Published on August 28, 2021

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Hi, my name is Julie and I’m a woman in her mid-30s with a teddy bear on her bed. My grandmother gifted me my stuffed animal when I was born (or so the story goes, as neither one of my parents can fully remember), but as long as I’ve lived in New York City, which is now nearly 15 years, the bear has been with me. 

In my Manhattan apartment, he hung out on an Eames rocker in my bedroom, and now that I live in Brooklyn, he rests on the bed I share with my boyfriend, who lovingly places him in front of our pillows when he smooths the sheets in the morning. 

I know how it sounds that two grown adults in their mid-30s still sleep with a stuffed animal, but before you bring Freud into this, it’s important that you understand why I keep a fluffy brown teddy bear on my bed: Mr. Bear actually looks stylish. 

What was once considered a childish accessory (or according to the latest season of Master of None, a creepy way to fill an Airbnb), stuffed animals are now a way to show off your personal style. And they’re definitely not just for kids. At the Bowery Hotel, a Manhattan celeb hangout for the likes of Alexa Chung and Rihanna, each red-outlined Bellino duvet comes with a cuddly companion, a bear named Bo that wears a dapper red bellman’s vest. 

The fashion crowd has fallen for them, too. In the early 1990s, Ralph Lauren’s staff gifted him a Steiff bear wearing a full RL look for his birthday, and he loved it so much that he started selling them. (Today sweaters with the Polo Bear on them remain some of the brand’s most popular pieces—even Kanye West has worn one.) Louis Vuitton debuted a logo teddy in 2005. Later in 2015 and 2017, Jeremy Scott sent teddy bear–themed collections down the Moschino runway. And don’t even get me started on the teddy bear coat trend.

So having one on my bed, even though I’m a fully grown adult, doesn’t seem like a case of arrested development or a way of clinging to my childhood. It’s just my personal style. And if a teddy bear isn’t for you, no worries—there are plenty of other ways to add impact to your bed with a pillow in a fun shape. (And I’ve found lots for you to choose from, below.) As long as it’s something you love, there shouldn’t be any shame in your teddy bear game. 

Cherries, and Flowers, and Bears, Oh My!

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