• Madelyn Sipola

How COVID-19 affected fashion


A woman showing her style while following safety guidelines // Photo courtesy https://cfda.com/news/from-wwd-how-the-coronavirus-is-impacting-the-fashion-beauty-and-retail-industries

Over the past year, COVID-19 has massively affected how we live, what we eat, how we work and even how we dress.

Were you the person who wore pajama pants while having work meetings? I definitely was. However, this factor caused the fashion industry to take a dive. People simply lost interest in fashion.

Although the interest in fashion plummeted, e-commerce sky-rocketed.

“U.S. e-commerce sales in 2020 grew more than 30% from 2019,” said Annie Palmer from CNBC.

With the 30% increase in e-commerce, “Nearly 60 percent of businesses that closed nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic are never reopening again,” said Lisa Fickenscher of the New York Post.

Even though the big COVID-19 outbreaks happened in 2020, the coronavirus is still around which leaves uncertainty about the future of brick-and-mortar clothing stores. Stores closing for a period of time is what many people expected from COVID-19; however, 60% of businesses closing and having the definite of never reopening, is the upsetting factor.

Going into brick-and-mortar clothing stores will now turn into a nostalgic feeling when it was second nature before the pandemic.

An interesting take on the fashion industry and COVID-19 comes from Deccan Chronicle.

“Fashion historians point out that people changed their dressing style after the 1918 Flu Pandemic, the Great Depression and World War II,” said an article in the Deccan Chronicle. “The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic is no exception.”

Post-World War II, the bikini was invented and women’s skirts became shorter. This was a major change around this time since women traditionally wore long skirts and jackets.

This pandemic could be a turning point in fashion history. After the growth of social media apps like Tik Tok, fashion has become very romanticized and unrealistic. As people start integrating back into society, fashion may once again change.

I am hoping to see a major fashion change, as well as brick-and-mortar stores opening again. Fashion has been stagnant for the past decade, and we need a change from wearing tube tops and shorts every day.


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