Always late, fashionably.
As sophomore Annabelle Heppner hops out of bed and begins her morning routine, she brushes her hair and her teeth and splashes her face to wake herself up a bit. The first thing she picks out for her outfit is her shoes. From there, she builds her outfit for the day. Today she decides to choose some distressed jeans and a graphic tee that match well with her shoes. She applies concealer and eye make-up to complete the look and on her way out the door, she grabs a purse that matches the color of her blue tee to perfect her monochrome look for the day.
THE RISE OF TRENDS DURING THE PANDEMIC
New trends, styles and ideas rise with the help of social media during the pandemic and have changed the way many have shopped, dressed and viewed fashion.
With more time to surf the Internet and social platforms, many have explored new styles of clothing, sparked new trends, increased their online shopping and found creative ways to sell their clothes. Out of a May 10 student body poll of 158 students, 58 percent of students believe that they shopped more online during the pandemic.
“I feel like [social media shopping ] has definitely increased during the pandemic,” sophomore Annabelle Heppner said. “People have been getting more creative on social media as they have more time to focus on that now.”
Many found time to clean out their closets and others became interested in their friends’ clothes, which prompted some to start selling clothing through Instagram accounts. Sophomore Sally Tomlin and her friends joined the trend by starting their own account to sell clothes they no longer wanted.
“Girls in other grades at ESD had similar accounts, and [my friends and I] all really liked the idea and their clothes and were inspired by them,” Tomlin said. “So, we decided to try it on our own.”
Instagram clothing accounts have been quite successful as people have been convinced to both buy and sell clothes. Twenty nine percent of students have shopped from these accounts and eight percent have created their own.
“People have found themselves being influenced by social media with both online shopping and the idea of selling their own clothes to make money,” Tomlin said. “A lot of our clothes have been sold to people all around Dallas, and the money I’ve made from selling clothes has given me enough to shop for the newer clothing trends.”
This trend was seen among adults as well. Chemistry teacher Anneke Albright found a new way to acquire new clothes by purging her closet and swapping clothes with her friends.
“Me and my friends have always swapped clothes, but we have definitely done it the most during the pandemic,” Albright said. “I purged my wardrobe and have four friends here wearing some of my stuff, and I even saw one of them wearing my pants the other day. I probably wouldn’t have done that without the pandemic.”
A new fashion statement originated during the pandemic. Masks. Hundreds of name brand stores, such as Urban Outfitters, Target, Levi’s and Rag and Bone started to sell masks both online and in store. Particular designs for masks have become popular including embellished and novelty print face masks. Even Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, has an extensive collection of masks that include bright colors and patterns that she has mainly purchased from a boutique called Donna Lewis. She has not talked much publicly about her masks, but Donna Lewis, from the boutique, said that Pelosi’s chic idea has influenced others.
“Anyone that loves Nancy wants these masks,” Lewis said during an Oct. 2020 Insider interview. “It really has become a fun accessory in a tough time. I have people who come in here and say, ‘I saw this on Nancy, and I love it.’”
And Heppner also pays attention to the masks she wears.
“I have definitely seen a trend of face mask fashion recently,” Heppner said. “I have seen some really cool monochromatic [clothing outfits] with masks to match. I have also noticed that the early 2000s [fashion] has come up again, which I think is really cool.”
Heppner is not the only one who has noticed a resurgence of trends from the past decades, Albright also feels that the fashion trends are coming back.
“I have been seeing things from the early 2000s and ‘90s, like monochromatic lounge wear, AKA a juicy couture sweatsuit,” Albright said.
Others have not only explored past years fashion trends, but have tried out different uses for various clothing pieces. This has been seen through creating various styles with one bikini top or tying scarves or bandanas to wear as shirts. These ideas have spread and become popular with the social media platform TikTok.
“I think people have been so bored in their house that they are coming up with new ways to wear things,” Albright said. “I have seen trends online like skirts as tube tops or two bikini bottoms becoming a top.”
With the emerging trends and increased media fashion, some have begun to shift or alter their styles. Heppner, for one, has decided to change her style and try out new pieces of clothing.
“My style definitely shifted in the pandemic to what I would call street style,” Heppner said. “I am really into pattern jeans and crop tops.”
In contrast, Albright’s style has remained the same.
