Lillian Hucke ’24  |   Published March 18, 2021

Monmouth Style

Students, Wackerle Center offer advice for dressing up and dressing down during a pandemic.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – Despite periods of isolation caused by the pandemic, many fashion trends have emerged, according to some of Monmouth College’s best-dressed students.

ALLIE RAMLO: ?A baggy graphic tee is a go-to. I will usually pair it with baggy jeans or biker sh... ALLIE RAMLO: “A baggy graphic tee is a go-to. I will usually pair it with baggy jeans or biker shorts and a funky pair of sneakers.” For starters, they say, many 1990s trends have come back into style. Puffer coats, Doc Marten boots, claw hair clips, baggy graphic tees, baggy pants and biker shorts top the list.

Allie Ramlo ’22 of Tremont, Illinois, has fully embraced those ’90s trends.

“A baggy graphic tee is a go-to,” she said. “I will usually pair it with baggy jeans or biker shorts and a funky pair of sneakers.”

Lily Harlan ’23 of Washington, Illinois, agrees that ’90s looks are back in style, noting that scrunchies, Nike Air Force Ones and turtlenecks under graphic tees have also become very popular.

And the guys?

CJ Bonifer ’22 of Columbia, Kentucky, finds that many 18- to 24-year-old males are wearing plaid shirts with a hoodie underneath. Plain-colored T-shirts, slim-fit jeans, gold or silver chains, and shorts with a smaller inseam have become increasingly popular, too.

He said that many people get their ideas from social media platforms such as TikTok or Instagram.

“I get a lot of my inspiration from TikTok or other influencers I follow,” said Bonifer.

COVID-19 fashion

Spending more time at home made a lot of people prefer comfort over dressing up. “Zoom clothing” is one trend that has emerged in this age of seemingly ubiquitous video conferencing. People only dress nice on the top half of their body, the part seen on Zoom.

“I’ll admit to getting ready minutes before a class or meeting by just finding a nice shirt while still wearing my PJ bottoms,” said Harlan.

Ramlo has found herself in the same spot.

LILY HARLAN: ?I'll admit to getting ready minutes before a class or meeting by just finding a nic... LILY HARLAN: “I'll admit to getting ready minutes before a class or meeting by just finding a nice shirt while still wearing my PJ bottoms." “Zoom clothing is very real,” she said. “I had an internship last summer that was remote and I would wear pajama pants and a business casual shirt.”

Sweatpants, sweatshirts and loungewear have been on the rise with home quarantining. With Zoom clothing and not leaving home, some people have been in loungewear almost 24/7.

“It’s funny now because I wear sweatpants so much that I have nice sweatpants and ugly sweatpants,” said Ramlo.

Bonifer and Harlan have never fully embraced wearing sweatpants multiple days a week. Although they wear sweatpants and sweatshirts more than before, they still love experimenting and trying new trends.

“I have gotten a lot more comfortable being more experimental with what I wear,” said Bonifer. “I feel more productive when I dress up for class.”

Harlan never saw sweatpants as an outfit for the day.

“Normally, if I am in sweatpants, it is because of sports or working out or just in my room on a lazy day,” she said. “If anything, I have bought new cute clothes and I’m excited to show them off once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.”

Wackerle Center advice

Although the following clothing ideas are not trendy, per se, staff at the College’s Wackerle Center for Career, Leadership and Fellowships offer their own fashion advice.

“When you look good, you feel good.” C.J. Bonifer

Wackerle Center staff members say it’s always safer to be overdressed than underdressed. The best way to get an idea about what a professional staff wears is to look at their social media accounts, their websites or call the human resources department.

Some general tips to follow are to always have clothing and shoes that are clean and in good condition. Hair should always be well groomed, and fragrance should be kept to a minimum.

That said, individuality can still show through, as Wackerle Center staff say one of the most important aspects in interview fashion is “to be yourself. … You want to feel confident about how you look when you are interviewing.”

Or, as Bonifer said, “When you look good, you feel good.”

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