Post-Pandemic Fashion at LHS


Junior Shealee Cavanaugh showcases her iconic retro style.

Natalie Pereira, Guest Writer

The renaissance of personalized fashion is upon us. After over two years of what most people would call the most tumultuous years of their lives, many choose to display their newfound personalities through clothing. Years prior to the pandemic, while there was diversity in clothing, it was nothing compared to today. Two years at home gave people time to find what makes them confident and happy. That combined with the resurgence of old trends and fashion cycles rapidly changing has created a plethora of unique styles that can be found around LHS. 

Vintage fashion has swept across the school in full force. Staples from the ’90s and early 2000s like lowrise jeans and chunky claw clips are being happily embraced by students. It goes farther back than that though. Flare jeans, bright colors, and biker shorts have gained massive popularity this year. Style icons from the past such as Princess Diana are huge inspirations to young people today.

LHS junior Shealee Cavanaugh’s bright and timeless style has gained notoriety among LHS students. Cavanaugh draws inspiration from legends like Twiggy and Audrey Hepburn. 

Many students find it takes too much effort and time to stray away from the usual sweatpants and hoodies. Shealee shared her process for assembling an easy and stylish outfit. “Some days I honestly just put two random pieces together and they end up working but usually if I’m planning it I will connect colors or materials with another.” 

Finding a personal style can be a challenge but many draw inspiration from numerous places. Celebrities and musicians have become famous for their unique and distinctive outfits. People like Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner have become synonymous with a casual but chic streetwear look. This appeals to many people not only because it’s fashionable, but because it’s easy. Pairing joggers or baggy jeans with a simple cropped white tee or oversized blazer creates a simple yet trendy outfit. 

In past years we’ve also seen the revival of alternative fashion and styles from music-based subcultures. While grunge and punk music have gained traction recently, so have the outfits. People like Kurt Cobain and Kathleen Hanna are now looked upon as prominent figures in the grunge scene. They helped popularize the look of cardigans, flannels, and basic tee shirts with heavily distressed and baggy jeans. Fashion in punk subcultures has been used to not only set people apart from their counterparts but to display a message. In the 80s punk scene the message may have been that you were anti-establishment and left-leaning. Clothes now can be used to show gender expression, what kind of music or media you like, political alignment, etc. 

When asked why personal style was important to him, junior Craig Nally explained that he likes to “try to blur as many lines as I can in almost everything I do — most noticeably my clothes, to express that we as a society don’t need some of the barriers we set up for ourselves.” When people wear what makes them feel most comfortable it’s freeing and gives them a new feeling of confidence. The pandemic gave people time to find themselves and what makes them feel best about themselves. Nally shared his own experience with finding identity during the pandemic saying that “The pandemic gave a lot of people a lot of time, and I used mine to really reflect on the person I wanted to be.”

Junior Craig Nally displays a casual yet alternative outfit.

A massive influx of students shopping at thrift stores and acquiring second-hand items has contributed to unique clothing seen around LHS. Shopping at thrift stores is not only beneficial to the environment but allows people to expand their wardrobe for less while also finding uncommon but cute pieces. 

Shaelee says that she often shops at thrift stores, “I mostly shop at the thrift, goodwill, salvation army, savers. I enjoy the unique pieces.” 

Sustainability has become more and more important to people and thrift stores are an easy and accessible way to participate.

School being fully in-person this year has let people finally showcase and express their styles. Junior Morgan Wright admires people freely expressing themselves through clothing. 

“I feel like people are more open to alternative styles and there’s a bit more self-expression,” she said.

 Her style has always dabbled into the more alternative side of things, sporting darker colors and grunge-inspired pieces in her everyday wardrobe. She explains that straying from mainstream culture and looking to the past inspired what she wears. “Any media that’s further away from the mainstream. Older music and movies, smaller bands.”

The newfound confidence that students have developed over this transitional time has been reflected in their wardrobes. Being able to freely express themselves and wear what makes them feel good as well as inspiring others has made LHS a more positive and creative environment to be in.