Plenty of unexpected fashion trends have taken off through TikTok, from normcore to Barbiecore. The app has even inspired people to distress new clothes to look vintage and up-cycle vintage items to look new again.
But right now, everyone on TikTok seems to be going nuts for one very specific item of clothing: A vintage-style sweatshirt with multiple kinds of pickles on the front.
But it’s the pickle sweatshirt, which retails for $44, that’s clearly the star of the show. In fact, in a TikTok, Bad Addiction recently claimed to have sold more than 23,000 units of the shirt officially known as the “Pickle Jars Favorite Brands” Pullover Sweatshirt.
The gray, long-sleeved sweatshirt features images of 16 jarred pickles on the front, including some from well-known brands like Claussen and Mt. Olive. And while that might seem random or even a bit strange to some shoppers, it’s actually not.
At least, not to Gen Z.
Writer Kate Lindsay explained in a recent edition of her Substack, Embedded, that the sweatshirt “reflects Gen Z’s larger obsession with pickles,” which she likened to the millennial “bacon craze” of the early 2000s.
“There was bacon stunt cuisine, like bacon ice cream and bacon bubble gum,” Lindsay wrote. “There were bacon Band Aids, bacon rolling papers, even a bacon alarm clock. Today, they’re cringey Millennial relics starting to slowly decompose in landfills.”
Now, pickles have apparently replaced bacon as the new “it” food — and as a result, Bad Addiction’s pickle sweatshirts are flying out the door.
While the pickle craze of today might become tomorrow’s cringe, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere soon. Just scroll through the TikTok hashtag #picklesweatshirt, and you’ll find countless videos featuring the popular shirt. The videos have more than 140 million views between them.
There may be another good reason why the sweatshirts have become so popular, though: They’ve gotten the TikTok influencer treatment.
According to Mashed, multiple influencers appear to be wearing the sweatshirt in TikTok videos that mention they are eligible for sales-based commissions of the sweatshirt, leading many to believe that the viral sweatshirt “trend” is at least partially the result of a larger marketing strategy.
Whatever the case, it’s clear that the shirt is super popular. So popular, in fact, that some people on TikTok claim to be getting a little sick of seeing it everywhere.
“Can we all just collectively stop posting about this piece of s*** pickle sweatshirt?” begged Mark Boutilier (@mark_boutilier) in a recent TikTok. “It’s literally just a $50 Gildan sweatshirt.”
“why is it fire though,” countered one commenter named Sebastian (@sebthered).
“Why the f*** is everyone buying this pickle sweatshirt?” asked another TikToker Raphael (@cranberryraisin) in his own video. “It’s just a bunch of pickles.”
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