Um, Keke Palmer Looks Like a Cowboy Mermaid In This Outfit, but I’m Weirdly Into It

Maggie Griswold
Um, Keke Palmer Looks Like a Cowboy Mermaid In This Outfit, but I’m Weirdly Into It
Photo: Andrew H. Walker/Shutterstock.

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If you’ve ever binged on the Ryan Murphy-created show Scream Queens, you’ll know the catch phrase Keke Palmer’s character (Zayday Williams) often used: “What’s the gag?” The actress has played some hilarious roles, worn some wild ensembles and blessed us all with the “Sorry to this man” meme, but Keke Palmer’s latest street style outfit begs me to ask what, exactly, is the gag? Palmer arrived on the set of her TV show Strahan, Sara & Keke on Wednesday wearing a mermaid-meets-cowboy ensemble that has left me both confused and delighted. While I love that Keke Palmer continues to surprise me with her wit and sartorial excellence on the red carpet, I have to stop and ask about the logistics of her most recent ensemble. What’s going on here, Keke? I need to know what the gag is.

The actress strutted the New York streets wearing a cowboy hat, red bandana and shimmery mermaid-esque pants—all in the same outfit. While this wild look was most likely part of some bit for the Strahan, Sara & Keke TV show, I’m still a little bit shook. I know that cowboy-inspired fashion is on trend right now thanks to the likes of Lil NasX and the resurgence of cowboy boots, but this ensemble just has too many different ideas going on. Is Keke Palmer a cowboy? Is she a mermaid? The gag simply cannot be that the actress wanted to mix a few trends for the fun of it. (Unless…Can it be?)

Keke Palmer


Regardless of the weird aesthetic this ensemble brings, I have to say one thing: I love those shimmery pants. Not only would they make anyone look and feel like a glistening mermaid, but they also boast the perfect fall hues. Who says you can’t make beachy vibes autumnally relevant?! I would be wearing Keke Palmer’s look all the time—sans cowboy hat and bandana, of course.