Expression through fashion during the pandemic


Handmade jewelry set made by South High student, Ruth Rauda who started making their own jewelry the summer of this year and started their business.

Mia Silva-Montalvo

Ruth Rauda’s quarantine at the start of the pandemic looked a lot like most students: sitting at home, wearing the same sweatpants, and communicating with friends, classmates and teachers through a screen. But the isolation gave the South High junior inspiration. 

“During the pandemic I spent a lot of time inside, giving me, my own privacy and I used it to find more style, taking inspiration from TikTok, Pinterest etc.,” said Rauda. 

Covid-19 has affected everything in our daily lives, including the way we dress since many of us have spent our time at home, especially last year while we were quarantined at home. Most of that time was also spent on social media which has also influenced us in the way we dress. 

 Social media is making fashion trends more expandable and accessible to more people, it’s easier for people to find their individual style and express themselves how they want. 

“I think social media inspired me a lot because I saw people freely express themselves, I would watch styling videos and when we started to come back to school, I would start to wear things that I thought looked good together,” said Rauda. 

Because of the lockdown a lot of people had lost their jobs and had to rely on different ways of shopping such as thrifting. Thrifting has become more popular because of both the pandemic and social media, therefore more people shop this way now including John-Paul Gurnett, ESL teacher at South. 

“I like to go thrift store shopping I go to New Life Thrift, I like the Salvation Army, I also have a lot of friends who have their own vintage shops, so I’m always trading and borrowing clothes from people,” said Gurnett.  

Many people started to make their own clothes or jewelry since people needed a job during quarantine or others see it just as a hobby. Rauda spends their time making their own jewelry and has an Instagram (@thefrogandfaires) that only sells locally as for now. 

“I don’t find a lot of jewelry at stores that I like, and I also like to have something that’s special to me and know that I’ve made something other people like,” said Rauda. “It’s fashion too, an outfit can look completely different with a necklace or like earrings, I just feel like an outfit without jewelry isn’t complete.”

Gurnett also has his own art brand as well as his friends that are fellow artists involved with the same business. 

 “I designed T-shirts that I’ve designed for my art brand, I just don’t wear them for school,” said Gurnett. 

Having a different style than others can be hard, for example dealing with stares, criticism, bullying, dress code and more. 

“I’ve always been someone who dresses the way that he wants or acts the way that he wants, I learned to accept it, because if you’re going to be someone who like to dress different or be your yourself, you have to be used to people looking,” said Gurnett.  

Even with all the help on social media and with friends and family there is still people struggling with their individual style.  

“Find clothes that fit your body, because once your clothes fit your body, then you’ll be more confident and you’ll start doing other things, like trying other different styles and fashions,” said Gurnett.