Arts and Entertainment

Low-Rise and Abstract: Post-Pandemic Fashion Trends

After a year of being indoors, fashion has made a huge comeback in a new, yet unsurprising way.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Cover Image
By Joanna Meng

Over the past year, it’s become easy to make questionable fashion choices. Being on Zoom has made a t-shirt and crumpled gym shorts from the back of your drawer fashion staples. But, as we begin our exit out of the pandemic, fashion has become all the more important with new trends constantly emerging. Following a time where there was nobody to judge our taste, current fashion trends are putting an emphasis on individuality and allowing people to wear whatever they like. At the same time, micro-trends have become an even bigger part of the industry, putting a strain on the individuality we so desire.

Especially with the summer right around the corner, bright colors and patterns have been making a comeback, following the more simple aesthetic of the 2010s. Before the pandemic, black tights were the standard. And though they do still pair well with everything, more and more people are opting for colorful, patterned tights. The blue swirled Maison Soksi tights have been all over Pinterest lately, and though the trend can seem slightly strange, these tights can make an otherwise plain outfit unique. Abstract patterns can be seen on all types of clothing with color being used to celebrate the return to normal life. Zara’s spring collection, for example, features heavily-patterned and brightly colored statement pieces. The use of color can also be seen in some of the emerging makeup trends, with heavy eyeliner, bright eyeshadow, and face art becoming more common. Graphic eyeliner trends like floating-crease liner bring attention to the eyes and can also be easily altered to anyone’s personal taste.

Another trend coming out of the pandemic is nostalgic clothing. While clothing cycles have always been a part of the fashion industry (think ‘90s does ‘60s), they are now more obvious than ever. People are nostalgic for the ‘70s, ‘90s, and especially the early 2000s. Low-rise and wide-leg jeans, ‘70s hair, and maxi dresses have all seen a resurgence in the past few months, due in large part to the increasing popularity of thrift stores. Not only are we able to dress in trends of different eras, especially with the help of the internet, but more and more people are combining the trends of today with authentic pieces from their original eras. Because of the rarity of clothing found in thrift stores, people are able to be unique while fitting into the guidelines of current trends. Having one-of-a-kind clothing has become even more of an aspiration, as what is currently popular is born out of people not wanting to be on trend.

The recent push for uniqueness likely comes from the time the pandemic gave everyone to determine what they truly like, without external influences and fear of judgment. Nostalgia for the past also comes out of quarantine, as we were given time for reflection on past trends. Social media allows us to look back upon and revere the fashion of people like Paris Hilton, who we wouldn’t have even thought of as a fashion influence three years ago (other than as an example of what not to wear). The boredom experienced by many during the pandemic has also influenced homemade fashion as people picked up hobbies like sewing and crocheting. Homemade clothes allow anyone who’s willing to adjust trends to their own personal liking. From halter tops to the Harry Styles cardigan, there has been a rise in unreplicable pieces simply because people finally had the time to create them.

Though thrift stores and hand-made clothing have seen a rise in popularity, fast fashion has as well. With online shopping becoming ever more popular, commercial fashion has never been easier or cheaper to consume. Because of the availability of cheap clothing, the recent trend cycles have become more specific and much faster. The House of Sunny Hockney Dress is likely the most recent example of the current trend cycles. The Hockney Dress is a relatively simple green knit dress that was extremely popular on social media recently. Not only was the focus of the trend on one specific dress, but people were so quick to buy it that it fell out of style just as soon as it came in. Though bigger fashion trends still exist (knit wear, for example, which the dress falls under), the availability of certain items has led people to expand their wardrobe with soon-to-be unwearable items.

As new trends come into style and old ones go, the pandemic has allowed everyone to find their place in the fashion world. At the same time, COVID-19 has created a world connected by the internet and has led to trends being more focused-in than ever before. While the pandemic has given us time to reflect on our fashion choices, it also opened the door to new problems within the fashion industry and among consumers. Still, as we come out of the pandemic, it’s exciting to see what people have come up with, both unique and mainstream, while scrolling through fashion TikTok or just while out on the street.