Fashion undergoes metamorphosis during pandemic


Courtesy of Aurora Wayne

Danielle Gutierrez strikes a pose to show off her outfit for Instagram. She wears a mesh top and leather pants.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the general public has experienced a difficult transition away from social gatherings and public outings. On top of limited time spent with loved ones, many people dealt with financial burdens among the millions of jobs lost since the beginning of the pandemic. 

A specific industry that has experienced tremendous changes was the fashion industry, which lost a lot of business following the shutdown. Over $1 billion in merchandise went to waste in Bangladesh after order cancellations. 

However, despite this the fashion industry underwent a sort of metamorphosis; sustainable fashion was put on the forefront of the fashion ecosystem with many shifting their focus to the second hand clothing market. According to MarketWatch, the resale market is set to reach $64 billion in five years. 

With the transition to second hand fashion, the current styles and trends have also experienced major changes. New trends and styles include looser silhouettes, a variety of high and low necklines, bold colors and bold patterns. 

Among these new trends is the death of skinny jeans, once a fashion staple, is now being regarded as done with. The current trend among pants has been bell-bottoms, flare, straight and boot-cut styles. Many are even adding interesting patterns to their denim, such as denim patch jeans that include different shades of denim all incorporated into one pair.

Courtesy of Aurora Wayne

Quarantine has allowed people the space and comfort to experiment with their look. Those who choose to support the second hand fashion market might find that the sustainable option is less expensive and prevents clothes from ending up in a landfill. 

One student who has begun to experiment with her look and self-expression while also practicing sustainability is Danielle Gutierrez, who is a journalism student at New Mexico State University, describes her sense of fashion as less traditional and more expressive than before the pandemic. 

Gutierrez also says that a large portion of her wardrobe is thrifted from second hand clothing stores in an effort to reduce waste and practice sustainability. Some of the trends that she’s noticed that are becoming mainstream include pastel spring colors, mesh tops, patterned and colored pants and heavy jewelry. 

Her Instagram has transformed into a place where she shares her new thrifted looks and self-expression with the world. For Gutierrez, this journey has been about finding a style that fits her personality more than anything with the time and space that quarantine has given her to experiment thoughtfully.