Pandemic Fashion

Fashion as a whole is always changing and growing. Even with a pandemic, that hasn’t changed. Fashion is one of the most key elements of our everyday lives, however, it has been fundamentally changed. The pandemic changed the way everyone looks at clothing.

The pandemic has polarized the way we think about fashion. People either don’t care about dressing up, or they care too much about dressing up. The world seems split, even on this topic. There are many people who feel that now because they can’t, they want to dress up. Others feel like the pandemic is a great excuse to simply wear comfortable clothes all day, everyday. 

People’s expectations for what to wear to each place seems to have an ever growing gap. Sophomore student Alli Lambert said, “When I actually do go out, I usually wind up dressing up more than I usually would to go somewhere.”

On the other hand Cleveland Math Teacher Jayne Hanley said, “My standards for normal shopping or going out clothing haven’t changed at all. Unfortunately, my standards for work clothing have decreased.”

These answers perfectly represent the difference. People seem to either decide between comfort or looking nice. People may miss the chance to show off or prefer not having to. 

Several students were asked the question, “How do you feel about not having as many opportunities to show off a new outfit?” Their responses all differed.

Briar Barnes (sophomore) and Nour Awashra (sophomore) had similar answers with, “I haven’t bought any clothes since quarantine started,” and “since quarantine has started, I barely go out let alone shopping,” respectively. 

This response is why you hear about one side of the pandemic. Many clothing stores are going out of business or moving all online. However, there is still the other side. With answers like “Devastated” – Alli Lambert (sophomore), you can get the feeling that some still want to go out and dress up. 

Ary (sophomore) stated, “I honestly hate the fact that we can’t go anywhere. I bought new clothes, and I don’t want to wear them until we go out, but I don’t know when that will be.”

Her answer seemed like a common problem. Even if students buy new clothes, they don’t have anywhere to wear them. Plenty students still are all virtual meaning that buying clothes is almost useless; or more people could think like Grace (sophomore) with the statement, “I’ll just show off my looks to my house”

Jayne Hanley seemed to take a different approach. She prefers the comfort and doesn’t want to go back to where she has to “show off,” stating, “I am not someone who does that to begin with. I don’t like to dress up. I feel better about myself when I do, but those times aren’t incredibly common. If the expectation rose to dress nicely it would not be good. I have begun to become completely comfortable with just casual clothing where I wouldn’t want to show off.”

Martha Niswonger, a current student, took an even different approach where she felt like the lack of ability to show off doesn’t affect her,  “I don’t take a lot of pictures or buy clothes often, so I don’t feel like it affects me much.”

There is also, as Nour Awashra stated, “I know some people like the extreme fashion people might be upset because they put time and money into making an outfit. “

With social media, this is less of a problem, but what about fashion shows and such for the higher up fashion industry? Designers have so many restrictions that it could be hard to even put on a show. They would not get to “show off” their new ideas. 

However with the pandemic, people have taken up new hobbies. Plenty of people have taken up sewing/clothing making or some sort of jewelry making. They work solely online and often don’t have employees of any sort; just themselves. They may have the new ideas and inspirations it takes to heal and help the fashion industry. 

The world since the pandemic has changed, and it will continue to change, but fashion has always been flexible and changing so we should still see it flourish. All the new ideas coming in from those stuck at home in quarantine help expand the possibilities for the industry. We will still see the trendy and the classic styles, but with the pandemic, things might shift, and the industry may go in a different direction, a more unique outlook. 



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