Dealing with the paparazzi is something of an unavoidable, “comes with the territory” element of celebrity life. While some seem to have made peace with the fact that they are going to get photographed whenever they step out (or at least they’ve said as much publicly), others are less enchanted. (Bebe Rexha’s Instagram post on Wednesday, in which she laments the paparazzi-industrial complex, is a reminder of how strange and uncomfortable it all must feel to someone who is newly famous.)
Let’s now pivot from Bebe Rexha to Brad Pitt (we feel confident this is the first time that transition has ever been made). The actor made headlines this week for “wearing the same outfit all week,” as Page Six put it. The lede to its story is pretty delightful: “Why mess with success?” And from there the article outlines Pitt’s sartorial choices as of late, namely that the actor was “spotted out on Monday wearing the exact same head-to-toe outfit he was spotted in the week before.” The outfit? A gray newsboy cap, dark shades, a light brown T-shirt over a white long-sleeve shirt, black pants, white sneakers, and a “brown woven satchel.” He wore this exact same ensemble for a lunch in West Hollywood on June 4 and for an errands trip in Malibu on Monday. While he had not precisely copied this look before June 4, the central elements in question have been in in Pitt’s wardrobe rotation for some time.
The whole look is very much a 2000s throwback, particularly the T-shirt over the long-sleeve shirt, but fashion doesn’t really seem to be the goal here; this is more likely a method for deterring the paparazzi. After all, photos of an actor looking exactly the same (down to his brown woven satchel!) as he looked a week ago, in a similar locale, do not make for an exciting tabloid event.
This method of boring the paparazzi into submission is not new; celebrities ranging from Katy Perry to Daniel Radcliffe have employed it before. Perry said in 2017 that she would sometimes wear the same Adidas tracksuit again and again in public to make paparazzi photos less valuable. And back in 2007, Radcliffe told Jay Leno, “I would wear the same outfit every single time with different T-shirts underneath, but I would wear the same jacket and zip it up so they couldn’t see what I was wearing underneath, and the same hat. So they could take photos for six months but it would look like the same day. They became unpublishable, which was hilarious because there’s nothing better than seeing the paparazzi get really frustrated.”
And now a new generation of stars is learning the trick all over again. Bodyguard lead Richard Madden, in an interview with the New York Times at the end of last month, was asked about the recent attention paid to his relationships, as the actor has recently been photographed with fellow actor Brandon Flynn on several occasions. His method for trying to quell interest in his personal life? “I wear the same clothes days in a row, because if it looks like the same day, they can’t run the pictures. There’s only so many photos you can have of me with a green juice walking down the street.”
Are we nearing some sort of event horizon where all famous actors wear the exact same thing every time they venture out in public? At the very least we have been provided a pretty solid, unexpected Halloween costume for this year: “Brad Pitt grocery shopping.”
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