Getting dressed is, without a doubt, a daily obligation we generally take for granted. A simple task that we’re only required to do when we’re leaving the house. We dream of weekends spent lounging around in comfy surroundings and even comfier clothes, but what happens when our entire working week is also spent working from the safe and comfortable surroundings of home?
While the coronavirus pandemic means it is imperative we stay inside until we are told not to, that doesn’t mean we have to give up the incredibly reassuring nature of getting dressed. Routine is good for maintaining our mental health and the act of simply getting dressed is an essential part of our normal day-to-day lives. In a time of great uncertainty, when people are scared and the world is locked away, there can be great power in retiring our old, worn bedclothes and beginning to frame the day by simply pulling on your favourite pair of jeans.
Although it may seem inconsequential, getting dressed has a hugely important impact on our mental state. We routinely express ourselves through the clothes we wear, and we perform best when we are dressed in clothes that make us feel empowered and in control. Although no one is currently hopping from meeting to meeting with evening drinks, putting fresh clothes on first thing in the morning can enable us to retain a sense of self in ways we may not fully appreciate.
We can choose to wear clothes that create a better emotional state, that great fitting sweater or super flattering A-line dress can all aid in creating a more positive mindset. To get technical, Enclothed Cognition sums up the power an item of clothing can have on our cognitive processes, and how simply getting dressed can transform our mindset even in the most trying of times. The term was coined by psychologists Hajo Adam and Adam Galinsky, who have examined the systematic influence our favourite items of clothing have on our emotional state, and have concluded that our clothing can strengthen our cognitive state and even improve our overall mood as well as our ability to perform a multitude of tasks.
It’s clear our wardrobe has a profound effect on our mood and self-perception, whether we are planning to spend the day answering emails, FaceTiming our entire contact book or just hanging out with the people we live with, getting dressed and utilising our clothes can make the mundane nature of isolation a little bit easier.
Simply getting dressed can enable us to face another day inside with the same strength and determination that we usually muster for an ordinary working day. Experiment with new looks, plan the fast-approaching summer wardrobe or have a little fun putting outfits together. Wearing the same outfit for three days straight is bound to drag down our mood, editing your outfit everyday can begin to establish a new mindset towards being inside for weeks at a time. We can only benefit from having a shower, putting on a fresh outfit every day, even if it is just to call our mum.
Words by Ella Neish.
Pictures by Gemma Chua-Tran and Hanna Postova.