Don't we all try on fifty outfits before leaving the house?
For over a year, everything from college to work has been online, and that meant just wearing pajamas, sweatpants, and sweatshirts all day, every day. I didn’t make an effort to dress up for my online classes or Zoom calls; most of the time there was no need to even turn on the camera. With vaccination rates on the rise, socializing outside of the house has begun to feel like a safer possibility, but what are we supposed to wear? All over social media, people are wondering: What happened to my style?
While talking to my friends about this, most of us realized that, during quarantine, we either changed our style, struggled to define it, or gave up on it. My friend Kiki, who’s a film major and fashion enthusiast, said that her style has completely changed post-quarantine:
“I used to wear so much black before the pandemic. I was really dark, but now I use so much color. I even dyed my hair pink.”
Like Kiki, a lot of people used the pandemic as a wake-up call to do some self-discovery, reassessing aspects of our lives like our fashion sense, our passions, or even our goals. In my case, the pandemic made me realize that I’d never worn almost half of the clothes in my closet, and—on a deeper level—that I wanted to change career paths.
This past year has had a huge impact on our lifestyles. Clothing is a form of self-expression, and it displays our evolution over time. Just look at photos of yourself from five years ago, or one year ago. You’ll probably see a different person. After all the recent stress and uncertainty, it’s natural that we’d want to break free from the effects of lockdown, redefining ourselves as new, post-quarantine versions of ourselves. Dressing differently can help achieve that.
So, what can you do to find your new style?
Explore new styles till you find the one!
Try combining your clothes in a different way, or remodeling some of the pictures in your Pinterest boards. You never know, you might like it! You don't even need to buy new clothes to do this; just experiment with what you already have at home.
Some trends popular in the post-quarantine era have been minimalist wardrobes, oversized clothing, and bright colors and patterns. Chances are you have at least a couple items that fall under these umbrellas in your closet.
A minimalist style utilizes basic garments, such as solid color shirts with straight-cut jeans and sneakers or boots. Typically, a minimalist color palette includes pastels, nude colors, or black/white monochrome.
If you’re drawn to a more maximalist style, strive for outfits with a lot of color, and combine textures like knitwear and patterns. Mix and match three or more colors to create a happy harmony within your look.
Some more popular recent styles are the all-black look (recommended if you want to feel like a badass Matrix character), or flowery cottage-core (recommended if you feel like running into Mr. Darcy’s arms in the middle of NYC).
Invest in good pieces.
Stop buying clothes just because they’re trendy. Try to buy clothes that fit your style, and match with the clothes you already own. Think long and hard before making a purchase: Do you really want this, or did you just see someone wearing it on TikTok?
A good trick to determine whether it's worth the purchase is to look at the specification label. For example, often our clothes aren’t 100% cotton; usually the material is a mix of cotton and some kind of synthetic material, like polyester or acrylic, which aren’t as sustainable for your closet—or the planet. You could also check reviews of the brands on social media, or brand assessment sites like Good On You. Also, if you want to be eco-friendly when buying clothing, double check whether there’s any greenwashing at play—which is when a brand claims to be green but really isn’t. Let's help ourselves and the planet by reducing the size of our wardrobes, and making conscious purchases.
Sell the clothes that you don't want any more.
Part of changing your style is getting rid of some of the pieces that don’t serve you anymore. A good option is to sell them online (Depop or Poshmark are popular platforms) or to a thrift store. Then, you can use the money to buy pieces to complete your new wardrobe. You can also exchange your clothes at some stores, donate them, or swap with friends.
The world has changed and so have we. Our wardrobe has the power to define us and the way we wish to be seen. Dress in whatever you want, and stop buying things that will only sit in your closet! A clothing style is a form of identity and expression, so feel free to experiment until you find your own. You’ll blow everyone away with your post-quarantine debut!