Fashion Then and Now


Courtesy Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash.

New fashions and old, mix and mingle on the store shelf waiting for someone to try them on.

Fashion always plays a starring role: it reflects on personalities and defines eras. From bringing back the 2000’s Juicy Couture sweatsuit to flared jeans being in again, fashion is always evolving and reviving. 

Fashion trends are often inspired by public figures and influencers. Emma Chamberlain, a 19-year-old Youtuber who vlogs her daily life, grabs people’s attention with her style. From 2018 to 2019 she introduced her audience to the VSCO girl. This fad included carrying around a hydro flask and wearing scrunchies and teddy bear jackets. This style took over and VSCO girls flooded social media. 

Scrunchies are an integral part of the VSCO girl look. (Photo by dazzlinghypnotic on Unsplash.)

But the current pandemic style is much different from the days of the VSCO girl. Comfort is prioritized and baggy sweats and hoodies cover our Zoom screens. 

Since most of our time is spent at home, what is worn most is considered slob-chic. It’s an easy way to pick an outfit. During a time when going to the grocery store is the grandest outing of the week, dressing comfortably is quicker and provides the reassuring feeling of home. 

EvCC Graphic Arts teacher, Dawn Anderson, also sees a shift to comfort, “I see a lot of people wearing pajamas at the grocery store which I think is weird. At least put on pants.”  

With trends constantly changing, EvCC staff members experienced a much different fashion landscape when they were college students than what they see students wearing today. “There are also some trends we wish won’t come back…” said Anderson. Such as the 80’s hair,  “The hair would have so much hair spray, you would touch it and it wouldn’t move.” 

Interim Director for Counseling, Christine Sullivan, talked about how fashion has changed over the last 10 years in her perspective. She said, “My first thought was a suspicion that many other factors apart from age likely influence fashion choices, things like what people are doing at different stages of life, movements/cultures/places they relate to or are part of and the “norms” of the organizations where they may be spending a lot of time.” For example, when working a professional job you will be dressed more formally than casually because that stage of your life will likely impact how you dress every day. 

Having different stages in life affects how we dress over the years. When buying many clothes to cater to these different stages, finding a way to get the best quality of clothes at a reasonable price that makes garments last longer is essential. “I buy fewer clothes, and more expensive ones, so that they last longer. As a teen, I experimented more, but now it’s the last priority in my budget,” says Kristi Leksen of EvCC Counseling and Student Success. 

Air Force 1’s have drastically evolved over the years. (Photo by bfhall121 on Unsplash.)

When talking about saving money when buying clothes and trying to find the best quality,  something that has also been trendy over the past two years is thrifting. Going to thrift stores and picking out outfits to post on Instagram is one of the trends seen very often on social media. What is mostly seen is mom jeans with baggy t-shirts and some cool shoes.

When showing pictures of current fashion trends to Anderson, she said it is not something she would wear, “but the high-waisted jeans remind me of the 80s and the sneakers, it seems retro.” Her impression was correct. The high-waisted jeans were worn a lot in the 80s, and the sneakers as well. Air force 1’s were released in 1982, but the style of them has changed over time.

The way we dress truly is a big part of our day and reflects who we are and what we believe in. Fashion should always be fun and a way to express individuality. It will be interesting to see how fashion will be evolving in the next few years, and to look back on it.