“I haven’t changed my style since the pandemic and I haven’t seen students changing theirs either,” Albright said. “There are the occasional students, but I think when students and teachers get the chance to dress comfy they will.”
Whether style has changed or not, some, including 35 percent of the students polled, have been dressing up more to go out or putting more thought into outfits.
“I’ve definitely started caring more about buying clothes for certain events since I don’t get to go out much during the pandemic,” Tomlin said. “Now that we are able to go out, I pay closer attention to what I’m wearing than I ever have before, and I actually really like it.”
THE EVOLUTION OF FASHION
1974: the year our school was established. Tie dye galore, ankle length dresses, vibrant, patterned trousers, with accessories like feathers and beads. One could say that things have changed quite a bit since then.
Fashion constantly changes and develops new styles, techniques and innovations. This evolution always adds to the status quo or is reinvented from past generations, and since the pandemic, students have recognized a swift shift in style.
“Fashion evolves,” upper school Spanish teacher Marcela Garcini said. “The fashion just goes and comes back, and in 20 years when you are working, you will see the fashion you are wearing now [come] around again, just like I have.”
During the pandemic, students and other teens throughout the country experienced a surge in the interest of fashion. Sixty six percent of the students surveyed have experienced this interest themselves.
“I would say that during quarantine last year was when my switch in fashion really started,” junior Emily Yancey said. “I saw a lot more types of clothing than just what I wore because I had more time to spend online and I kind of acquired my own taste of style.”
And some of the interest in fashion comes from influencers they look up to.
“Emma Chamberlain is a big influence of fashion for me,” Yancey said. “I’ve been watching her since I was in seventh grade, and I have seen her fashion develop over the years. She planted a seed in my head, and I’ve just started loving fashion since watching her.”
Large amounts of spare time, as well as boredom and the influence of social media, allowed for this burst of fashion interest. The availability and advertising of online stores increased, which lured many shoppers during the pandemic to try new things from different stores and experiment with their style.
“I just started watching YouTube videos and reading about different designers and brands, and just got more into fashion as a culture during the pandemic,” sophomore Jake Kelton said. “I would say that I really didn’t have much of a style before the pandemic, but during [quarantine], my friends and I started shopping more and started experimenting with different types of outfits.”
Fashion is not only about clothes and accessories, it is also about hairstyles and an overall look.
“Changing my hair has been a big thing for me,” upper school Arabic and French teacher Laila Kharrat said. “A lot of people are commenting and noticing how different I look. With the pandemic, there hasn’t been anything special or different except for this.”
Kharrat is not alone, she is one of many whose personal style changed over the pandemic. Kelton, who started paying more attention to fashion and culture, also changed his style.
“I would 100 percent say my style has changed from years before,” Sophomore Jake Kelton said. “One of the things I have focused on is putting a little effort into every part of my outfit and thinking about how it looks as a whole and not just one category like shoes. One of the other biggest things I’ve learned since I was younger is where to wear certain outfits and what scenarios to dress up for, before I didn’t really have any radar on that.”
With this maturity comes individuality and confidence in one’s outfits. Yancey experienced it first hand.
“I would say that I mostly just wear whatever I like,” Yancey said. “I think that my style has changed mostly because of, one, I have been able to find more things that I like and, two, just being confident and wearing whatever I want and not really caring what people think.”
The continuous evolution of fashion and style brings back trends such bright colors, track suits and flare-bottom jeans that are resurfacing in recent fashion. The poll revealed that 63 percent of students have noticed this resurgence.
“All of the fashion that you guys are wearing now, I think that we had it, but it has taken a twist and different meaning,” Garcini said. “The jeans you wear today with the holes, we wore them before. We have other things from our generations that are now coming back and y’all are wearing now Capri pants, jeans and other things.”
The changes in fashion from even just decades ago are so dramatic, but old trends are still very much alive or have come back. People of influence and designers have immense control over popularity and one homage to an old trend could bring decades of style back.
“I think that fashion is always evolving, when certain trends or people come into the scene things always change a bit,” Kelton said. “But in terms of the evolution of fashion I think it’s pushed by designers and artists to come up with the pieces that push things forward.
THE GROWTH OF ONLINE SHOPPING
Thanks to the lock-down, a new business model started.
