Dressing amid quarantine: Fashion trends in 2021 that can go and stay

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Gisselle Reyes/Staff

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With the COVID-19 pandemic, fashion this year has been quite unlike any other. From Instagram releases to livestreamed shows to videos, fashion titans have been creatively (and virtually) transforming the traditional runways. But for us nonindustry folks, here’s an interesting question — is fashion still a thing? For me, perpetually living in the same two mismatched lounge pants and shirt has been my reality. But Vogue magazine said, “If there’s been one fashion lesson learned during lockdown, it’s that personal style doesn’t disappear in difficult times.” If Vogue said it, then it must be true, right? So whether you’re still dressing up every morning, polished with a full face of makeup, or you’re like me, a bit frazzled and feeling as if you deserve a gold star every time you match up both socks, we can dream together of frolicking in designer get-ups while we empty our last drops of coffee before stuffing our noses into study guides. Your midterm can wait because we’re going to talk fashion. 

We consulted some trusted sources to determine what’s hot right now. First, we’ll start with what we believe can stay.

Vogue: Miniskirts and shorts

“It’s a tale as old as time: The weather heats up and hemlines rise.”

While it’s still chilly enough right now in the Bay Area to throw on some fleece-lined tights, it’s nice to think that soon, heavy coats will give rise to silky shorts once more. “Mini” is a great word, as it brings to mind “layering.” Lots of creative choices are up ahead.

The Trend Spotter: Black face masks

“When it comes to protecting yourself, you may as well do it beautifully.”

We can’t say it any better than this. Masking is extremely important, and just because case counts are falling, it doesn’t mean we should be slacking off on protecting ourselves and others. But picking a classic and sleek color and style can make it more fun, so here’s a little challenge: Match your outfits while covering your mouth and nose.

Harper’s Bazaar: Button-down, but make it oversized

“How passé to believe your oversized shirting is your ‘husband’s shirt,’ your ‘dad’s shirt,’ or ‘borrowed from the boys.’”

How passé to believe the only time button-downs can be worn is when you’re networking, and under a blazer at that! We’re thinking billowing silhouettes, as a dress, over large trousers, tucked in. There are so many ways to wear this, and none of them are wrong.

InStyle: Matching sets

“Yes, matching sets and sweatsuits can still be worn around the house, but they work for social settings, too.”

Few of us college students think about putting together a professional wardrobe prior to graduation, but now might actually be the best time to start. As clothing can get expensive, particularly quality professional pieces (think Lafayette 148), starting early can mean creating a lasting classic wardrobe instead of throwing together a chaotic mess at the very last minute, just to purge it all when you get another paycheck. And what easier way than to buy already-made sets?

We’re excited about all these trends that quarantine has brought us, but there some that just don’t make the cut.

Who What Wear: Built-in G-strings

“As if 2020 wasn’t freaky enough, we’re here to report on one more freaky thing that is guaranteed to show up in 2021. The trend we speak of is G-strings — built-in ones to be exact.”

So, what is this really? It’s the “exposed underwear look.” Cue Paris Hilton à la the early 2000s. Not convinced it’s back in style? Ask Givenchy, LaQuan Smith and Versace. And, of course, when the fashion houses produce, everyone else copies. So maybe just check out Instagram and your favorite online retailers. Of course, my distaste of it is not rooted in its sexy appeals. Supporters, I’m sure you all pull it off very well, and cheers to you beauties. I’m just not a fan.

Fortunately, 2021 has so far confirmed that fashion is still alive and well, and even though we may have adjusted our lives to fit a new normal, things around us are still moving, changing and transforming (here’s to hoping built-in G-strings transform out of here). We can slow down or ride the waves. We can also start anew. It’s fashion we’re talking about after all, so when it comes to personal style, it’s all you.

Contact Angelina Yin at [email protected].