It’s true what they say that dressing the part makes you perform better. When I was in high school, I was in orchestra and when the day of a concert came around, I would feel more nervous to play if I hated my shoes. All of the girls wore the same black, floor-length, witch-like dress uniforms so my appearance really came down to a few things. How did my hair look? Were my earrings cute enough? If I had just enough things going right in my appearance, I felt confident in my performance. That happened because mood and clothing go hand-in-hand. Clothing is fundamental to how we are received and often determines how we view ourselves.
This fact means the same ideology applies to dressing during quarantine. Do it! It has been a very long half a year of staying indoors if you aren’t an essential worker and, for many of us, motivation to do anything at all has gone out the window. We have lost our sense of self and routine and we need to get it back. Dressing up may give you that extra push to accomplish many of your daily tasks you’ve been neglecting.
When I went through this battle of "does it matter or not," I first had to let go of what getting dressed used to mean. Suddenly every day was a lazy Saturday for sweatpants and big t-shirts. It felt demeaning to put jeans on because it emphasized the fact that life as I had known it had stopped. No longer was I bracing the cold to make it to my favorite professor’s class. No longer was I going out at 11 p.m. on a Friday night to get Wendy’s down the street from my dorm. What I had to learn was that clothes don’t have to be connected to outdoor productivity!
You should get dressed because it marks the start of a brand new day. In quarantine, days blend together because there is nothing to set them apart. You go from your bedroom to your kitchen, the kitchen to your bedroom, but this may help interrupt some of that monotony. Making this a part of your morning routine will positively change your outlook for the rest of the day. Take time to go through your closet after you wash your face or brush your teeth to figure out what you want to put on. You don’t even have to commit to it for long. You can break your day into parts: leggings and a sports bra for morning yoga then change into jeans and a blouse for classwork then into jeans and a t-shirt for late afternoon Animal Crossing then into pajamas for bed. If you only dress up for a couple of hours it can still give you a sense of completing a full day. Congratulate yourself for doing it in the first place. That’s all you need right now.
The best part of wearing clothes during quarantine, though, is that you can wear things you’ve never worn before or have been too scared to wear in public. "Why is this so fun?" you may ask. No one can judge you! You’re home by yourself so you can strut around in whatever you want just for the sake of it. Try out new styles to see what you like. Scour Pinterest and Instagram fashion accounts to see what's on-trend or matches your aesthetic because you can come out of quarantine an entirely new person. Taking a few self-timer pics can capture the look forever or make it worth putting it on in the first place, or so you can create a lookbook of post-quarantine outfit ideas for when you can finally hit the streets. This is the perfect time to build confidence in an outfit by giving yourself time to love it on your own before worrying about the outside world’s opinions. Also, make sure to remember that those opinions don’t matter at all, never have and never will. The only opinion that matters is your own.