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Sweatpants Against A Wall
Sweatpants Against A Wall
Arianna Tucker / Her Campus

Thoughts On Being Presentable And The Current State Of Fashion

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Irvine chapter.

Being in quarantine and following stay-at-home orders for the past two months now, my fashion game is nonexistent. My daily outfits consist of casual wear, as in loose shorts and a graphic tee shirt. During normal living conditions, I would be embarrassed to be wearing what I am wearing right now out in public or to class. 

People who actually get ready in the mornings, even if they are staying inside all day, are one of my inspirations right now. Throughout the school year and the summer, I was the girl who dressed up every day from head to toe. You would never see me in leggings or sweatpants in public. This is simply because I never would present myself in that way in front of other people. I feel more confident and focused when I dress my best. I discovered that people show me a lot more respect when I am dressed in a nice outfit (a very sad reality). 

Now, I simply do not have the motivation to put on jeans or some makeup. I actually feel super wasteful of my makeup when I just wear it inside. From not spending so much time in the mornings getting ready, I also discovered that I would rather spend my mornings doing something more productive.

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Don’t get me wrong, I definitely think that getting ready in the morning is a form of self care. It is something that motivated me to go to class every day. There is no other feeling similar to wearing a new outfit to show your friends. Mornings have become a time where I check up on myself before a long day. If I looked my best during the day, I know I would not feel self-conscious about how I look so I can put my energy towards what I am working on. 

However, I came to the realization that I may have dressed my best every day before quarantine because I wanted to impress the people around me. I am still trying to figure out where I stand with this, but I know I need to make it clear to myself that I need to dress up for myself. As cliché as that sounds, it’s really true. I’m not a mannequin or a model so I should not be wearing clothes just so others can approve of me. I want to be more than a girl who is only known to dress well. 

I am passionate about fashion, and it has been a hobby of mine for a very long time. It may actually be a personality trait of mine. Fashion culture can be very toxic, so I try to stay true to myself by not supporting fast fashion. Fun fact, I have never bought anything from popular retail stores such as Urban Outfitters, Brandy Melville, Tillys or PacSun. Their clothes were never really my style and they were ridiculously expensive, considering their cheap quality. I learned at a very young age that thrifting was a way for me to not contribute to the environmental impact of the fashion industry. Also, thrifting has helped me express myself more creatively while on a budget. 

I find it extremely disgusting that many fashion brands right now are making clothing, such as graphic tees, that are related to being in quarantine. Even clothes that pertain to “Zoom University” are really disturbing. Many seamstresses that make these products are working in horrible conditions in sweatshops. These workers are not practicing social distancing orders just so consumers could get a shirt that will end up in a Goodwill in the next few months. I do believe that people should support these seamstresses to live comfortably during a time like this, but I find it extremely selfish when people buy unnecessary items out of pure boredom. Rather than buying these items, you can donate to charities and organizations that support these women. 

I have been really questioning myself on how to be more conscious of what I am wearing because my clothes are the reflection of what people see of me for the first time. Your clothes should represent who you are, and I personally do not want to wear clothes from a company that exploits its workers and contribute to the destruction of the environment. In other words, you are the ambassador or a representative of the brand you are wearing. You should want to support companies who have similar values as you. For example, I would never support Brandy Melville because of its “one size fits all” brand (but more on that in a different article from me).

Trends are created by big companies, celebrities and influencers on purpose so you will always feel like you do not have enough. It is difficult to be a lover of fashion while choosing to not support the fast fashion industry, especially in an image-focused culture like the one here in Southern California. However, I am going to do my very best to step away from these social constructs and learn what is more important in life. It will be a lifelong process, and I will make sure to update you along the way!

Rehana is pursuing double degrees in Film & Media and Ethnic Studies with an interest in screenwriting, creative non-fiction, and oral histories. A proud Capricorn, she enjoys spending her time daydreaming about flaky pastries, baby otters and Studio Ghibli films.