A better fit

As things return back to normal from the pandemic, students aren’t able to spend all day in their pajamas anymore. However, as students return, there seems to be a clear shift in style as they redefine their wardrobes with more eye-catching and innovative looks. The influence of social media and extra time at home gave students a reason to experiment with and explore the depths of fashion to find their personal aesthetic.

Malik Hamza:
Junior Malik Hamza was inspired to change his style after realizing he was only wearing a handful of clothes from his wardrobe. Through social media, he found his sense of fashion and said he felt more comfortable with it.
“Before, I wore literally whatever [was in my closet],” Hamza said. “If it was a nice occasion, then [I wore something] a little more preppy. The rise in popularity of the alternative/gothic style on Instagram and TikTok really influenced me. I like feeling [that] I know I look good. I’m way more confident in myself.”
Hamza received different responses to his shift in style from his family and friends. Having traditional parents, Hamza said they adjusted to his evolving fashion.
“[My family was] super weirded out at first and they gave judgy comments,” Hamza said. “However, I’ve gotten a lot of compliments in school and online from my friends, so it’s been pretty nice.”
In fashion, the line between what is defined as men’s and women’s is blurred. It’s become more normalized for guys to follow what society deems as feminine and vice versa.
“I just started getting into painting my nails,” Hamza said. “I think it’s something more people, guys specifically, should get into. It’s just that people immediately put it off because there’s a stigma to it.”

Veronica Martin:
After gradually evolving her style since eighth grade, senior Veronica Martin began exploring fashion with more depth. Now, she has her own fashion Instagram account she started toward the beginning of the pandemic.
“I started this small account and I liked it because it was [followed by] women, and it was just about me,” Martin said. “I thought of making it into a fashion account because people complimented my style. I post my outfits there hoping maybe it’ll affect one person.”
A large part of Martin’s account addresses the importance of sustainable fashion.
“[Sustainable fashion] is something I like communicating because it’s really important for [people] and the environment, which are things I am passionate about,” Martin said. “I think it’s important to everyone and is something you should care about, especially in endeavors like fashion which affects everyone involved.”
Martin said that fashion has begun to make up her personality and she wants to convey to her followers that fashion is whatever you want it to be.
“[Fashion is] just something that’s a part of me—not something that changes me,” Martin said. “It is whatever you make it and as cliché as it is, fashion is about self-expression.”

Julia Joseph:
After realizing the endless amount of fashion options, junior Julia Joseph pushed past her limited wardrobe to experience different categories of style.
“I recently realized I had so many options because when you’re younger, you’re limited to what is already in your closet or what your parents have picked out for you,” Joseph said. “Whenever I wear an outfit, I can walk into a room, turn some heads, and feel good about myself.”
Throughout the pandemic, many trends circled through social media, and Joseph said there were some that appealed to her.
“A lot of eras really inspire me,” Joseph said. “Especially the ‘90s. I love the neons, bright colors, bell bottoms — the whole shebang. Also, girls have been a lot more open to masculine and I resonate with that.”
Different styles and labels such as “masculine” and “feminine” are commonly used among all genders, as these categories have evolved to be more inclusive.
“For so long it was ‘girls have to wear pinks and things that fit right,’” Joseph said. “It had to be your perfect body shape, but I like how fashion has been so much more diverse and gender-neutral. I love it all.”