Our long national nightmare is over: after 11 days, or less time than it takes for most college freshman to change their sheets, Felicity Huffman has been released from jail.
The actress, who was sentenced to 14 days in Dublin, California’s Federal Correctional Institution, after pleading guilty to paying a Harvard graduate $15,000 to boost her daughter’s SAT score, managed to inspire a wave of unlikely fashion criticism during her time in the slammer.
Earlier this week, the New York Post published paparazzi photos of Huffman, taken while the actress was outside the facility in a standard-issued green uniform, white baseball hat, and clean New Balance sneakers. She looked like—surprise—an inmate of a prison.
Or maybe not. Like all good memes, the sight of Huffman in cargo served as a carte blanche for anyone wishing to make an easy joke. More than a few armchair comedians mistook her get-up for a jumpsuit (people, it's clearly two pieces, ugh!), commending the one piece’s trendiness as so hot for fall. Others predicted it would be a popular Halloween costume.
Ira Madison III, a contributor for The Daily Beast found similarities between Huffman's ensemble and a jumpsuit currently on sale at H&M. It can be yours for $49.99.
Gabe Bergado, an entertainment writer for Teen Vogue, wrote a parody outfit ID—Balenciaga cap, Goop boiler suit, and of course, Under Armour kicks. (The sports brand did not respond to The Daily Beast's request for an opinion on their new, infamous fan.)
Even Martha Stewart chimed in, saying at the Vanity Fair Summit that Huffman “[s]hould style her outfit a little bit more. She looked pretty schlumpy.”
In fact, Huffman did put a little effort into her appearance, wearing trendy-for-a-Mom New Balances and what looks to be a FitBit. (The Daily Beast previously reported the step tracker repeatedly set off metal detectors during a court appearance this spring.) Those accoutrements only further punctuate the immense privilege she has inside a prison where the average sentence is around five years.
The day before her release, Huffman spent her final hours behind bars taking what almost looked like a long, therapeutic walk with a fellow inmate, whose face The Daily Mail blurred out. If there is any sartorial hero in this story, it very well may be that anonymous woman, who sported a genuinely trendy stone blue fleece. Very Sandy Liang for Spring 2020!
Audiences must miss award season, because Huffman’s appearance suddenly because fodder for the kind of analysis usually reserved for Oscar dresses.
“In the photos, the Desperate Housewives star wore a dark green jacket over her matching two-piece prison uniform,” the Mail wrote. “Unlike previous snaps of the felon, her blonde tresses weren’t hidden under a cap, but rather pulled back in a taut ponytail.”
Howard Bragman told The Hollywood Reporter that Huffman’s drab presentation could be a savvy marketing ploy. (Once more with feeling: it also could be because she’s a woman in prison dressing how women in prison dress.)
“I don’t think [Huffman] was trying to glam it up,” Bragman said. “When she went to court a few months ago, she looked like hell, which is what she was supposed to look like. As opposed to Lori Loughlin, who looked like she was trying to go to the People’s Choice Awards.”
Loughlin wore a beige blazer and matching pants, but sure.
Let columnists continue to debate whether or not Huffman’s measly punishment fit her crime. But if this entire episode delivered any justice, it’s probably the fact that we don’t have to see her in a green uniform ever again.