Style Influenced from a Virtual Runway: The Impact of Social Media on Teen Fashion
By: Amanda Edge'22 and Catherine Onorato'22
What can be learned from trends that have originated from TikTok, is that the more we see a certain type of video or clothing on our timelines, we will grow more intrigued by them, and ultimately find them appealing.
For example, four years ago, the idea of baggy or high-rise jeans would’ve likely been dismissed by most students, but now our hallways are filled with students in mom and boyfriend jeans. A fact that can largely be accredited to TikTok’s influence on our generation.
We also spoke with Ana Bach ‘21 who had a change in style as well. Ana’s style began to change around her freshman year because she had just transferred to SSSAS from a school with a uniform. Transitioning from a school with a uniform gave Ana more freedom with what she could wear. Though this transformation in her style began before the rise of TikTok, Ana largely accredited her current style to Tiktok, stating that “during quarantine, I feel like I changed my style the sense that I went to thrift stores a lot and now I rarely go to regular stores at the mall or any big chains”. Shopping at thrift stores is something that has also grown increasingly popular with people on this social media platform. Ana also talked about how she has gotten lots of fashion inspiration from the app, she shared that she sees “ a lot of random cool people on [her] for you page and they make compilations of Pinterest boards so then [she] goes to Pinterest and finds those pictures and then add them to [her] own board.” Ana specifically cites her sudden interest in the y2k trend, corset tops, and lettuce trimmed tops, all styles that also have gained popularity through TikTok recently.
Moreover, most of the styles that are popular in our community today are styles that are popular on TikTok. And, many of our students recognize that their style has been influenced by the app; however, the app cannot take credit for all clothes trending today, or for aiding all teens with the development of their style.
TikTok’s growing prominence has allowed for its influence to stretch over many different areas of teen life. Teen fashion, for example, is becoming increasingly more shaped by trends from the app, as more and more popular styles are being promoted on this social media platform. Trends such as baggy pants, straight-legged jeans, and baby tees have grown in popularity since influencers from the platform such as Avani Gregg, Amelie Zilber, Charli D’amelio, and Addison Rae have posted videos in such clothing and endorsed companies which sell this aesthetic.
This is something we learned from our conversation with Meghan McCue ’22, who, when discussing her ‘style evolution’, talked about how when she would see “some random outfits on TikTok and [would] look in the comments and find the pants [she] liked, etc.”. Additionally, when asked if she would say that TikTok has influenced changes in her style, McCue responded: “I definitely think yes because I’ll see something [on tiktok] that I think looks cool and then wear an outfit like it.” This is a behavior not only observed by Meghan, but that can be seen by most students at our school because, when something is ‘in’ on social media, we often see more students adhering to whatever that style may be.
In contrast, we spoke to Magnus Ellehuus’ 22, who also provided insight on his style transformation, but did not accredit it to TikTok itself. Magnus stated that his style was not based on influences on the app. He said “I wouldn’t base my style based on what anybody else was wearing. However, I could see something that somebody else was wearing that I liked and look more into that brand. Definitely, through social media, there have been more brands that I’ve come across”. Magnus also cites the influence of ASAP Bari as part of his style evolution. Additionally, Magnus discussed how lots of his style has come from finding brands that he likes such as Supreme and Stone Island. Because Magnus didn't get his style completely from TikTok, we asked him what sorts of trends he was drawn to, to which he responded, “definitely the streetwear style, and just the skater style… also the UK style”. It’s interesting to note that these styles are also popular on TikTok, but Magnus was influenced elsewhere.