It’s no secret that Timothée Chalamet is easily one of young Hollywood’s most fashion-savvy stars. Even if he had worn a shirt at this year’s Oscars, the biggest pre-show story of the night might still have revolved around Chalamet’s outfit. In an unpredictable and brilliant move, he wore a cropped, sequin blazer by Louis Vuitton’s womenswear designer Nicolas Ghesquière, who has dressed generations of brainy cool-girls the world over. It felt like the culmination of Chalamet’s rise as one of our times’s most devoted fashion enthusiasts, a journey that has sparked memorable collaborations with Stella McCartney, the artist-turned-designer Sterling Ruby, Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen, and the late Virgil Abloh. He’s not just been wearing meme-able outfits—he’s been deepening his relationship with and appreciation for fashion’s most compelling minds.
Which makes the clothes Chalamet wears away from photo calls all the more interesting.
At last weekend’s edition of Coachella, which has become such a fit bonanza it has spawned its own genre of “festival style,” Chalamet showed up looking about as regular as possible. On one day, he wore black combat boots, slim Prada Linea Rossa joggers, a large white long sleeve Supreme T-shirt, and a sun-faded Chelsea FC hat. The only indication that he might be a celebrity, and not a PA for Brockhampton’s seventh-most-famous member, was his Cartier glasses and diamond rings. (He’s been a “friend of the house” since last year.) Another fit, which he wore to the influencer-palooza known as Revolve Festival, was slightly flashier, and a bit slippier: along with the same hat and shades, Chalamet wore an Encore Records graphic tee, long flame-emblazoned basketball shorts, and cooked white Chuck Taylors. A nice outfit if you’re a USC fraternity pledge, and a funny one if you’re Timmy Chalamet, who seems dangerously close to wearing the ultimate in irony-pilled garments: Guy Fieri’s infamous flame shirt.
Elsewhere, Chalamet looks more like a Gallatin student on a hungover bagel run. He tends to wear slim track pants, and what I’d call Weird Sneakers—ersatz versions of classic designs, like these Tretorn high-tops. He is also fond of roomy hoodies, and is often pictured wearing light transitional outerwear like windbreakers, fleeces, and nylon shells. His graphic T-shirt collection rivals that of any high schooler in the greater New York metropolitan area. There is nothing wrong with Chalamet’s fits, to be clear. As most of us were reminded during the pandemic, normal clothes are great. His style isn’t basic, or worse try-hard—it’s simply kind of random. Call it Timmy’s post-swag era.
This puts him in a class all his own. Most young, hot celebrities tend to embrace big time fashion glow-ups as soon as paparazzi start tracking their every move. When Jacob Elordi popped off on Euphoria, his wardrobe of Aussie surfer chillness was completely Celine-ified overnight. Ashton Sanders, maybe one of the only young actors more obsessed with fashion than Chalamet, has some of the most wacky and original personal style not just in Hollywood but anywhere.
It’s not like Chalamet doesn’t know exactly what he’s doing, stylewise: Remember, this was the guy who, as soon as he could have been dressed by any luxury house on the planet, became an acolyte of menswear’s great unsung romanticist Haider Ackermann ( who calls Timmy his “little bro”). Who developed a friendship with Abloh, and wore some of his most daring early designs for Louis Vuitton Men’s back when the establishment was still unsure of what to make of the late designer’s first collections for the house. Who did all that, proudly, without having a stylist. Chalamet has proven he’s got a keen sense of visual messaging. So what to make of his post-swag era?