Second-year BA (Hons) Fashion Communication Student, Rebecca Evans-White takes a look at the importance of getting dressed – not just for society, but for our own state of mind.
It is nothing new to state that what we wear can have a significant psychological effect on how we feel and act.
According to various studies, something as simple as wearing the colour red can have a seriously negative impact when trying to complete a task. Through this science, we have acquired different ideals such as power dressing – Wearing something bold, that makes you feel confident can have such an instrumental difference.
Getting dressed is built up of three motivations:
Firstly, the desire to display and decorate the body. Secondly, the desire to maintain modesty, and lastly the instinctual need to protect the body.
We use clothing ourselves as a way to interact with others and to help us move through life and achieve daily goals.
Getting dressed is a learned reaction that we have been upholding, seemingly forever. There is no doubt about the fact that we are judged by the way we dress. It is the first impression that we give to other people. Just because we aren’t seeing very many people at present, does that mean she should cease all effort?
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Getting dressed in the times of Corona
Despite lockdown measures easing in the UK, some parts of the world are still under strict guard and others are heading back into lockdown, this presents a strange sense of consciousness when going about your day to day activities. However, the fact remains, studies and business are continuing from home which means it is increasingly easier to stay in your pyjamas all day. By being stuck inside all day it may seem pointless to get dressed. I mean, who is going to see you? You’re only going to get back in bed at some point anyway. Right?
Yes, Yes and yes, but the simple act of getting dressed is such a pinnacle in our morning routines it’s getting ready for the day. It is us saying “Now I am ready to do what I need to do today.” Without this milestone, how can our day really begin?
Options, options, options
By no means am I suggesting that anybody pops on their ball gown for a Zoom meeting (unless that is what you want to do). But even putting on a pair of joggers and a top is better than logging on wearing your Christmas checked PJs – whether that be full, ‘Steve Jobs’ giving yourself an easy everyday uniform, or just working on your loungewear collection. Plus, if you are dressed, then there is no awkward interaction with the postman or other delivery operative. As nobody is going to see you at least not the full body, why not use this time to experiment with your style and see what works for you by trying new ideas?
It is also important to note the potential negative implications that not getting ready for the day may have on one’s mental health. As humans, we are creatures of habit, that lack of structure and routine may damage how we feel about ourselves.
Also, putting clothes on at the start of the day is a resemblance of normality that many may need in their lives right now. Even if it is just a fresh pair of pyjamas.
I saw a quote on Instagram about people being crazy to wear jeans when you are not leaving the house. But I ask, is it crazy to put yourself in an outfit that makes you feel motivated and productive?
While there is absolutely no shame in having the odd pyjama day during this crisis, the important thing is not to make a habit of it. Also, if you are in your pyjamas all day, the temptation to crawl back into bed is all the more inviting. Let your pyjama days be a luxury, not an every day.
Fashion Post Lockdown
As the world starts to emerge from this crisis and life starts to look a little more “normal” what will it mean for how we dress? I know I have already mentioned jeans but there is a part of me that is dreading putting on tight restrictive skinny jeans again. So as far as what we are wearing, will trends move toward a far more relaxed and comfort based look or will the opposite happen and the lack of extravagance in our dressing may lead people craving to dress up? Will we enter a far more “dressed-up” culture, where people, once again will dress up for dinners and theater outings, or will it be a street style jogger culture.
The important thing to consider in all of this is YOU. How will it make you feel? Wear what is going to make you feel comfortable and confident, and make the most of every day, even if it is from the sofa.
By Rebecca Evans-White, BA (Hons) Fashion Communication student
Images via Vogue.co.uk & Vogue Archives