FROM THE EDITORS
Loyal readers of The Guide are familiar with the standard layout of our semesterly fashion issue, which is usually a large photography and design project with students modeling borrowed garments from local consignment and high-end shops.
Like the million other things that have had to be modified this year, this semester’s fashion issue is something less conventional, but we believe it is still a relevant and wholesome window into our changed routines and consumption of fashion.
Both staff writers and friends of The Guide contributed to this issue with submissions of photos and stories that speak to their personal experiences of the past months. We hope this issue, in its admittedly broad interpretation of fashion, will serve as a small time capsule of this exceptional moment for the Georgetown University community.
Michelle Brown & Zain Sandhu
As soon as quarantine started, I felt it — this itch for something. I couldn’t go anywhere. I couldn’t see anyone. I couldn’t do anything but sit with my own thoughts, my own imagination. Such idleness and isolation inspired a new aesthetic, cottagecore, built on the romanticization of domesticity. Cottagecore was perfect for people who had nothing to do in the pandemic but bake all day, frolic in their backyards or scour the internet for thrifted or handmade goods. When I stumbled upon the small fairyland that is Moonstone Mariposa, an online handmade jewelry store, I was struck by the care and magic the creator puts into every piece of jewelry, how special each creation seems. As soon as I received my beaded hoops, which look as though an elf strung drops of honey together and infused them with pure sunlight, I knew they would be my favorite earrings. In the dark, stormy time in which we live, these handmade earrings are my own little spot of sunlight, a reminder that the world is still a beautiful and wonderful place.
— Mason Stempel (COL ’24)
My definition of what fashion is has undoubtedly shifted because of the pandemic. I recently bought masks with various colors and designs and started to match my clothes with them. These expressive masks are significant for me because they let me feel fashionable while still helping me protect myself and my loved ones from the virus. For me, choosing a mask to wear each day is entertaining. I’m aware life after the COVID-19 pandemic will not be the same as before. But still, the circumstances have broadened my perspective on fashion and given me new ways to feel stylish.
— Gizem Bilen (COL ’24)
I bought this hoodie in October from a small online store called Hangover Hoodies run by two college students after spending the entirety of quarantine scouring Instagram for small businesses to support that actually matched my personal style. I was never an oversized-hoodie girl, but quarantine changed that. What makes this hoodie so special to me is how it arrived: with a postcard note from the owners of the company, two girls exactly my age. They also included a cute printed recipe for pesto grilled cheese and a holographic sticker. Connecting with brands on this personal level makes socially distanced living feel a little less lonely. Since buying this hoodie, I’ve noticed myself wearing it whenever I’m feeling down; the bright colors make me smile and the nature of the brand itself makes me feel like I am friends with people I have never even met.
— Emma Ginsberg (COL ’23)
Perhaps it more closely resembles the creation of a crafty toddler than a college student, but I made this bracelet a few months ago when a friend found an old bead kit from when she was little. Though it has faded now from frequent wear and fidgeting hands, it initially spelled “HOYA SAXA” more visibly. I made it the month before we were supposed to move to campus. Though there have certainly been a few wrenches thrown in all our plans at Georgetown for this year so far, I’ve worn this bracelet often as a reminder to hold onto school spirit until I can be at Georgetown in person. It’s an unconventional fashion choice that could only be fit for such an unconventional year.
— Rachel Pastore (COL ’24)
Over quarantine, my friends and I started making friendship bracelets to pass the time. From the aerosol-free safety of our own homes, we would meet over Zoom to watch a movie for the night, while swiftly tying embroidery yarn into knots to craft our own distinct patterns. At the end of each movie, we would reconvene to discuss what we had just watched and show off the bracelet that resulted from our multitasking. By the end of the “senior summer” COVID-19 took from us, I had to part with my friends as they left for their first year at college and I prepared for my first semester online. At our goodbye, we each exchanged a friendship bracelet we had made from our Zoom movie sessions. We are now scattered across the country, only connected by the occasional FaceTime call in between Zoom classes and increased fatigue. When we’re especially busy and can’t make the time to call, however, I look at my bracelets, and I’m reminded of our unorthodox methods of staying in touch over quarantine. I’m not discouraged; we’ve done this before, and we can do it again.
— Meredith Lou (COL ’24)
My favorite mask was made for me by my great-aunt Lynne. Her granddaughter is an ER nurse, and the mask shortages early on inspired her to make masks of her own to free up resources for our essential workers. She ended up really enjoying sewing them and decided to make some for the whole family! She sent me three different masks with unique prints. They’re reversible, too! The one pictured flips to a solid turquoise. I love wearing these masks because not only am I serving my community by helping prevent the spread of COVID-19, but because I’m also able to carry a little piece of my family with me in a time we can’t be together in person.
— Cameron Newman (COL ’24)
My COVID-19 fashion is business on the top and comfort on the bottom. Right now, every day is a sweatpants day. Here I’m wearing the most recent pair of sweatpants I got from Aviator Nation. What I like about them is that they are super soft on the inside, have a cool vintage design and are not too thick. I had an interview the day I took that photo, and I was super comfy the entire time.
— Kira Pomeranz (COL ’22)
When quarantine started, it represented a complete pause for me in most respects. In terms of fashion, this pause meant I completely stopped acquiring new clothes since the spring, so my wardrobe has essentially remained unchanged since March. With that being said, there is one purchase I’ve made during these past couple of months. In May, I happened upon an international jewelry store that, through its style, maintains an intimate connection with the beauty and culture of the Arab and South Asian regions of the world. The necklace I bought had a Pakistani coin attached to it, and seeing as my family is originally from Pakistan, the piece of jewelry felt like the perfect way to marry a desire to connect with my roots with my interest in fashion.
