Alt kids have taken over

Social media accessorizing pandemic to fabricate new wave of fashion trends

Lilly Gorman, Visual Media Editor

Think Coppell High School but add a bit of color customizer, beanies and Yerba Mate. This is what this past year has brought to the table for our suburban adolescent community. 

 It is no secret that CHS students have been switching up their looks since the pandemic began, and alternative styles have found new popularity. Alt and vintage fashion has been around for decades, and society recycles fashion trends frequently as years go by. 

“Fashion will always be current and will always be timeless,” CHS AP English teacher Benjamin Stroud said. “It’s funny when people say this is new fashion because, no, that’s a 1960s mod.” 

Stroud went through multiple fashion phases in high school, one being grunge. He used fashion as a tool to explore himself as he went through adolescence living in the small, southern town of Paradise, Texas. 

Fashion means a lot of things to a lot of different people. For 2019 CHS graduate Peyton Wallace, fashion is “combining functionality with personal aesthetic.” Wallace has always been into emo fashion and culture. For CHS sophomore Sebastian Perini, “it is just a style, everyone has a different style.” Perini altered his look from Nike shorts to plaid pants. CHS senior London Hurt has “always loved dressing in a way that makes [her] feel happy.” Hurt has always had a unique style, including head scarves and midi skirts. 

What is the reason for the sudden love of alternative fashion, which would typically be considered unorthodox but is now considered almost mainstream? Coppell parent Maggie Lucas believes is the pandemic. 

“I consider fashion as a hobby,” Lucas said. “My guess is that the trend is trying something new. It is just like people who are trying new things just to keep the monotony from getting to them.” 

Staying at home has allowed for growth and self reflection in a lot of people. 

“People have been able to learn more about themselves and learn more about what they actually like,” Hurt said. 

The pandemic may have also removed the social pressure of conforming to the norm.

With the pandemic, people started to realize it does not matter what other people think and started to explore other options,” Perini said.

Alternative fashion and culture have roots in young people frequently forming subcultures with the intention of deviating from the societal norm of the time. Within the umbrella term “alternative” there is goth, punk and even skate culture—both street style and high end borrows from these aesthetics. As waves of pop culture fall into these now mainstream fashion trends, the consumers tend to not know their origins.

“I would never call myself punk or goth because that goes back [as] a deep-rooted cultural thing,” Wallace said. “Wear whatever you want but you have to acknowledge what you are wearing to understand the background behind it.” 

Social media and online communities have a lot of influence on students’ fashion choices as well. TikTok has brought new online communities to social media, almost making TikTok the new Tumblr. With thrift hauls and color customization to make us look nice and saturated, TikTok has become the center for all teenagers, indie kids especially. We can see the new popularity change what is acceptable to wear.

“High schoolers and teenagers are going to hate on anything that is not in their realm,” Wallace said. “They will see an outsider and be like, ‘no,’ but that outsider might have found popularity [through] a community online, and then they are all like ‘Oh, OK, that is cool.’” 

Stroud echoes her sentiment.

“Social media is a double edged sword,” Stroud said. “It is an outlet to find people like you but it is dangerous because it can be a slam book.” 

Alternative culture and fashion have always had some appeal to it, no matter the era. It is different, experimental. While it is not a new trend per say, CHS students have embraced the concept. 

Let us make a TikTok about it. #fyp 

Follow Lilly (@lilgormet) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.