When Our Hallway Is Our Runway

A look at how Stuyvesant students’ fashions have changed during quarantine.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

As the many weeks of quarantine continue to pile on, students have no choice but to stay confined in their homes. Fashion is one of the many ways students express themselves to others, but with quarantine in place, that is no longer possible. The idea of just staying in pajamas all day seems a lot more appealing all of a sudden. With this situation comes a new decision that most students face every day: should I get dressed today?

Junior Tiffany Wu is among the many students who have decided to go for a pajama-casual look for most days. “During quarantine, I’m usually wearing pajamas, which consists of whatever SING! shirt I find in my closet and basic Adidas shorts,” Wu stated. Before quarantine, Wu’s wardrobe mainly consisted of clothing from brands like Brandy Melville and Princess Polly. “I used to wear a lot of statement pieces,” Wu said as she described her pre-quarantine style.

Junior Lara Somoroff has also made the decision to value comfort over appearance. “I basically only wear a tank top and underwear,” Somoroff admitted. She described her typical everyday style as one that reflects her life experiences, as she enjoys wearing the clothes of her mother and friends. “I like having an outfit that says something,” she said.

Sophomore Sajia Athai has also experienced changes in her style of clothing during quarantine: “Before quarantine, I only wore Brandy Melville. All my fits, accessories, and jewelry were from there, and I’d wear Obsidian Jordans to go with them,” she described. In quarantine, however, Athai simply wears leggings and hoodies. “If I want to feel dressed up, I’ll wear Brandy some days,” she added. “I’ve created a mix of my old style and a new, comfort-based style, so I probably won’t be going back to my old style.”

Other students have been using their free time at home to experiment with their style. Sophomore Etiha Ahmed has been delving more into the fashion world and diversifying her outfits. “I’ve been experimenting with how I can spice up what I wear,” Ahmed explained. “I’ve been trying to wear more colorful bottoms and style those. I have also been trying to get into the more ‘streetwear’ look.”

Sophomore Ian Zaman has also made changes to his style during his time at home. “My fashion sense is currently developing way more,” Zaman said. “Once quarantine is over, I’m going to try and incorporate way more vintage pieces into my outfits because I’ve been becoming more interested in vintage style during quarantine.”

With so much time on their hands nowadays, cleaning out closets and getting rid of clothes has also become a popular activity. Somoroff is one person who has taken the time to get rid of the clothes she doesn't find herself wearing. “I’ve sold a few items on Depop. I like knowing that the things I don’t wear anymore have a place to go,” she said.

Zaman similarly cleaned out his closet at the start of quarantine: “I donated all of my pieces that no longer fit. I never throw my clothes out because that’s really a waste,” Zaman shared.

While Wu has yet to go through her clothes, she said, “I’m planning on selling and donating more than half of my old clothes only because I get bored of old clothes very easily.”

On the flip side, many other students still find themselves adding newly purchased items to their closets. “I’ve done some online shopping for clothes during quarantine. My biggest purchase was my Patagonia quarter zip,” Wu shared. She also finds herself purchasing vintage-looking dresses from online boutiques. Online shopping has appealed to Athai during quarantine as well. She mainly does her shopping on online sites such as Princess Polly and Depop.

While Ahmed also partook in online shopping, she had a bit of a different approach: “I have gone window shopping [and] then bought a few items online,” she explained. Ahmed was able to purchase cami dresses and earrings so far during her quarantine shopping.

Being stuck at home has affected everyone’s style but has also given some people the time to experiment with new pieces and expose themselves to new styles. Since there is not much to get dressed up for, most students find themselves wearing the basics. While it might not be as exciting as putting together a well-thought-out outfit, Somoroff shared, “There’s a beauty to just wearing the basics and to knowing what you feel most ‘yourself’ in without any outside influence.”