— Zain Sandhu (COL ’21)
With the Black Lives Matter movement gaining traction this spring, I wanted to find a way to contribute to organizations around me working to further racial justice. Since COVID-19 was limiting my options for in-person meaningful activism, I decided to start a little Instagram store of embroidered clothing, @clothesbyjesshigh, with all the proceeds going to the Daniel Trust Foundation. This nonprofit provides academic support and higher education funding for low-income students — many of whom are BIPOC — in Connecticut, New York City and Rwanda. Over the course of the spring and summer, I was able to raise $2,000 for this wonderful organization and make all sorts of cool clothing for my friends (sweatshirts, T-shirts and masks). I will be taking more orders over our extremely long winter break and am hoping to donate all future proceeds to the Akshaya Patra Foundation, a nonprofit providing COVID-19 relief in Bangalore, India, where my family is from.
— Jess Highland (NHS ’22)
Though online shopping has never been so successful as it is now, I’d never really gotten into it — and especially not for clothing. I generally insist on trying everything on before committing to a purchase — a nonexistent option in the past months — but one online buy I made in September that was definitely worth it is this scarf patterned with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s face. Along with the rest of the country, I felt so affected by her death, first because of who she was as a feminist icon and American hero, and further because I feared what it would mean for the future of the Supreme Court and the rights of vulnerable populations. As a reminder to myself of Ginsburg’s inspiring legacy as well as her statement neckwear, I ordered this scarf as soon as I saw it, with the hope that it’ll give me the optimism I need. A “dissent collar” for everyday wear, you might say.
— Michelle Brown (COL ’22)
The week before quarantine began, I bought my third pair of yellow shoes. I’d loved the color since high school, and the soles of my second pair had just fallen apart in February, so I waited until spring break to go to the mall and buy another identical pair of yellow converse — and then my new shoes never touched campus. Instead of breaking them in trudging from Village C West to Trader Joe’s, or dancing at U Street Music Hall’s ABBA Night, or wandering around the National Gallery, I now take a daily walk around the loop of my neighborhood I’ve known for years. Even as I’m missing D.C., my bright, sunny sneakers get me outside on the days when the sky is gray and I can barely pull myself away from my laptop. They’re a neon spot in a stream of monotonous, numbing months, reminding me in the midst of chaos and anxiety, “Hey! You’re a real person! One foot in front of the other!”
— Elena Ergener (COL ’23)
I chose these items because they played a special role in my life in this era. The first is a handmade face mask, made by my number-one, day-one mom. I know I can always count on this face mask because when my brothers lose our other black face masks, I know this baby will still be there for me, as my brothers refuse to wear it. For my second item, these men’s sweatpants are wonderful for my tall-girl legs. I first came about the idea of buying sweatpants through the amazing priming of TikTok, which I downloaded due to quarantine boredom. I used to be a big jeans or leggings girl before, but I must admit sweatpants are much more comfy and overall perfect for quarantine.
— Fatima Marquez (COL ’22)
Blue-light glasses have never been more popular. Since the start of quarantine, many people have been forced to work online and attend classes through Zoom, which means there is an increased chance for headaches and general Zoom fatigue due to the blue light emitted by computer screens. In order to combat this recurring issue, I, like many others, have added blue-light-filtering glasses to my quarantine wardrobe. These glasses are quite fashionable these days, and I absolutely love my Harry-Potter-style frames. Popular frames for blue-light glasses range from tortoise frames to clear frames. Not only can blue-light glasses add to your look, but they also can also protect your eyes as you endlessly scroll on your phone or work on your computer.
— Lindsey Powell (COL ’22)
During the early stages of quarantine, my best friend got into the tie-dye trend, ordering hundreds of tie-dye kits off Amazon. She soon began a business creating tie-dye tank tops, sweaters and sweatpants in every color imaginable. As a loyal friend, I ordered the pink sweater. Whenever I received a compliment wearing it, I would tell people to follow her Instagram business account. Of course, my friend was not the only person tie-dying while stuck at home. At one point, I went into Starbucks to find five other teenage girls wearing similar tie-dye sweaters. Whenever I wear the sweater today, I am reminded of April 2020 and the many abnormal activities we found ourselves pursuing. Unfortunately, once school was back in session, my friend ended her business. But she still has fifty white sweatpants in her closet!
— Haley Resnick (COL ’23)
During the first few months of the coronavirus lockdown, I fell into a dark, depressive state. There were many days I spent entirely in bed, scrolling aimlessly through my social media accounts. Similar to how I assume the rest of the world was feeling, I had nothing to motivate me, and I had horrible ways of coping with the pandemic. Then, about a month into lockdown, I started sewing to give me something to do. Sewing allowed me to challenge myself, grow my creativity and give me much-needed mental stimulation. Over the course of the summer, I created a sweater, two bathing suits, a pair of shorts, two shirts and a ton of scrunchies. Sewing remotivated me; it reminded me I can turn the worst of any situation into something positive.
— Lexie Meger (NHS ’23)
After we were sent home from Georgetown, I was feeling very uninspired. I spent almost all of my time in my room alone or at work and considered myself — as I’m sure many others would, too — in a slump. On a whim, I ordered a palette of face paints and eye shadow and started messing around with them on weekends. I am so obviously not a pro at makeup, but taking time out of the day to express my creativity and explore new looks and colors has been pleasantly invigorating and encourages me to pay attention to myself instead of letting the days pass by with no intention on my part. It is a casual way to feel productive and spirited in spite of an overwhelmingly repetitive and draining routine.
— Margaret Neely (COL ’22)