Jamie Kim / Gavel Media

Coronavirus Fashion

Quarantine may be the perfect time to try out a new look. For one thing, it’s easy to stay incognito; for another, there is nothing better to do. Hair seems to be at the forefront of fashion statements. Hair salons are closed, so students are acting as their own stylists, barbers, and coiffeurs. 

The first category of quarantine hairstyles is the shaved head. The shaved head is an economical look. It accentuates facial features such as the cheekbones and jawline, and also requires little to no shampoo. Shaving is a simple procedure, and with the proper equipment (i.e. a razor) the shaved head look is easily acquired. 

Take Amos Shapiro-Thompson, MCAS ’23, for example, who decided to shave his head. In a mere five minutes and with a little help from his mom, Shapiro-Thompson went from medium-length locks to a short, stoic, and stylish buzz. “It was time for a symbolic change, [I] wanted to try to assume a bit of monkliness [sic],” Shapiro-Thompson said. 

Outward change can often catalyze inward transformation. This timeless and efficient look, the shaved head, allows attention to be paid to other areas. Shapiro-Thompson now plans to focus on himself, “soccer training, yoga, meditation, [and] school.” 

Not only is it easy to change hair length, it is also easy to change hair color. Hair color alterations are the second category of quarantine fashion statements. There are many colors of dye to choose from, but most choose the same hue. It is the color popularized by Saoirse Ronan in the movie Lady Bird—pink. It could also be described as red or magenta. Either way, pink seems to be the chicest choice of hair dye. 

Two Boston College students, Lexie Slotterback, Lynch ’22, and Nicole Hayes, MCAS ’20, chose to dye their hair the Lady Birdshade. Slotterback always wanted to dye her hair pink, but never went through with it until the start of isolation. “Once quarantine hit… I realized it kind of didn’t matter,” Slotterback said. 

Hayes shared a similar hesitation, but, “figured this was the perfect time to do something that might look terrible!”

In an era of idleness, droll fashion can be weaponized to fight against the drudgery. Pink is the color of vitality, and both Hayes and Slotterback report that the new shade makes them feel more confident. Ultimately, that is what fashion is supposed to do. 

One fashion statement remains, and it is a daring choice—the facial hair metamorphosis. Whether it be a mustache, a goatee, mutton chops, or even the chin strap, a new piece of facial hair is a bold move. 

James Stevenson, MCAS ’20, is currently sporting a quarantine mustache. The popularity of the mustache fluctuates, but its effect remains steady: mustaches make confident statements. Noticing them is, quite simply, unavoidable. Stevenson’s thick and brooding conglomeration of upper lip hair is so provocative, in fact, he fears it may threaten his job security. Corporate America may not be prepared or willing to accept such a boisterous accessory. To be safe, he has vowed to shave it before arriving for his first day of work.  

Stevenson doesn’t mind the looks, and even enjoys, “making [his] friends and family uncomfortable.” For Stevenson, the mustache represents an emergence into adulthood and is a statement of intent. “It’s the most bold,” Stevenson said. “Everyone knows that.”

Hair may be the most important piece of quarantine fashion, but clothing is also vital. Anabel Johnson, MCAS ’20, offers an astute opinion: “Quarantine fashion is being comfortable, but still dressing so you can accomplish all your daily goals.” Clothing during coronavirus is a combination of comfort and utility. 

At the time of the interview, each fashionista was showcasing a different look. 

Shapiro-Thompson was sporting, “[his] dad’s Swedish clogs which are surprisingly comfortable, and a sweater [his] mom just knit [him].”

Slotterback has been wearing comfy clothes, but also accessorizing, “with fun earrings and necklaces to keep some sort of flair.”

Hayes reported that she is currently wearing pajamas, but recognizes that, “it's fun to dress up and be productive.”

“A green checkered flannel and a baseball cap,” Stevenson said when describing his look. “I’m told that I look like a trucker.” 

Johnson dresses for relaxation and function: “Something that I can do yoga in, because that's been my new hobby since quarantine started.” Johnson appreciates how comfortable her yoga outfit is, but warns against wearing comfy clothes all the time.

“I don't think wearing PJs all day is smart because it can cause mental health issues,” Johnson said cautiously. There are real dangers associated with fashion choices. The monotony of quarantine can be compounded by a lugubrious wardrobe. 

“I know that I need to change my clothes in the morning, out of my PJs, in order to get things done,” Johnson added.

Whether it is a new hairstyle––facial or otherwise––or a new outfit, the fashion choices of coronavirus have a significant personal impact. Style can dictate more than just trendiness, it can support or hinder well-being. 

Alex is a features writer for the Gavel.