This very moment in menswear seems to be characterized by a woozy, high-style embrace of past and future. Eras warp into each other, and everything old blurs into everything new. Some of today’s most advanced-fashion looks feel like they could have been plucked out of a decades-old Eric Rohmer film—unless they came from the 1980s closet of Billy Crystal. We’re into slouchy suits and breezy collared shirts and glossy penny loafers, sometimes all at once. It’s enough to make your head lovingly spin as you stand in front of your closet.
There is, however, one bizarre throughline to our anything-goes fashion moment, and it’s the Muppets. Yes…those Muppets. Not all of them, exactly—just a few choice ones—but still. You probably didn’t expect to hear that Kermit the Frog, Gonzo the Great, and Pepe the King Prawn—alongside a few of their felt pals—are dressing like modern-day street style stars. But the proof is incontrovertible.
The Muppets Are Stylish movement started out like so many bizarre-but-undeniable ideas before it: as funny memes and stray tweets, building year after year until they’d acquired the patina of truth. The official Kermit account tweeted a photo of the fuzzy frog in an autumnal brown outfit with a blazer thrown over his shoulder, and the fashion memes starting flying. Gonzo’s looks started drawing comparisons to those of Harry Styles. “Looking for pics of dripped out muppets,” read one tweet.
Then, just last week, self-proclaimed fashion rulebreaker Gonzo made a splash in a loud yellow suit, looking like he stepped straight out of an Engineered Garments collection. It was as if everything clicked into focus and I finally saw the light. All of a sudden, I couldn’t deny that Pepe,the always-spunky prawn, in his funky patterned camp-collared shirt (Bode-esque, isn’t it?) and gold chain, was the spitting image of some hip urbanite crossing through Dimes Square on a hot summer day.