Sadie Hammarhead: School is Now a Runway

Sadie Hammarhead, a senior at Germantown Friends School, is notorious for her fashion. On any given day, one can find her strolling through campus donning bright colors and patterns, different textures, and a variety of fun accessories. She prides herself on her outfits, experimenting to find combinations that make her, and others, happy. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Sadie found relief through fashion, forming a routine to help her get through online school. She started exploring what she liked to wear most and what allowed her to express herself in exciting ways. Now, as we begin to move past the pandemic, Sadie believes that fashion will continue to evolve in many ways, from self-expression to Tik Tok, and a shift from “less to more.”    

How do you typically express yourself through fashion?

I don’t really have a particular style, it’s more just what I feel like wearing that day. It depends on my mood and what I feel like I’m going to set myself up to have like the best day in. So if I wake up in a bad mood, I’ll wear something that I know is foolproof to make me happy. 

Are there any colors or patterns that you never wear together?

I am not a huge fan of brown and black together. Or navy blue as a whole. I don’t wear orange, because of my hair. That might be it though.   

How did your sense of style change during the pandemic, especially during online school?

One thing was that I made sure I was getting dressed fully every day. My outfits were not as good as when I wasn’t coming to school, but just to put together a full outfit made me feel a lot better. When no one was seeing me I cared less about how other people viewed me, so I was dressing for myself more and just wearing what I wanted to. Sometimes that meant putting in less effort, and sometimes that meant taking more fashion risks and figuring out what I feel comfortable in, not in terms of validation, but just wearing what I want.

What trends, both in your own style and the typical teenager’s style, have emerged?

I’ve been wearing more form-fitting things. Everything’s in response to not wanting to wear comfortable, cozy clothes, so definitely more things with heels or form-fitting clothes. I’ve noticed this with my friends, too, that people have been wearing more scandalous things to school, like little bras under their shirts, which I think is funny and definitely didn’t happen before the pandemic. And hats. I did not wear hats before.

How has the pandemic affected the typical teenager’s sense of style?

In general, I’ve noticed that in the world it seems like people are dressing up more. You can see that in silhouettes after such a spike in lounge wear during the pandemic, and then all the sudden people were wearing these layered skirts and fancier looking things. I’ve definitely felt that, too; fashion over function after the pandemic, after being in my house all day. I’d rather go to school and feel like I’m walking down a runway. There’s this whole thing about “don’t dress for other people.” I enjoy dressing for other people. I enjoy when people like my outfits, so it’s fun and that’s made it better.

Have these new senses of style been specifically intended to express individuality?

Yes and no. Tik Tok was a cultural reset. A lot of people picked up on whole new aesthetics from people they found on Tik Tok. That probably does diversify what people are wearing and their style, but I don’t think it’s entirely original. Obviously no one’s style is fully original, but with all the time that people were spending on the internet and Tik Tok especially, that did sway it a bit. People definitely had to start dressing for themselves because there was no one else to dress for, so they figured out what they liked. 

As we move past the pandemic, how will fashion continue to evolve?

This might just be a skewed perspective because I prefer maximalism to minimalism, but fashion’s going in that direction, and things are becoming more about the details and the patterns and the pizazz. That also has to do with people getting more interested in vintage clothes or thrifted clothes because those are more unique. It’s going to go from less to more.