21 Readers Share How a Year of Quarantine Has Changed Their Personal Style

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Across the globe, people can pinpoint the exact moment that COVID-19 wholly altered their life. While memories may vary, one thing they share is how every facet of our lives changed overnight—the impact of the pandemic not only shifted the way we live, but entire industries, fashion included. On a larger scale, we saw fashion brands stepping in to help the crisis, while demand for athleisure clothing accounted for $105 billion in sales. But possibly the most interesting aspect is how everyone’s approach to style changed while in quarantine.  

While many of us were quick to swap dresses and jeans for sweatpants and slippers, the nature of shopping for pleasure changed, too, including what purchases real women deemed worthy of the times and what they choose to wear while working from home. Although many were quick to condemn the pandemic as the end of fashion, in our opinion, it was an opportunity for a reboot. While we’ll always love a good trend, the pandemic has allowed women to dress for themselves despite trends, which is what makes fashion fun. And when times are challenging, carving out time for exploring and changing our relationships with beauty can be a form of self-care. 

Ahead, you’ll hear from 21 real women on how quarantine and the COVID-19 pandemic have prompted their style revolution, what they’re looking forward to later this year, and what pieces have brought them joy.

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(Image credit: @emmahonohan)

WHO: Emma Honohan

How would you have described your personal style before COVID-19? How has your style evolved over a year of quarantine? 

EH: Before quarantine, I liked to dress up and have fun. I wore a lot of heels, but that changed during the quarantine. My style has gotten a lot more casual, and sneakers have been my best friend.

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(Image credit: @emmahonohan)

What has been your go-to outfit during quarantine? 

EH: Layering collared shirts and sweatshirts have been my go-to. Sweatshirts are so comfy but sometimes feel a little boring to me; the collar gives the outfit a little something extra.

With vaccines beginning to roll out worldwide, how do you think your style will evolve again?

EH: I am so excited to be able to go places again! I miss getting dressed up more and see that coming back, but I feel like until we are fully back to normal, my style will remain on the more casual side.

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(Image credit: @daniellejinadu)

WHO: Danielle Oreoluwa Jinadu 

How would you have described your personal style before COVID-19? How has your style evolved over a year of quarantine? 

DOJ: My style before the lockdown was very minimalist. Although the core of that hasn’t changed, I’ve been released from my fear of chronically overdressing during the lockdown, and in fact, I am now committed to it full time. Like yes, I’m only going to the corner shop, but I will wear a backless top and leather trousers. Who knows when I will get the chance again, right?

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(Image credit: @daniellejinadu)

What has been your go-to outfit during quarantine? 

DOJ: Even in lockdown, I can’t seem to shake the business-casual look. I’m always in a structured coat, tailored trousers, a white tank, and leather boots. I have become obsessed with the notion of building a wardrobe and plotting to purchase pieces that I can wear for a lifetime.  

With vaccines beginning to roll out worldwide, how do you think your style will evolve again?

DOJ: With the world opening back up, I’m hoping the confidence to chronically overdress sticks around. I’m immensely enjoying being fearless. If that means wearing a G-string maxi skirt and boxy black blazer on walks in the park during spring, so be it.

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(Image credit: @therealina)

WHO: Lina S.

How would you have described your personal style before COVID-19? How has your style evolved over a year of quarantine? 

LS: Definitely street style and outgoing: a lot of heels, a lot of glam. Before quarantine, I realized how much effort I put into my outfits. Now, whatever I find in my closet will do.

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(Image credit: @therealina)

What has been your go-to outfit during quarantine? 

LS: A lot of joggers and sneakers. It’s super easy to put on and comfy while taking a walk outside.

With vaccines beginning to roll out worldwide, how do you think your style will evolve again? 

LS: Once we can live a normal life again, I would combine the looks I am wearing with a little more glam.

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(Image credit: @matildemantini)

WHO: Matilde Mantini

How would you have described your personal style before COVID-19? How has your style evolved over a year of quarantine?

MM: Before quarantine, tracksuits and joggers in my wardrobe were only allowed in the gym; I lived in my denim jeans and oversize sweaters. But as soon as we were locked in our houses, comfort became the keyword. I started to appreciate tracksuit sets more and more, and they have become an essential part of my wardrobe.

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(Image credit: @matildemantini)

What has been your go-to outfit during quarantine?

MM: During quarantine, getting dressed helped me create some sense of normalcy (this doesn’t mean I was wearing a fancy dress while sitting on my couch). I love an effortless look with oversize joggers, a white T-shirt, a big black blazer, white Nike socks, and some gold jewelry.

