Reshaping yourself with fashion during the pandemic

If applied wisely, fashion can be used to accentuate and uplift your mood

Sumaiya Kamani May 05, 2020

If applied wisely, fashion can be used to uplift your mood. One can play with sartorial hacks to get a tangible boost of confidence or energy. By keeping in check your hour-long grooming rituals and morning forays into your closet, absorbing your concentration in crafting fashion or discovering your personal style, you can boost your mental wellbeing. These are some great ways to not only spend some time with yourself, but also do something for yourself.

Your body is in quarantine, but your mind doesn’t have to be

With most people self-isolating/self-quarantining during these unfortunate times, getting dressed daily has become more of a task. And with that, productivity has taken a toll on us. However, if you want to make these bitter-bleak mornings well-primed for action, routine is something you should try to stick to, as it makes the day feel more real. Wake up and plan on what you’re wearing like any other day, even if nobody will see you. Getting dressed in the morning is something we do every day, some more consciously than others. So, brush your teeth, wash your face, get showered, and then dress how you want to feel, rather than how you already feel. Put on some bright colours to feel energised, wear proper clothes while working and change into your PJs when you intend to laze around. Give yourself permission to enjoy fashion. You’ll be amazed at how your dress can impact your mood and influence your cognitive abilities.

Dressing up for work

Fashion is an ideal way of expressing yourself at work. We get dressed to maintain the decorum of our workplace and with each outfit we, intentionally or unintentionally, communicate non-verbally to the world around us. Although people are keeping from going out for work due to the Covid-19 outbreak, successive Zoom meetings have stretched out for many. In these times, mark each new day on lockdown by ‘turning a look’. Change outfits depending on your business and who you are speaking with. Keep it toned down from what you would normally wear to work, but be expressive and fashionable. You could simply pair a blazer with a button-up or a sweater to give the best mix of professional and casual. While you don’t want to appear overdressed or blind to the current state of the world, you also don’t want to appear like you’ve let yourself go. It’s not just to show on the video call, but more for your own mental fashion health.

Pull a Marie Kondo

Learn more about yourself by exploring your own style. It’s evident that what we wear is who we are. Fashion is a way of expression: the clothes we wear daily reflect the way we see ourselves and how we want others to perceive us. Take time to identify the clothes you love. Developing a sense of style doesn’t mean buying new pieces, but starting in your own closet. Think about the pieces you really love and the reasons behind this attachment. Is it because of how the fabric feels against your skin, or the form-fitting bright patterned shirt that makes them special? Understanding why you keep wearing certain outfits can unlock a lot of information about what’s important to you.

Subsequently, hop on to step 2: Think about the clothes you hate. It’s no use keeping something you’re not likely to wear again. You would’ve witnessed many instances when you bought outfits on impulse, but never wore. You’re not alone. Take time to realise why you didn’t wear them or what you dislike about them. Understanding what you disregard will also tell you a lot about yourself, and about what not to buy again.

Improve wellbeing by crafting fashion

If you’re especially interested in fashion or like to create, go one step ahead: Repurpose old or outdated clothes. Invest time in organising a fashion-focused craft session for yourself, you can’t go shopping in these times anyway. Take the items you have on hand and get your creative juices flowing. Go crazy with experimenting and be open with decorating your clothes. If you want to go a step further, take basic sewing lessons from YouTube or Google. Don’t fret over doing it perfectly, focus on DIY. It’s all about you accentuating your persona through your creation, so be open, be wild and be mindful of what you’re designing. Engaging in a mindful activity improves our mental health, as it helps us pay attention to our thoughts and feelings.

Personalisation could be applied to worn-out clothes, helping you develop your own unique and individual style, while crafting can be therapeutic and help relieve the stress you could be feeling. When you’re crafting, you’re giving your mind a break too by focusing on one thing and the sense of accomplishment you get could boost your mental health and improve your immune system as well.