No Trinity education is truly complete without a glimpse of a girl in full pink tulle on a drab winter afternoon, or a bookworm in the Ussher in head-to-toe corduroy, or someone sporting a tiny top hat with an otherwise mundane outfit. I hate to think that, thanks to coronavirus, we may lose all of this sartorial fun.
As we stare down the barrel of further restrictions, worsening weather and shorter daylight hours, getting dressed up for college – whether online or not – could provide us all with a little bit of joy. Seeing as library capacity is massively reduced, and classes are being conducted largely online, Trinity Trend must turn away from campus and look to the new frontier for inspiration – Zoom video calls. But how can you show off your trendy outfits with only your head and shoulders on show?
The dilemma of the Zoom dress code has already swept through office-workers who found themselves working from home earlier this year. Do you slob about in sweatpants and a grubby t-shirt every day, only to reluctantly don the same smart blouse for every important video call? (This “Zoom shirt” phenomenon was so prevalent during quarantine season that it now has its own Urban Dictionary entry.) Or do you make an effort to wear the appropriate clothes, changing from pyjamas to smart-casual work clothes, in order to mark the passing of time in an otherwise static existence? Many settled on a happy medium, focusing their styling energy on the top half of the body while the digitally invisible lower half languished in low-effort, high-comfort clothes.
Thankfully, there are plenty of trends that lend themselves well to our online lives. Oversized prairie collars seen at Ganni, Mui Mui and slow fashion brands MaisonCléo and La Veste are picking up pace as a certified trendy item, with the sheer size of them adding a whimsical note to even the most boring webinars. The shock of a large, colourful – and potentially frilly – collar bursting onto the screen will hopefully distract from the dead look in your eyes after a few weeks of stilted seminar discussions.
As all you Normal People fans (and loyal @connellschain followers) know, the iconic chain will serve you well on screen. You may not be able to mope around campus with a GAA kit bag in one hand and a copy of Marx’s Capital in the other, but the chain will communicate all that and more with one simple glint of light. Copycat Marianne fringes will also feature heavily on our laptop screens, though perhaps with a douse of DIY dye to really make them pop – it’s good enough for Dua Lipa, folks.
More time at home, away from the prying eyes of fellow lecture-goers, means more time online shopping in a slow lecture – but stick to second-hand or sustainable retailers on Depop or Instagram to pick up your bright Y2K hair clips and childlike plastic jewellery. If you don’t want to try your hand at stringing your own multicoloured bead necklaces or earrings, just pay someone else handsomely to do it for you. These colourful little details will show your classmates that you’re still the trendsetter they’ve come to know. When so many non-essential aspects of life have been closed off in the name of public health, relish the chance to decorate your neck with multiple non-essential necklaces, pop a few hair clips in your hair that serve no purpose other than to help you look cute – and definitely wear some wildly impractical earrings.
You may as well forget about wearing shoes, but rejoice at the opportunity to leave your feet unscathed by the painful process of breaking in new Docs, or freezing your toes off in a pair of pretty yet impractical mules. If you are truly committed to head-to-toe trendiness, you’ll face the interesting challenge of finding a plausible excuse to get your stomper boots and Prada-esque nylon bag on camera mid-webinar. Good luck squeezing head-to-toe trendiness into a thumbnail!