With vaccines beginning to roll out worldwide, how do you think your style will evolve again? 

-19 has profoundly changed fashion and our personal style. With vaccines beginning to roll out, I will undoubtedly have the opportunity to combine both essential items and more structured and eccentric ones, and with spring coming, I will add more colorful items to my closet.

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(Image credit: @sugaema)

WHO: Emma-Danielle

How would you have described your personal style before COVID-19? How has your style evolved over a year of quarantine? 

ED: Before quarantine, I was busy with the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This meant that I would opt for comfort over impracticality when it came to my wardrobe. I have evolved in the sense that I now explore beyond the set of trainers that can get me from A to B. I have incorporated long boots, mid-length boots, and even heels into my style.

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(Image credit: @sugaema)

What has been your go-to outfit during quarantine? 

ED: I have an obsession with polo shirts. A polo shirt can go with nearly anything—it can spice up any outfit when done right. It adds a classy element to an outfit and makes you stand out. 

With vaccines beginning to roll out worldwide, how do you think your style will evolve again?

ED: With vaccines being given out, it means I can bring some of the things I explored during lockdown to the streets, to events, and future gatherings. I have genuinely embraced myself and the fact I do not have a set style. I enjoy combining elements of many styles and fine-tuning them to my taste.

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(Image credit: @thatsaleaf)

WHO: Elif Üçbaşaran 

How would you have described your personal style before COVID-19? How has your style evolved over a year of quarantine? 

EU: I can’t box-in my style, as I always dress depending on my mood and whatever makes me feel good. But since quarantine, 99% of my wardrobe became impractical, and there was no playground for elaborate outfits no more, so I had been opting for comfort over anything.

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(Image credit: @thatsaleaf)

What has been your go-to outfit during quarantine?

EU: Sweatshirts and pants and sneakers all the way! They have been my go-to outfit because they are just so comfortable. I have never wanted to be this comfortable in my life while doing essential outings, but tracksuits and trainers gave me that every single time.

With vaccines beginning to roll out worldwide, how do you think your style will evolve again?

EU: Style overcompensation is definitely on the cards for me; I’ll be making up for all the cute clothes I couldn’t wear! I can’t wait to go back to wearing exciting and fun outfits to real places. And I definitely won’t be wearing sweatpants anywhere for a long time.

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(Image credit: @georgia_3.0)

How would you have described your personal style before COVID-19? How has your style evolved over a year of quarantine? 

Georgia: Moody. My style was influenced by whatever mood I was in. This philosophy still stands, but I wear a lot more color now; I’m less of a "black is a color” (it is) type of person. I still wear black, just not 90% of the week.

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(Image credit: @georgia_3.0)

What has been your go-to outfit during quarantine? 

Georgia: Loungewear. Hasn’t everyone? You can typically find me in my MNK sportswear.  

With vaccines beginning to roll out worldwide, how do you think your style will evolve again? 

Georgia: I don’t think it’ll evolve a lot past what it is now. The only evolution I see taking place is that there will be places to go other than my room and more people will get to see my style.

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(Image credit: @hodanyousuf

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WHO: Hodan Yousuf 

How would you have described your personal style before COVID-19? How has your style evolved over a year of quarantine? 

HY: Before quarantine, my style was a bit all over the place. I’ve been experimenting for years now with androgynous/gender-fluid fashion and can now say that I have found what works for me. I have created a unique silhouette and style associated with my name Hodan Yousuf. I’m very proud of that.

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(Image credit: @hodanyousuf)

What has been your go-to outfit during quarantine? 

HY: My oversize, padded-shoulder blazers paired with some high-waisted pants are the most effortless outfit combination I reach for if I want to look well put together without trying. 

With vaccines beginning to roll out worldwide, how do you think your style will evolve again? 

HY: I’m hoping to travel and continue to gain inspiration from street style/high fashion worldwide and possibly attend a couple of fashion weeks in the fall or S/S 22. The majority of my inspiration comes from runway looks and observing unique individuals going about their day.

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(Image credit: @kirstyeelizabeth)

WHO: Kirsty Elizabeth 

How would you have described your personal style before COVID-19? How has your style evolved over a year of quarantine? 

KE: Before quarantine, my style was quite masculine; I love a relaxed cool vibe with a hint of tailoring! An oversize fit was my go-to. Since we’ve been in and out of quarantine, it’s evolved to put comfort first! My current everyday outfits are very casual and simple.

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(Image credit: @kirstyeelizabeth)

What has been your go-to outfit during quarantine? 

KE: Joggers and a sweatshirt or cute little cardigan—it’s all been about comfort. 

