Quarantine Dress Code

Namita Pise


The term ‘Quarantine’ is something none of us ever expected to encounter. Yet here we are, eight months later, normalizing and experiencing quarantine indefinitely. The world has shifted dramatically in many aspects including entertainment industries, political tensions, and, of course, fashion discourse: what were popular trends before quarantine are no longer trendy. People interact with each other over online webinars through the comfort of their own homes. And with this inadvertent change comes a new etiquette for quarantine ‘fashion’ (if you will). 


Today I will be analysing the four different quarantine dress codes that we have all experienced, but still remain intensely conflicted over:


    1. Zoom calls

First up, Zoom calls. For most students, classes are held online over a virtual platform similar to Zoom. During these calls, most people are seated so others can only see the top half of their bodies. People dress up in formal button-downs or oversized T-shirts. Nevertheless, we must ask ourselves: what pants should we wear? While this question is an important one, don’t forget that an important aspect of dressing for school is not to impress others but prepare oneself for a serious mindset. It’s your choice whether you want to wear pajama bottoms or leggings. But remember, it is also your choice whether you want to set yourself up for success or let your Zoom outfits decide your fate and your future. 


    2. Sweatpants vs jeans

Perhaps the greatest debate of all time, does today feel like a sweatpants or a jeans kind of day? During quarantine especially, everyone needs as much comfort as they can get, and it is a popular opinion that jeans are, quite frankly, not very comfortable. Let us outline the pros and cons of jeans and sweatpants.


Jeans are particularly beneficial because they look fashionable with virtually anything. Over the years, there are many iterations of the classic skinny jeans including mom jeans, ripped jeans, bootcuts, and they come in different colors. Yet jeans are also very constraining; people don’t have as much freedom to move around and it can be uncomfortable  to sit for prolonged periods of time in front of the computer. 


Sweatpants are the epitome of comfort. In recent years, athleisure and sweatpants have become popular fashion trends for everyone. However sweatpants may not look very formal and may give off a vibe of carelessness. 


    3. Instagram ‘Outfit-of-the-day’s (OOTDs)

Social media has an indirect vice which often dictates what trends people should and should not follow. When influencers post content utilizing product placement, the general public automatically is urged to follow the fashion trends. Whether they are bucket hats or plaid pants, people try to keep up with fashion through social media. But these instagram ‘Outfit-Of-The-Day’ posts do not need to dictate what you wish to wear. If you want to wear sweatshirts, by all means, go ahead. Remember, use Instagram for inspiration, not regulation. 


    4. Socks

After 8 months in quarantine, most people have forgotten that socks exist. Yet over the different fashion seasons, socks have also evolved: from socks paired with crocs to socks with ingenious prints ranging from avocados to animal crossing. Socks, as a fashion statement, are very popular. But in terms of socks for a practical purpose (like for wearing shoes), people have limited their use because they don’t leave the house as much and socks are too hot for the summer. Thus, when we question whether socks should be included in the quarantine dress code, I believe that if you like socks, then choose and wear whatever floats your boat. 


So here are the four essential quarantine dress codes that we all have had to grapple with. But while everyone may have different opinions on what is considered fashionable and what is not, don’t forget that fashion trends and dress codes are constantly evolving. But more than that, you should decide what you consider to be fashion. Dress to express, my friends (and only if you want, dress to impress).