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COVID-19 drastically changes student fashion both on campus and online

As COVID-19 dramatically affected nearly all aspects of life, people’s style and the way they present themselves are no exception.

A key component of a student's appearance that has drastically changed is makeup—or the lack of it. With much of their faces covered, many students who normally wear makeup have now opted to only apply it to the top half of their faces. 

Students in masks work near the University Seal. (Grace McBride/Staff Photographer)

“Initially, I continued to wear makeup despite having to wear a mask,” Chäntel Hammond, a junior diplomacy major, said. “However, once I realized the masks were going to be a thing for a long time, I quickly gave up the routine. I only do two steps compared to what is normally a 10-step process for my makeup routine.”

When attending a class remotely, many students said they chose to skip their makeup routines altogether.

“I don’t wear makeup for online classes because I am not actually going into public,” Holly Panackal, a freshman marketing major, said.

Echoing the sentiments expressed by Hammond and Panackal, Kíara McGaughey, a freshman diplomacy major, said she completely stopped wearing makeup for online classes. 

Masks also make students harder to identify, which has made some feel less self-conscious about how they look overall. Panackal said she cares less because no one can see her face or what she looks like.

For others, the new facial obstructions created new motivations for curating one’s appearance.

“My style didn’t really change going out in public during the pandemic. If anything, it elevated it,” Madaline Krawchuk, a freshman theatre major, said. “I would try to choose some of my favorite outfits to wear when I would go to the grocery store or run errands. Dressing up always puts me in a better mood.”

Krawchuck added that she puts more effort into her eyeshadow. She said she feels that eyes have gained a new aesthetic relevance due to the addition of masks to everyone’s wardrobe.

Masks are another, if not the most, notable change in fashion. The style and design of face masks differ from person to person, with some opting to wear disposable face masks while others wear ones that are more lavish.

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Decorative masks hang on a dormitory wall. (Grace McBride/Staff Photographer)

Hajar Fouad, a sophomore business undecided major, said his favorite masks are the washable ones from Banana Republic. He said he thinks they are good quality and feels safer wearing them than surgical masks.

Some students said they embrace their masks as canvases to broadcast messages and signify who they are.

Andrew Yanik, a sophomore political science major, said he wears a mask that reads, “If you can read this, you’re too close,” which he bought on Amazon.

Others have treated their masks without fanfare, prioritizing comfort regardless of how they look or where they are sold.

“I have one mask I got at a rest stop in South Jersey, and it’s so comfy and breathable,” Jake Ciccarelli, a sophomore public relations major, said.

Liam Brucker-Casey can be reached at


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