With vaccines beginning to roll out worldwide, how do you think your style will evolve again? 

KE: I’m so excited to begin wearing "real outfits” again. I’ll be getting the blazers back out, cute little tops and skirts which I bought during lockdown one and never really got to wear. I also love everything ’90s at the moment, so that will be a significant aspect of my style post-pandemic. 

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(Image credit: @jeannine.roxas)

WHO: Jeannine Roxas

How would you have described your personal style before COVID-19? How has your style evolved over a year of quarantine? 

JR: Leading up to quarantine, I was in a Parisian mindset as I had just returned from visiting Paris. Then my style evolved during quarantine to include a lot of open-spaced outdoor environments. I very much got caught up in the cottagecore movement!  

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(Image credit: @jeannine.roxas)

What has been your go-to outfit during quarantine?

JR: My go-to outfit during quarantine would be a sweatsuit! I love to switch it up by wearing a sweatshirt with trousers as well.

With vaccines beginning to roll out worldwide, how do you think your style will evolve again? 

JR: Fashion will always reflect the world around you, and I believe that will also hold true as the world opens back up with vaccines available. I genuinely believe colors will play a massive part as many people are looking to add energy and positivity back after such a tough time.

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(Image credit: @roti.brown)

WHO: Roti Brown

How would you have described your personal style before COVID-19? How has your style evolved over a year of quarantine? 

RB: Before the pandemic, I would describe my style as "streetwear chic.” Nowadays, I’m not sure that it fits into one category. Even though I don’t have too many places to go, I’ve found myself taking more risks. With limited options for activities, clothes have become an excellent way for me to express myself.

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(Image credit: @roti.brown)

What has been your go-to outfit during quarantine? 

RB: I’ve fallen in love with looks that are all-in-one. Jumpers and midi dresses are the perfect day-to-day looks for me.

With vaccines beginning to roll out worldwide, how do you think your style will evolve again?

RB: I think as people are allowed to go back outside, they’ll be taking some of their "inside styles” with them. I’m excited to see pieces that were once considered "too casual” creep their way into office buildings and more formal settings. I’m ready for fashion without rules to take its place.

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(Image credit: @andi_mun)

WHO: Andrea Mun

How would you have described your personal style before COVID-19? How has your style evolved over a year of quarantine? 

AM: My style before the quarantine was a bit simple, but quarantine gave me time to think about it. I was 25 years old before quarantine, so I wanted to look more my age as an adult, you know? Now, I’ve just rethought my entire approach to style and embraced things I’m comfortable in.

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(Image credit: @andi_mun)

What has been your go-to outfit during quarantine? 

AM:  Literally everything I found on my chair. You know that chair where you put every clothes? So basically a T-shirt and leggings—that’s it. 

With vaccines beginning to roll out worldwide, how do you think your style will evolve again? 

AM: Yes, I think my style is going to evolve again because now I’m going to turn 27 at the end of this pandemic, so I had enough time to think about my approach to fashion, and with the restaurants and clubs finally open, I will embrace new things. 

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(Image credit: @ambikadhr)

WHO: Ambika Dhir

How would you have described your personal style before COVID-19? How has your style evolved over a year of quarantine? 

AD: Pre-quarantine, I’d say that I didn’t have much of an idea of my style because I was caught up in trends. Quarantine has taught me a lot about paring back and thinking about what trends fit my style and what doesn’t. I’ve realized I’m very much a minimalist, but I want to explore color more, and I now have a better idea of what materials and shapes fit and complement my body and aesthetic.

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(Image credit: @ambikadhr)

What has been your go-to outfit during quarantine? 

AD: The midi dress! It’s been my savior over quarantine, especially on the days that I’ve been feeling uninspired. They’re so chic and work well for a WFH look, and I’m confident that I’ll be able to style for day and night looks post-quarantine too.  

With vaccines beginning to roll out worldwide, how do you think your style will evolve again? 

AD: I’ve always been known as the "extra” friend, but post-quarantine, I’m going to be embodying this even more! Having been stuck indoors, I think I’m going to want to dress up a lot more for the small occasions, and I want to push myself to play around with different colors and patterns more. Wearing sequins for a casual brunch with a friend? You can count me in.

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(Image credit: @daleedasoomar)

WHO: Daleeda Soomar

How would you have described your personal style before COVID-19? How has your style evolved over a year of quarantine? 

DS: Before quarantine, I would describe my style as minimal business casual peppered with statement jewelry pieces. Although you’d catch me throwing in an occasional pop of color, but never without heels. However, during quarantine, needless to say, I did incline more towards athleisure, a bit of which still seems to linger on!

