Photography via Getty Images
He’s been reliably serving looks…for years.
By Natalie Michie
Date March 31, 2023
If “good vibes” could be materialized, the result would be Jonah Hill’s wardrobe. You won’t find the actor-turned-director on many red carpets these days, and yet, he’s delivered consistent menswear inspiration for years.
Case in point: Hill made headlines while strolling over to the Brentwood, Los Angeles Country Mart on March 9th. His outfit? A simple white tee, a pair of dark-wash jeans with bone motifs by Japanese brand Kapital, and last but not least, a pair of chestnut Uggs. Inexplicably, it’s perfect. Such is the power of Jonah Hill’s easygoing style prowess.
With a decidedly low public profile, his oft-discussed street-style photos have garnered their own cult following. Not only are they rich with jovial sincerity (recall the great iced coffee calamity of 2019), but they exhibit someone who is truly having fun with fashion.
Over 50,000 people follow the Instagram account @jonahfits, which acts as a shrine to these cheerful ensembles. Whether he’s wearing playful patchwork jeans, cozy patterned cardigans or luxe satin sets, a smiling, bearded Hill always looks refreshed, post-facial-level glowy and effortlessly comfortable in his clothes. This is a man who has mastered the art of personal style. And when it comes to menswear’s notorious lack of body inclusivity, his approach to fashion is worth celebrating.
Early in his career, the 39-year-old actor was typecast as a punchline because of his weight. After rising to fame for his role in 2007’s Superbad, the actor was relegated to the one-dimensional “Funny Fat Guy” trope, writes Elamin Abdelmahmoud in Buzzfeed. “For decades, being the Funny Fat Guy has meant being forced to accept people’s comments about your body and acting like you, too, are in on the jokes,” he continues.
And when it comes to clothing, this reductive title holds clear-cut restrictions. It means you’re expected to dress — and not dress — in a certain way: to avoid standing out, avoid taking risks, and avoid using your wardrobe as a tool for experimentation. “I always had an interest in personal style and fashion, but I was always a bigger guy,” Hill told GQ in 2020. “It’s really hard when you’re overweight to dress a certain way, because clothes aren’t made for people who are overweight to have style.” As Abdelmahmoud notes, Hill’s body size has been a constant point of public discussion, even after losing weight.
In February 2021, Hill confronted the commentary on his body when shirtless photos of him were released online. On Instagram, he wrote, “I don’t think I ever took my shirt off in a pool until I was in my mid 30s even in front of family and friends. Probably would have happened sooner if my childhood insecurities weren’t exacerbated by years of public mockery about my body by press and interviewers.”
Photography via Getty Images
This treatment is layered with the fact that men are often belittled for expressing vulnerability, especially regarding body image. Nevertheless, Hill has been refining his personal style for years. It’s hard not to see this as a sartorial reclamation of his self-image, thanks to the delightful air of irreverence weaved into his wares. He’ll sport a slouchy suit with a zipper instead of a tie. He switches between bleach blonde and pink hair. He keeps a seemingly limitless rotation of bucket hats for any occasion, he forays into dweeb dressing, and he is eternally fond of tie-dye. Most importantly, he’s made fashion fun for himself.
His latest project, 2023’s You People, is the perfect example. The film, which he co-wrote and stars in, is brimming with quintessentially Jonah Hill streetwear. But off-screen, the star opted out of red-carpet appearances in an effort to protect his mental health. On social media, he wrote, “I have come to the understanding that I have spent nearly 20 years experiencing anxiety attacks, which are exacerbated by media appearances and public-facing events.”
So, for now, the actor remains a menswear street-style icon. He’s wholeheartedly enjoying fashion. He’s just doing it on his own terms. Jonah Hill is protecting his peace, and dressing the part.