Someday in the future, an architect will build a Coronavirus Museum along a busy city street. Inside those walls, visiting tourists will see all sorts of sites that spoke to this era: hand sanitizer, toilet paper, a shrine to Netflix, and so, so many elastic waistbands.
Let’s face it, it’s the latter that you might identify with the most right now: you’re all sweatpants, all the time.
Still, this isn’t necessarily beneficial to your well-being. Clothes don’t just make the man (or woman); they also make them feel better, too.
Just as there are comfort foods (we’re looking at you, chocolate), there’s comfort clothing. A pullover hoodie you trust like an old friend, a favorite pair of jeans that slide right on, a sweater that matches your skin tone, a form-fitting dress that makes everyone’s head turn – yep, a garment is also a gadget of awesomeness.
But why is this, exactly? Why do clothes have such pull? It’s comes down to the following:
Clothes allow you to feel in control: Clothes give you the freedom of expression and the right to control how you present yourself to the world. Both these elements permit you to form the narrative of who you are: you control what you say about yourself by what you wear. This provides not only a sense of power, but a sense of purpose in the form of long pants or long sleeve polo shirts.
Clothes brighten your day:Bright clothing, shirts that are red or yellow or white, influence your mood because colors influence your mood. Red makes most people feel vibrant or warm while yellow makes them feel happy and humorous. White is no slouch either - it offers feelings of freshness and possibility. It also perpetuates the idea that every day is a new day and hope is right around the corner.
Clothes influence how other people perceive you: Of course, clothes also sway the way people view you. If you’re getting on a Zoom call for work or university lectures, you’re probably wearing a nice top or jacket (you’re at least dressed from the waist up!). But clothes also influence how you feel about yourself. When you look good, you know it. And that makes you feel good, too.
Clothes remind you of your past: There’s a reason you’ve never parted with your favorite oversize sweatshirt from college or the baggy tshirt from that raging rock concert. In fact, your closet is probably full of casual clothes with a cause – beach hoodies and baseball t shirts that remind you of exciting, happy days. And every time you wear them, they feel like home.
Yes, the way you dress has plenty of say in the way you feel. So, make note when you decide what to wear each morning.
Does this mean you should put on an evening gown to go to the drugstore, a celebration of your first public outing in six weeks? No. But choosing clothes that enhance your mood just might help. And, right now, we can all use as much of that as we can get.