The pillow dress challenge on Instagram is an unexpected fashion trend


  • One of the latest fashion trends going viral on Instagram involves wearing a pillow as a dress with a belt tied around the waist. 
  • The #QuarantinePillowChallenge first started making the rounds at the beginning of April.
  • Celebrities like Halle Berry and Anne Hathaway have shared their takes on the pillow dress challenge. 
  • I attempted the challenge and found that it was difficult to take a photo of myself, but I still had a blast struggling to put the whole thing together. 
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

With stay-at-home orders in full effect across the world, people are getting creative on Instagram with their fashion choices. 

First, an Instagram influencer and dancer created a series of videos in which he transformed a single blanket into stunning outfits. Now, the #QuaratinePillowChallenge is taking over the social-media platform.

As far as Insider can tell, the fashion trend was started by @myforteisfashion and @stylebynelli at the beginning of April, and it has since taken on many other forms through the hashtags #pillowdresschallenge, #pillowchallenge, and more. 

The challenge involves cinching a pillow around your waist with a belt to make a strapless ‘dress’

You can then add any other accessories you want to make the outfit as chic as possible. 

I decided to try the trend for myself and can attest that it’s not as easy as it looks. It doesn’t help that I currently live alone and am in the middle of moving, so my choice of pillows was limited to one option. 

celia pillow dress challenge

The pillow dress challenge was so much fun to do, but it’s also harder than it looks.

Celia Fernandez/Insider


My gray pillowcase is from Splendid, my belt is an old TJ Maxx find, and my sunglasses are Celine.

Although I would never actually wear this out because of how short the pillow is on me, taking this picture was empowering. I put my curves on display more than I normally would, and I liked it. 

The struggle came when it was time to take the actual picture. I set up my iPad on top of a three-step ladder and put it on a 10-second timer. I took 15 photos before I landed on the one above. In others, you could see my bra or just too much skin. I even tried to take one with my dog like other photos that were floating around on Instagram, but she was not having it. 

I wasn’t the only one who had a hard time recreating the quarantine look

Amy Richard, the owner of a cottage Airbnb in Nova Scotia, Canada, admitted it was difficult but fun. 

“It took me a little bit to do,” she said. “I’m trying to hold my dog, a little remote in my hand to take the picture, plus a wine glass. It was very challenging to do myself.”

In her photo, Richard is showing off a pillow case from Ikea and a belt from an old winter coat she had in her closet. 

Zenaida Dos Santos, a personal assistant and office manager in London, told Insider she had to take her little sister’s leaf-print pillowcases from Ikea because all of hers were neutral colors.

She paired the pillowcases with a towel, gold earrings from Primark, a Topshop belt, Nike socks, and Jordan sneakers. 

“When I saw my sister’s pillow covers, it reminded me of when Jennifer Lopez wore the Versace jungle dress to the Grammys and how it was the most iconic look ever,” she said. “I loved the fact that I added bit of sportswear to the look even though I was going for the Grammy’s inspired outfit. I still wanted it to be a bit different, unique, and have a touch of street style.”

Others who took part in the challenge made it a whole fashion moment with their chic pillows

Stephanie Weizman, a San Francisco-based blogger, told Insider she originally used her regular all-white pillow, but her husband suggested she use a decorative one they had from Target instead.

She wanted a “stay-at-home vibe,” so she added a Clinch belt, a Slip sleep mask and pillow, rubber gloves “for a bit of humor,” chandelier earrings, and Gucci tights “for a hint of chic.”

“Not going to lie, I laughed quite a bit while recreating this look, but that is the feeling I wanted to evoke,” she told Insider. “I wanted to make people laugh, inspire them to be creative in their own home, and hopefully put a smile on someone’s face.” 

“It reminded me not to take fashion too seriously, but most importantly, it inspired me to challenge myself and try new things as a creator,” Weizman said. 

Whitney Powell, a fashion and career blogger, admitted she tried out a few different pillows before landing on the furry Target pillow that she paired with Sam Edelman heels and a Nordstrom headband. 

“I’m tall, so quite a few pillows don’t cover my frame. I was finally able to make it work with a very large pillow,” she said.

“It was a fun take on the whole ‘stuck at home but still wanting to retain your style vibe,'” Powell added. “I have so many people messaging me asking where I got my pillow.” 

Another creator revealed that she would totally wear her pillow look out if she finds the actual dress version. 

Paige DeSorbo, a fashion influencer and star of Bravo’s “Summer House,” loved the way she dressed up the feathery black pillow from Marshalls that her mom picked out for her to use. 

“I took her vintage pearl belt and I matched them to a pair of vintage black sandals that she had too,” DeSorbo said. “Putting together the look was like putting together an outfit as if I were going out, so it was exciting and fun. It was the perfect excuse to do something funny.”

The trend has been around for a few weeks now, and celebrities are starting to join in on the fun

Halle Berry looked fabulous in a navy-blue pillow, a matching wide-brim hat, a black belt, and patent-leather pumps. 

“You already KNOW you couldn’t keep me from the #PillowChallenge,” she captioned the photo. 

Tracee Ellis Ross had an entire photo shoot in her pillow dress.

She shared the pictures of her look in an Instagram post and on her Instagram Story. 

tracee ellis ross pillow dress IGS.PNG

Ross shared photos of her pillow dress on her Instagram Story.

@traceeellisross/Instagram



Anne Hathaway took the nostalgic route with her pillow dress photo by paying tribute to “The Princess Diaries” film poster with her over-the-ear headphones, oval sunglasses, and black leather combat boots. 

“A Queen is never late; everyone else is simply early,” she captioned the photo.





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