15 bucks. That's the fashion of what's left of the middle class that J Crew has failed to tap into. But those stores are closed, and we have no idea when they'll be back.
We're now in a world where buttoning a ratty flannel you've had in your closet since you were 19 counts as "dressing up for work." Even then, you've gotta make sure it hasn't made an identical appearance on yesterday's Zoom call. The benefit of clothing such as leggings, basketball shorts, and henleys are that they work equally well whether you're going for a run, crashing on your couch, or trying to look decent for a grainy video conference. When cabin fever has taken away your ability to remember what actual day it is, every day is casual Friday.
Top Image: Lars Crommelinck/Flickr