Fashion in Quarantine!


by Muskaan Grewal

For many teenagers, being able to go outside and interact with others is what allowed them to express themselves, especially through fashion. Without saying anything, the way someone dresses could easily tell you what that person liked or didn’t like or what their aesthetic was. But in quarantine, when no one can see that, it’s a bit more difficult, and can be worse for teens who use fashion as their main form of expression.

But in true Gen-Z rebellion, today’s teens have found a way around the limitations of lockdown. Tiktok has become one of the main resources, with thousands to millions of teens and young adults participating in the “cartoon character” challenge. Different teens would choose and showcase their iconic looks for different scenarios in a show, like school days or beach days. And while many scenarios changed with each creator, everyone had their main look. From grunge to goth to street style to cottagecore, it was clear to see the diverse aesthetics and fashion looks among the teenagers.

Gen-Zs have also started another trend. They had their friends send in videos of what they would wear once they go out of quarantine. Some wore tuxes, while others had on oversized tee shirts and vintage jeans. You could see the similarities in friend groups, a group of skaters all dressed in similar street-style or artists all in vintage or vintage lookalike pieces.

Tiktok saw a burst of young style creators too. On my For-You page, there was a sudden influx of teenagers posting outfit tips and lookbooks, all accounts that had only started being active recently. Some create looks based on their favorite artists like Tyler the Creator or the 1975, while others base their outfits off certain aesthetics.

But beyond outfits, hair and makeup have also played a huge role in self-expression during quarantine. Because they won’t be seeing anyone soon or won’t be able to show off their makeup in larger spaces, there’s been an influx of budding makeup artists. Recently, neon eyeliners have taken over the app, the popular ones being the Retro Liners from Glam Vice, which are, unfortunately, sold out. Colorful looks in general have made their presence known, contrasting with the blacks and nudes of bigger makeup gurus. Eye looks with pops of color, like the ones seen in BH Cosmetics’ Trendy in Tokyo palette, are having their moment, along with bright lips and/or heavy blush across the cheekbones. Accessories like sparkles or glitter have also had a bigger presence, winging out from eyes or scattered underneath.

Expressive hairstyles have also made a bright and colorful comeback. A lot of teens are stressed or bored in quarantine and, with going outside and meeting up with their friends impossible, they’ve taken to their hair instead. Dying their fringe (in true e-girl style) is super popular, but so are neon and pastel colors. Right now on Tiktok, there is no such thing as a subtle hair change. It’s either go big or go home and many teens are choosing to go big, dying their hair electric colors, mostly blues or purples, although neon green is vaguely popular, in their bathrooms at night.

So while quarantine might be holding us back in a lot of ways and limiting our face to face expression, it definitely hasn’t worked to hold us back entirely. In fact, you could probably say it has pushed teens further into self-expression with the mindset of go crazy because no one is going to see. And honestly, who is? So go crazy, guys.

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