Calling all trendsetters and lovers of fashion! I’m going to ask you to do some reflecting: Think back to the beginning of March 2020 and ask yourself “Do I look the same? Do I feel the same?” More than likely, you probably said no, and if you’re anything like me and spent countless hours of quarantine scrolling through Pinterest boards and old dELiA*s catalogs, you might have had a wake-up call to completely purge your closet and change it into its complete dream state.
Reflecting on how I’ve found my fashion sense, this past year has taught me to not give a single care about what anyone thinks about me when I walk into a room. If I want to wear a ballgown when I’m going to get my COVID vaccine, then I’m going to do it and no one can stop me because, at the end of the day, that’s what makes me happy! I’m a firm believer that as long as no one is harmed in the process, anyone and everyone can wear whatever their heart desires.
Because of my interest in this topic, I wanted to see how students changed their style within the past year due to quarantine, and what inspired them to do so. Let’s take a look at some of their responses:
“Before quarantine, I definitely didn’t appreciate the opportunity to show out so I was wearing comfortable clothes (dare I say conservative). But as quarantine rolled in I learned to accept my body and just decided that anything I put on is hot. The biggest difference would be from wearing comfortable clothes to wearing clothes that make me comfortable if that makes sense. This new profound self-acceptance in fashion has sprung from interacting with nonconventional/heavy and very beautiful bodies of women/nonwomen on Pinterest.” —Anonymous
“Honestly, this quarantine has made me very lazy with my style. I never was out of the box with the clothes I wore, but I have really turned it down. I work with kids and when I’m not working I’m doing school work, helping my grandparents, etc. so comfort has been my biggest priority when it comes to clothes currently.” —Allyssa-Jhisel Tanjuaquio, Mt. San Jacinto College
“I feel like I have gotten into baggier clothing and have been thrifting way more since it is more sustainable. I realized that I should just wear whatever I think looks best for me without judgment. Love dark academia!” —Anonymous
“I’ve gotten so much more confident with how I dress… I just don’t care what people think about my outfits anymore. They’re cool to me so they’re cool. Harry Styles is my biggest fashion inspiration.” —Alex, Palomar College
“I’ve become much more expressive and more like myself. It doesn’t matter what other people think. ‘70s fashion is my biggest inspiration” —Anonymous
“My style is more for me than anyone else now. I wear what makes me feel good and if anyone has anything mean to say, I say BOOOOO, and I don’t care. I’ve learned to forgive my body for the things I can’t control and appreciate it for all it does, so expressing myself means working out, eatin’ good, and wearing clothes that make me feel like hot sh*t! Hashtag I am my own inspiration, hashtag self luv, hashtag bhad b!tch.” —Hannah, San Diego State University
“I feel like I’m doing more but less at the same time. Like there’s more work that’s piled on but I don’t feel like I’m learning anything … This is bad because like when we go back to on-campus classes I don’t even know what I’m gonna do.” —Olivia, San Diego Community College District
“I found I have had more time to kind of explore my style because it wasn’t really something I thought about before. I have definitely gotten a lot of inspiration from TikTok and Pinterest because I feel like people are very expressive on those platforms. It has definitely made me want to branch out more and figure out what I’m into. I think I wore very plain clothes before.” —Anonymous
“My style over the past year has changed drastically, going from outfits that I was proud to wear in front of my friends to outfits I couldn’t care less about because I began to realize that I don’t go out often anyways. I’ve started to only wear sweats and hoodies just like my friends, but I do try my best to wear shoes that are somewhat relevant in today’s standards.” —Derek, San Diego State University
“I really learned how to not feed into trends. Trends change over time, so I’m much more of a collector now. I enjoy having one piece of clothing that’s unique (regardless of trends) because I know clothing styles will always change.” —Vince Reyes, UC Riverside
“I just have really started gender f*cking my wardrobe. Gender doesn’t exist and doesn’t dictate what I wear as much as it used to. More heels, more dresses, more propeller hats, more whatever the f*ck I wanna wear when I wake up. I’m my own inspiration! Becoming my full evolution!” —Spencer, UC Berkeley
“Quarantine has forced me to spend more time with myself and as a result, I’ve gotten to know who I am much better. I look at fashion as an extremely valuable way to express myself so I’m always evolving my wardrobe to reflect my state of mind. Due to the current circumstance of the world, I’ve realized the importance of seizing every moment and doing whatever the hell I want to, because time is so valuable. The best thing I’ve learned lately is that “overdressing” is a complete myth. If I want to wear a dress and heels to the grocery store, I will. My actual style may not have changed drastically, but my mindset has. I’m inspired by my friends as well as other people my age. I admire that my generation is breaking social constructs that attempt to dictate what someone can and can’t wear. Wear whatever you want and own it!!!” —Monica, UCLA