Mad Style: The new wave

Madison McGuire, Arts & Entertainment Editor

2020 has spun the globe into a frenzy. Nothing is the same as it was months ago. Along with universal changes, fashion and personal expression through clothing have recently shifted in people’s lives. From selling old clothes, getting new ones, finding a hot trend on Pinterest to try out, or seeing inspiration on the socially distant streets, people have been branching out in the way that they dress. Let’s be honest, quarantine has facilitated a blank slate, and a period of self-discovery and exploration. 

“I think my style has definitely changed, especially just being at home. I’ve had a lot of time to think about how I want to present myself,” says senior Addy Galich. 

Galich doesn’t like to define her style as one specific thing, but quarantine has encouraged her to step out of her comfort zone of fashion. She has begun to experiment with mini skirts, fishnet tights and different styles of shirts. Other people, like junior Madison Mann, have a more distinct style, which she describes as “streetwear” and “Y2K” but that hasn’t blocked the potential to evolve. 

“I think my style has changed [since the beginning of quarantine] 100 percent. Before quarantine started, I feel like most people were wearing cute dresses and skirts, and, now, a lot of people are starting to express their own styles instead of going with everyone else’s,” junior Madison Mann says. 

Part of young people’s new encouragement to try emerging trends comes from online influence: apps most notably Tiktok, Pinterest, and Depop, which has 15 million registered users in 126 countries (according to Vogue Business). Tiktok, a popular app for sharing short videos, has been one of the highest grossing apps, valued at nearly $75 billion according to ByteDance, with nearly 800 million users. Tiktok users have been looking to popular influencers to find inspiration for their own wardrobes, and Pinterest curators try to find the most aesthetically pleasing trends to share on their global platform. 

“I spend way too much time on TikTok. I also downloaded Pinterest over quarantine, and let me tell you, I’m addicted to it. I follow so many fashion people on TikTok and that inspires me to incorporate stuff that I see,” says Galich. 

On TikTok, fashion videos have reached millions of people. Individuals like Galich see these videos and posts and find inspiration and ideas from them. Having plenty of time to spare, countless hours of scrolling through social media feeds can result in seeing many ideas and trends that people are encouraged to try out for the first time. 

Along with online influence, quarantine has cultivated an era of curiosity and self-discovery. Spending time alone is an opportunity to evaluate nuanced parts of yourself and try things that you haven’t before. 

“Being inside really helped my confidence. I could wear whatever I wanted and no one was there to judge me. I could really explore and change, and see what fits and what doesn’t,” says Galich. 

New style requires risks, and sometimes beginning those bold choices is much easier to do without the scrutiny of the public eye. Not only can you try a few things out, but being alone can also be a huge catalyst for finding confidence in yourself and seeing what choices suit you style-wise. 

“Over quarantine, I spent all my money shopping. I had too much time to look at different styles and picture myself in them. I just experimented until I found stuff I really liked for myself,” says Mann. 

Trying a fresh pair of fishnet tights or new low-rise denims is a more comfortable leap when you don’t have to be in public to try it out first. A crazy, vibrant shirt can be scary to walk into school with, but, luckily, there is no pressure in being by yourself and making sure the new style suits you. 

The way that style has shown a multitude of development in personal expression is a telltale sign of the evolution that individuals have undergone during quarantine. Not only have people grown mentally and have become more confident and individualistic, but their style has emulated those changes. As we grow, and so does fashion now, more than ever. 

Illustration by
Madison McGuire (Madison McGuire)