Pants, or no pants? That is the question.

How should we dress when the world is on pause?

Photo courtesy of

Maya Martin, Assistant Editor, Arts and Culture

For some, quarantine has allowed people to express their creativity and find a new style, and for others, that expression may be to kick it like you live in the Paleotholic Era and go pantless. Regardless if you discovered your fashion taste or left it in the dresser, the COVID pandemic has influenced the way people dress and shop.

From the beginning of the initial lockdown until now, it has been quite apparent that fashion has tailored to needs and wants.

Since COVID started I was like, why am I even trying anymore?” said junior Ryan Edwards. “I’m in my bedroom all the time and I’ve become a sweatpants-aholic.”

When there is nowhere to go and no one to impress it can be difficult to pull together some motivation to routinely get ready for the day. Being at home is about being comfortable, so keeping it comfy while working from home is only right.

When asked about the days her cohort is virtual, senior Megan Reilly said, “Now, I don’t even care. I’ll wear things that don’t even match. I’ll wear pajama pants and a floral shirt.”

Many students can relate to the common repetition of clothes as well. Freshman Antoine Brown’s mornings are quite simple. When asked what he wears to online school days, he replied, “Whatever. I wear whatever I pick up.”

On the other hand, while feeling comfy and cozy can be a routine, lots of students at school have been putting great effort into their in-person cohort day outfits. “I make the most of those days. I dress up on the days I go into school,” said Reilly. “It’s my last year, so I am taking this chance.”

Many students have expressed similar feelings and the need to express themselves once in a while to have some sense of normalcy in these times of utter chaos. Whether it be wearing new clothes, clothes received as presents from winter breaks or even something old that was not normally worn, students have been mixing it up and dressing in style when they come in person.

Sophomore Jessica Kerchner expressed her feelings on dressing up on days where there’s no school at all. “A lot of times I get dressed up for no reason… I feel like it helps a lot with just staying optimistic and positive through everything. You feel good about yourself and get out of the sweats for a little bit.” COVID has made many people realize the importance of just changing up routines by dressing and styling oneself if nothing else then to feel a little sense of normalcy.

For those discovering their newfound fashion, there are plenty of outlets for them to discover their styles, especially on social media. Trends sparking all over TikTok and Instagram have been taking over the internet, including tennis skirts with a crewneck and even decade-styles. Fashion choices from different eras have been making comebacks as well including the 80s, 90s, and even Y2K looks.

Although fashion sense has been increasing, brick and mortar clothing stories are becoming less of an option for interested buyers. It is becoming increasingly hard for teens to express themselves through fashion when the main source of purchases are online.

“I’m not a huge online shopper,” Kerchner said. “It’s too hard, especially not having a credit card yet… I always loved being able to go to the mall before this.”

The difficulties and guilt of constantly going to a parent to use a credit or debit card for online shopping can boggle down on teens and decrease the amount of clothes they purchase–not to mention the problems with being able to try on clothes and seeing if they are worth the purchase.

“I have like seven bathing suits on my floor from Target that I’m not allowed to return. It’s bad,” said Reilly. Although the era of shopping online is steadily increasing, for many it is just a necessity to shop online, not a want.

No matter whether someone dresses up, cozies up in some sweatpants or wears no pants at all, the pandemic has certainly changed the way people are expressing themselves or meeting their comfortability needs. COVID has helped some even find out who they are and their personal style.

“Because you’re home and not totally going out of your comfort zone, your posting pictures, and you’re getting more comfortable with these new styles you think fit you more,” said Kerchner. “I think that’s cool cause it has helped show more of who we are.”

In a time where everyone is alone most of the day, the most important thing about fashion is not impressing or dressing for others, but discovering one’s own personality through clothing and dressing in a way that makes oneself happy. The pandemic has helped (or maybe, forced?) many people of different ages to realize this, and maybe this one bright spot in an otherwise dark and difficult time has led to some introspection and self-discovery–even if that means no pants.