Fashion during a pandemic: Have students changed their style?

Megan Huibregtse, Staff Writer

Students at Elgin Community College show off their fashion choices. (Gwendolyn Sihanath)
A leather jacket and a belt that matches. Students walk the halls with style (Gwendolyn Sihanath)
Ripped pants are popular with students as they attend in-person classes. (Gwendolyn Sihanath)
As Elgin Community College is winding down for winter, students are picking out warm outfits that are also in style. (Gwendolyn Sihanath)
Some students are wearing outfits that match the style of New York City streetwear as they walk the halls to class. (Gwendolyn Sihanath)
The students at Elgin Community College are showing their school pride in their choice of clothes. (Gwendolyn Sihanath)
As fall weather is here, students opt for cozy styles. (Gwendolyn Sihanath)

Fashion and school are an unusual mix right now.

When COVID-19 hit the United States in March of 2020, people started working from home. As time progressed, college students began to use the online Zoom application as their classroom because schools started closing for the unforeseeable future.

No one was thinking of dressing up for Zoom classes; it most likely did not cross anyone’s mind. The camera students used were usually turned off or, if the camera was on, a pajama shirt along with comfy sweatpants was not an unusual combination to see.

Fast-forward to the fall semester of 2021 and COVID-19 is still around. The big difference is that campus is open for some classes— if you opt-in for them. Masks are being worn and some students are dressing the way they were before the pandemic began. Walking around Elgin Community College, you see a lot of variations in style: a green romper with black tights on one student, sweatpants and a hoodie on another.

First-year student Zoe Blazier stated that the pandemic didn’t affect the way she dressed. Blazier said she hadn’t paid attention to fashion until the last couple of years, but that hasn’t stopped her from wearing her go-to ombre jean jacket with her self-added pins to campus.

Being fashionable at school is not currently on a lot of people’s minds. Asking to talk about a cool outfit a student is wearing comes with some shock on the student’s end.

There are some people who have a changed sense of style since attending college, but not all feel that way.

“I kind of stick to what I used to wear,” said first-year student Jaqueline Soto. “The only difference is that I’ve gotten a little more confident in myself. I started to change up my style but I’m still figuring it out.”

When discussing fashion during the pandemic, staff member Sarah Stayner spoke about working from home in her pajamas and workout clothes all day after previously liking to dress up.

“When I had to come back to campus, I was actually stoked to wear my nice business casual clothes again…at least for a month or so,” Stayner said. “After that, I started to want that cozy, comfortable feeling again so I ended up buying a few more things that were looser fitting than I usually wear but still work appropriate so I could be fashionable and comfortable.”

The pandemic hasn’t stopped clothing choices or sense of style. Students are still wearing everyday clothes like they did before. The only change in a lot of students’ fashion sense is their confidence in themselves. Pandemic not included.