When the pandemic closed clothing and jewelry stores in March of 2020, businesses were left struggling as customers were not able to shop in-person. According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, stores like Ralph Lauren were down 66 percent in June of 2020. Because no one knew how long the pandemic protocols would last, stores were forced to get creative in advertising their clothes and accessories, whether it was creating online stores or promoting on social media.
“I had all of this inventory, and with the way shipping happens around March 12, I was fully shipped for Spring,” Merry Vose, owner of Dallas’ boutiques Cabana and Canary said. “All of a sudden, all weddings were cancelled, people were wearing sweats at home [and] no one was getting dressed up to go anywhere, so I was stuck with a lot of inventory that I couldn’t really sell.”
While some popular stores such as Cabana and Canary struggled to sell their inventory towards the beginning of the pandemic, when stores were shut down, almost a quarter of Americans chose to spend money on athleisure. Stores like Lululemon and Nike have grown tremendously during the pandemic. In November, Lululemon reported a 94 percent growth in its third-quarter as shoppers spent more money online. Some smaller jewelry businesses like Jeny Baker Designs were also lucky enough to have a good year.
“I feel like I was kind of lucky [and] I had a great year in sales [where] I actually made more money in 2020 than I did in 2019,” Baker said. “What changed was how people bought [my jewelry] because now most people are buying online.”
Although many stores had online businesses previous to the pandemic, some businesses were forced to focus and rely on their online stores in order for customers to continue to shop their products. Putting effort into the online stores allowed students to shop while in person stores were closed.
“I did have an online store prior to the pandemic, but it was never my primary focus because I just love being in the store,” Vose said. “I was so lucky that we had invested in this [online store] because it really was a big part of our survival. There weren’t customers in the store, but we could focus on getting everything posted online and making sure our website was up to date.”
Similarly, Baker also had an online store prior to COVID-19, and has noticed a massive increase in online sales, as online shopping has grown tremendously during the pandemic and teens have bought from her online store.
“I have had to up my subscriptions on my website [and] go to the next level of payment because I have been getting so many orders,” Baker said. “Some people pick up the jewelry from my house while others ship it and sometimes, if they are down the road, I’ll just drop it off. I have stuff for the mailman everyday.”
Social media platforms like Tik Tok and Instagram have become more popular in the use of advertising clothes for businesses and stores. Since social media is commonly used, especially amongst teens and students, companies have been posting videos or pictures of clothing items on social media to try and interest shoppers to buy their products.
“I did these cute videos where I would get on [Instagram] and talk about our new arrivals and the videos became very popular,” Vose said. “They had swipe ups that would take you right to our website and you could purchase the piece if you liked [it]. People have commented how they made people feel positive during [COVID-19]. It wasn’t necessarily print advertising, but we did amp up our advertising budget with digital advertising because people were ordering a lot more off the web and our web sales really increased a lot.”
With Baker’s smaller Jewelry business, she decided to work on advertising on Instagram as it has helped her gain more sales, even during COVID-19.
“I have definitely been working a lot more on my social media platform,” Baker said. “If I advertise or do a post on Instagram showing the latest jewelry I’ve made, I generally will have a website sale or someone will DM me for at least one to two things.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic 59 percent of students shopped online. Although stores and businesses have now opened 48 percent of students have started shopping online more since the pandemic started.
“I started shopping so much more when everything was locked down because I didn’t have anything else to do,” junior Nia Bethea said. “I still shop online most of the time [because] it’s just so much easier not dealing with people in stores, or driving around when I can find everything I need online.”
Because of the sudden change to everyone shopping online, this will most likely become a permanent change for future shoppers. From a Goldman Sachs research report, in 2019, around 10 percent of luxury merchandise was bought online, and after COVID-19, 25 percent of luxury merchandise were now bought online. Goldman Sachs forecasts that by 2026 the luxury industry should be up at 30 percent. Along with promoting businesses on social media and focusing on online stores, the clientele have been a major influence on stores and want to help support by shopping online.
“I have a very loyal clientele, people that shop with me season after season, and even though they weren’t necessarily going somewhere, people were shopping just to support our business,” Vose said. “They knew that when everything [was] lifted, they wanted us to continue to be in business. We fared pretty well because of this super supportive clientele.”