Jun 05, 2023
Two weeks ago, the Screen Actors Guild, SAG-AFTRA, decided to join its sister union, the Writers Guild of America, which had been on strike for over 10 weeks, on the picket line, commencing the first dual Hollywood strike since 1960. This has given rise to a fun new activity: spotting which famous actors are marching alongside their fellow comrades in the streets of New York and Los Angeles. But there’s something interesting happening with the clothes that our favorite celebs are sporting while protesting. Many of them have traded in their designer chinos, red-carpet-ready dresses, and tastefully glamorous casual threads for looks that are decidedly more “regular person.” Whether that’s denim-forward work shirts, incognito-mode baseball caps, or perfectly worn-in tanks that are great for showing off muscles, some of the biggest faces on the screen are opting for a strike style with the air of enjoying a rare day off after a long week at the factory. Below, a breakdown of some of the most working-man (and working-gal) fashion trends out on the picket lines. Solidarity!
If there’s one fashion statement associated with the labor movement in the United States, it’s denim, America’s fabric. Denim was created for the working man in an industrial society, and has been synonymous with labor ever since cowboys and the gold rush forty-niners made blue jeans their uniform of choice. The fabric also looks damn good, and if stars on strike are going to do anything, it’s to serve while epitomizing labor solidarity. This is especially effective when you combine denim with silhouettes that were made for craft jobs, like with actor Jessica Chastain’s denim jumpsuit and comedian Sarah Silverman’s paint-splattered denim overalls. (Honorable mention to Hacks star Hannah Einbinder, who takes her denim jeans one step further with the anarchist’s classic: a carabiner keychain hooked to a belt loop.)
The very concept of a work shirt is admittedly a confusing one when you think about it (aren’t all shirts you work in … work shirts?), but you know the type when you see it: the button-down tops that are meant to be layered on top of another, thinner shirt, originally made for blue-collar utility with their double pockets and sturdier make (typical fabrics include durable ones like khaki and chambray). These thespians prove that you can do anything you set your mind to in a work shirt: Succession actor Arian Moayed gives a rousing rally speech, The White Lotus actor Michael Imperioli poses with some of his former The Sopranos colleagues (Steve Schirripa and Michael Gaston giving construction-chic!), and comedian Hasan Minhaj holds down the line.
The easiest way to convey “I’m just a normal person” is to throw on a T-shirt with a baseball cap. Tons of Hollywood’s finest decided to don this combo, some even opting for the normie trifecta: a T-shirt, baseball cap, and jeans. Daniel Radcliffe, with his infant child strapped to his chest, looked more like a dad on his day off from the warehouse than the Harry Potter. America Ferrera’s trifecta of tee, cap, and high-waisted black denim is as grunge as a star of Barbie can get, but not as grunge as Criminal Minds actor Aisha Tyler’s Metallica graphic tee and silver chain necklace. Though, nothing screams low-key quite like The White Lotus actor F. Murray Abraham’s tank top, baseball cap, and jeans ensemble—a dapper working look for the 83-year-old Oscar winner. (Honorable mentions go to the Law & Order: SVU star Christopher Meloni’s bicycle, Insatiable actor Debby Ryan’s distressed denim, and comedian Marc Maron’s sweat. Sweat is labor!)
The category of picket-line style that’s getting the most attention is, unsurprisingly, actors who look like they just clocked out of a shift welding steel beams. In more base terms, this means hot actors with toned arms sporting tank tops or T-shirts with the sleeves rolled up. Prime examples include The Bear’s Jeremy Allen White; Ireland’s best, Colin Farrell; and Abbott Elementary’s Tyler James Williams. Thankfully for the labor movement, they never skip arm day.