If you’re not planning on leaving the house. You don’t have anybody visiting. You aren’t planning on seeing anyone.
Does it really matter what you wear?
This is the topic that Jill Chivers of 16 Style Types and I discuss in this video.
Does it Really Matter What You Wear When You’re Alone?
If it Does Matter How Does it Matter?
For Jill, even if nobody sees her, she likes to be co-ordinated as it makes her feel good (just as she likes her home organised and stylishly decorated, even when she’s not having visitors.
The answer to this will be an internal one. It can relate to how you feel about yourself, and how what you wear impacts on your mood.
I know for me, if I don’t dress in a way that makes me feel a modicum of stylishness, even if it’s a very casual outfit, I find that every time I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror (such as going to the bathroom) I will get a negative, depressing feeling that then lowers my overall mood. So even if I’m planning on seeing nobody, I will still dress in a way that makes me feel better about myself (and in an outfit I’d happy to be caught in, should I accidentally bump into someone).
There may also be a psychological readying for you if you dress as if you are planning on going somewhere or doing something important – even if you’re just working or spending time at home. For both Jill and I, getting dressed for work, even when that work is at home, gets us mentally ready for a full and productive day, that I don’t feel, should I stay in my PJs all day (even though I could).
This all relates to the field of Enclothed Cognition, a field of social science that is showing just how much what we wear influences how we feel. So I’m sure that my dressing up for a day of work, at home alone, has a positive psychological effect on me and the work I produce. Even something as simple as wearing colour or a pattern can bring you joy.
Dr Karen Pine’s research has found that when we are depressed, we tend to dress in non-special clothes (such as saggy baggy old jeans), we keep our “best” outfits, for when we are feeling good – even though these clothes would actually make us feel better.
I’ve also noticed when shopping with clients, that when they put on an outfit that is a few steps above what they are used to, for example, the male client who was always wearing tracksuits because he worked from home and nobody would see him, when we went shopping for a suit, as he looked at himself in the mirror, I saw his whole body language change, suddenly I could see his posture straighten up and he became more confident. He was surprised as he noticed this change too and commented to me that he had not realised that what he wore affected him at all until he saw the physical change in himself.
There are some days that you just may not have the energy to think about putting together a stylish outfit, this is where having some stylish “go-to” outfits at the ready, so you don’t have to think about them, but you know that they work and won’t drain you of any mental energy.
Of course, this totally relates to you, your feelings, your emotions, your psychology. For some who are unlike Jill or me, what they wear doesn’t seem to matter as much, for others it has a dramatic impact on the quality of their day. If you’re suffering from image burn out – here are 4 tips to help you look stylish without it taking too much brainpower!
I always love getting emails or Facebook comments from people who tell me that looking stylish, even when dealing with stressful events in their life (such as a loved one sick and dying, a health scare of their own or some other event that would really bring you down) how looking stylish has helped them cope with these events and made a positive impact on their psyche.
When people have been diagnosed with depression they tend not to pay much attention to their grooming. In fact, poor grooming is often a sign of a poor mental state, and one of the indicators of someone’s mental health improving is them paying more attention to their grooming. Read here about why grooming matters so much.
What I’d love to know is your experiences around this topic? Does what you wear change how you feel? Is wearing a more stylish outfit something that changes your mood and self-esteem?