Written and illustrated by Deborah Anderson

As we go into our second lockdown, it may be easy to feel downhearted, especially in the lead up to Christmas. There’s no doubt that this next month onwards will be tough but we are too! We’ve coped with it once and we will do it again. This time, we all have the knowledge and experience that we didn’t have the first time round. The past year has been a steep learning curve for everyone and by now, we know ourselves a whole lot better. We probably know our triggers, our limits and our pick-me-ups when it comes to mental health and self-care. Your mind might spring to face masks and bubble baths but one that you might not have thought of is the simple act of getting dressed. It can help protect our mental health in this weird time, which is so important. Legendary street-style photographer, Bill Cunningham said “Fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday” so when the everyday is so bizarre like this pandemic is, we need all the armour we can get!

Here’s why we should be getting all dressed up even when we’ve got no place to go:

  • It gives us a sense of normality. It allows us to forget the chaos in the world right now, if only for 10 minutes – bliss.
  • It gives us routine. It’s good for our mental health to have a reason to get out of bed! Even if you’re just going to go watch TV in the living room, getting dressed will help to start the day off right.
  • It gives us control. In a world where we may feel a bit helpless right now, controlling what we wear can make us feel amazing!
  • Everyone has a lucky top or even just a pair of pants that makes them feel amazing! Wearing your favourite garms will instantly boost your mood and confidence. Fashion is powerful and should not be underestimated!
  • Being up and dressed already may encourage you to take your daily exercise. When you haven’t been outside in a while, especially in a pandemic, it can be easy to forego your daily walk but doing so can be detrimental to our mental health. Exercising such as going for a walk releases endorphins making us happy. Being surrounded by beautiful nature makes us happy. Having little social interactions with passers-by and seeing cute dogs makes us happy! What’s not to love?!
  • It can be difficult to remain productive when you’re still in your pyjamas. For one, wearing clothes makes it easier to resist getting back into bed – (you ever tried getting into bed with jeans on, it just feels wrong!) It also helps to shift your mentality to that of a productive one. Whether you’re working from home or you’re trying to finally learn how to crochet, you’re more likely to be able to focus when you’re not in your pjs.
  • In lockdown, the days seem to endlessly roll into one – “what day is it again?” Getting dressed separates your time – not just night from day or work from play, but wearing different outfits may help to distinguish the days from each other, which can improve your mental health.
  • Picking an outfit is an opportunity to be creative. Lockdown may have some of us feeling lacklustre, but being imaginative first thing in the morning will get our creative juices flowing ready for the rest of the day. See lockdown as a chance to play around with your fashion style! You can experiment with all the clothes you swore you would wear but just haven’t “got round to it”.

Remember that fashion should be fun! When we were little, we gave our dolls the most weird and wonderful looks because we felt they could pull them off and they deserved to look great. We shouldn’t lose that in adulthood. We should dress ourselves with the love and care that we too deserve! I’m not saying that all our lockdown looks have to be catwalk-ready - as long as they make us feel good, then that’s all that matters! Even if no one is going to see you, dress to impress YOURSELF! Getting glammed up just once a week, gives us something to look forward to, which is definitely needed right now! In lockdown there’s no such thing as getting ready “for no reason” – the reason is to make you feel good!

If you haven’t got anything in your wardrobe that will do the job then don’t worry, we’ve got you! We’ve rounded up our favourite One Wear Freedom lockdown looks - all perfect for comfortably lounging around the house or having a random selfie photoshoot, or both! Renting clothes can be such a fun way to make your dress up sessions feel special! Sign up to One Wear Freedom here and get 10% off your first order!

Please remember that while getting dressed can improve your mood if you’re feeling a bit sluggish, it can feel like a mountain task when you’re really down. We are living in a very weird time so it’s normal to feel, well… weird! Whether you want to get glammed up or you want to have the odd pj day then that’s okay - there’s no right way to cope with a pandemic. Just do the best you can, look after yourself and keep talking to friends and family because High School Musical said it best, “we’re all in this together”.

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