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(Image credit: @daleedasoomar)

What has been your go-to outfit during quarantine? 

DS: The versatility of a primary tank knows no bounds; it takes me from Zoom meetings to evening strolls with my dog, Charlie. 

With vaccines beginning to roll out worldwide, how do you think your style will evolve again? 

DS: I’ll be slowly kissing my sweats goodbye. I’ll be wearing more of the sparkliest dresses I can lay my hands on. Cheating on my strictly heels policy for a little over a year, I guess it's safe to say there's no more "sneaking” around anymore!

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(Image credit: @arwabadran)

WHO: Arwa Badran

How would you have described your personal style before COVID-19? How has your style evolved over a year of quarantine? 

AB: Before quarantine, my style was kind of all over the place with a lot of colors. Quarantine allowed me to be more creative and experiment with different styles. It became more apparent that I’m really into comfy black clothes and classy and streetwear. I like to mix and match different pieces. And I’ve been obsessed with anything leather!

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(Image credit: @arwabadran)

What has been your go-to outfit during quarantine? 

AB: My go-to outfit during quarantine has been a pair of wide-leg jeans with a top and an oversize blazer or a hoodie; it’s something I can mix and match very quickly without overthinking. And, of course, my signature piece: sunglasses. I don’t care if the sun is shining or not—sunglasses are part of my outfit.  

With vaccines beginning to roll out worldwide, how do you think your style will evolve again?

AB: For now, I don’t think my style will be much different than before the vaccines, but who knows? Maybe I’ll get even more creative with my style when we’ll be able to attend events again and travel more often.

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(Image credit: @francescacarolina)

WHO: Francesca Carolina

How would you have described your personal style before COVID-19? How has your style evolved over a year of quarantine? 

FC: Before quarantine, I stuck to jeans with a nice top, paired with a heel. Since quarantine, it’s all about comfort over everything—sneakers over heels, leggings over jeans, and oversize shirts over blazers. 

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(Image credit: @francescacarolina)

What has been your go-to outfit during quarantine? 

FC: My go-to is now bike shorts with an oversize "dad” shirt. It is easy to pair with chunky sandals or sneakers for a daytime look but can be dressed up easily with a heeled mule. 

With vaccines beginning to roll out worldwide, how do you think your style will evolve again? 

FC: I think we’re all keen to get dressed up after living in sweats for an entire year. While we may start dressing smarter again, silhouettes will become more relaxed, (e.g., regular-fit jeans, oversize blazers, and tees).

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(Image credit: @izzipoopi)

WHO: Izzi Allain

How would you have described your personal style before COVID-19? How has your style evolved over a year of quarantine? 

IA:  My style before the quarantine was very dull, to be honest. I have always been in love with clothes, but I was just too scared to go big and colorful with them. As I discovered so many new fashion and creative accounts on Instagram during quarantine, it pushed me to be more eccentric, daring, and innovative with my looks.

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(Image credit: @izzipoopi)

What has been your go-to outfit during quarantine?

IA: Anything that involves bold colors—from tracksuits to flowy pants or glittery pants. It has to be something I can be comfortable sitting in all day at home working, but that can also express my creativity and love for fashion. 

With vaccines beginning to roll out worldwide, how do you think your style will evolve again? 

IA: I hope that my style will change from traveling and from being inspired by different people worldwide! I also wish to discover new brands that are ethical and unique.

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(Image credit: @racheleveritt_)

WHO: Rachel Everitt

How would you have described your personal style before COVID-19? How has your style evolved over a year of quarantine? 

RE: For some reason, spending more time on my own gave me more confidence in wearing exactly what I wanted to. My style has become a lot more fun and carefree, and dressing every day like it could be your last. Who knows when we will be able to attend parties or weddings, so why not just wear all your party dresses for your weekly supermarket trip?

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(Image credit: @racheleveritt_)

What has been your go-to outfit during quarantine?

RE: As much as I hated wearing uniforms in school, I seem to have developed a genuine love for dressing like I’m back in school during the quarantine. Many of my outfits have been some variation of a shirt, skirt, sweater -est, and loafers. 

With vaccines beginning to roll out worldwide, how do you think your style will evolve again? 

RE:  During quarantine, I discovered (and got really into) rental fashion. I am excited to continue this further once we are released into the outside world and shift towards using rental more than buying new. I think renting is also a great way to explore your style and push yourself to style things in multiple different ways. Ultimately, I will carry on wearing whatever makes me happy, but hopefully, I can do it in another country, and not just my local park.