Over on Instagram, outfit photos did not pause with the rest of the world, while young people continued sharing their aesthetic routines on TikTok as they got ready for Zoom calls and online classes. It's no secret that Gen Z's approach to workplace culture and, by extension, workplace attire is different from their predecessors'. Far less strict about what they wear in the office – you won't find stuffy skirt suits or awkward kitten heels here – it's understandable that working or studying from home as a result of the pandemic has allowed Gen Z even more freedom in their fashion choices.
University lockdowns, the prospect of a double-dip recession and, you know, the current state of the world have left students, in particular, feeling a deep sense of uncertainty about the future. Besides opening up more meaningful conversations about ethical consumption, experimenting with fashion on social media has brought joy to an otherwise joyless year. From thrift-flipping to trying out micro trends, TikTok creators urge their viewers to 'romanticise' their day through clothes, even if it's just another mundane Monday. For Gen Z, the message is clear: dress up, develop a routine that makes you feel good, act like you’re the main character and find the small joys in your day.
As a card-carrying member of Gen Z, I can vouch for this attitude. I've always been an over-dresser: as a child, I remember playing outside and running indoors for a random outfit change, as if I were Hannah Montana (without the devoted fanbase). My clothes have always significantly impacted my mood, something I've noticed even more since studying for university online. Dressing up in the safety of my own home gives me more confidence to reach for that piece I’ve always wanted to wear but which somehow crept to the back of my wardrobe. What you decide to wear at home is a window into who you are when no one else is watching.
Whether we're romanticising uneventful walks to our local Starbucks or sharing new ways to style our existing wardrobe with our followers, for Gen Z, fashion is thriving! Click through to see what five of us are wearing to work and study from home, and how the pandemic has changed our attitudes to dressing up.