A&E: Free time during the pandemic encourages students to upgrade their clothing and style

Due to the pandemic, SCHS students have upgraded their personal clothing style because of the free time on their hands. For sophomore Ashley Ta, one of her go-to outfits may consist of a brown sweater with baggy jeans and a pair of Doc Martens.

This was not always the case, however, as Ta has taken advantage of the free time the coronavirus has created in order to upgrade her style and better express herself.

Ta had not changed her style since middle school, she said. Prior to the pandemic, her style used to consist of clothing from Hollister, Brandy Melville and Vans shoes.

“I wore a lot of skinny jeans from Hollister and tight shirts from Brandy Melville. Or when it got cold out, I would wear a hoodie with leggings and a jean jacket over it,” Ta said. “I wore Vans basically to school everyday because it was easy to slip on. I kind of dressed like a hot Cheeto girl.”

Ta and her friends drew inspiration from Pinterest and gravitated toward indie and streetwear styles.

“Now that I think about it, my freshman year outfits were so ugly. The jeans I was wearing didn’t compliment my figure, and I had no clothes to make a cute outfit,” Ta said. “The clothes I have now are cuter, they compliment my figure, and I’m way more happy with the way I style myself.”

The pandemic gave Ta more time to rethink her style and realize what she wanted. She drew inspiration from online influencers like Emma Chamberlain.

“I love the way Emma dresses. Everyone calls her basic, but I think the way she dresses is dope and she definitely influenced a lot of people,” Ta said.

Junior Haley Birton also found that the extra time on her hands helped her change her style.

“I think being inside because of COVID helped improve my style because I was able to spend more time with myself and realize what I really like,” Birton said. “Plus being on my phone more, I saw a lot of fashion inspiration online.”

Online platforms such as Instagram gave Birton ideas to stray away from Fashion Nova and Forever 21, where she used to shop.

“I still shop there for some pieces, but I feel like what I look for now is different than before,” Birton said. “Now I shop at places like Missguided, Nasty Gal, H&M and Zara.”

Similarly, senior Cedric Julian Briones finds fashion inspiration through social media. Briones enjoys using TikTok to get inspiration

“Definitely Tiktok. A lot of people would post different places to get clothing,” Briones said. “Or maybe even different types of clothes that I would usually use as a reference to mix and match with other pieces.”

Before COVID, Briones’s wardrobe contained clothing that NBA players and popular rappers wear. Now, comfort is his priority.

“The thing that I enjoy about fashion is that you can literally try so many new things to obtain different looks,” Briones said. “Especially during lockdown, there’s literally nothing stopping you from trying on a new type of shoes or pants or even shirt. The options are endless. ”

According to Briones, fashion and style is unlimited, and the pandemic is one of the best times to consider and try out different styles.

“Of all times, right now is the best time to figure out which look works best for you, so when things go back to normal, you can go out and rock your new and improved style,” Briones said.