Why I’m Still Dressing Up in Lockdown

wildgreen-4Life is quite surreal these days, but one of the things that maintains a bit of normalcy for me at least is continuing to wear my favorite dresses. There seems to be this sentiment online that asks, “why are you still getting dressed?” But that question seems predicated on the idea that if you have no where to go and no one to see: why wear the dress? Well, as someone who has been working from home and living in a rural community for five years now, I haven’t been going places or seeing people for five years…if I waited for an audience or event I’d never wear a dress. Before lockdown, during lockdown, and probably after lockdown, I’ll be able to count the number of people who see me on a daily basis on one hand. Circumstances today are definitely extreme and I know there are reasons beyond limitations in movement that are making people not get "dressed up," but for me this truth remains: certain clothes make me feel better. And honestly, I need to do the things that make me feel good right now. This is not to say I don’t have my days in sweatpants, because my friends, I do indeed own and wear sweatpants and I even walk my dog in said garments. Rather, what I want to talk about today is how I discovered my fashion sense and how getting “dressed up” improves my mood. wildgreen-15 wildgreen-10When I was younger I didn’t think I could really be interested or involved in fashion because I didn’t live in a city or have an exciting life. I wasn’t in lockdown, but I essentially thought, “I don’t see a lot of people, go anywhere interesting, or have a cool job, so why would I dress all fancy to hang around the house or in the woods???” I feel like we’re influenced quite a bit from movies and books to think that city people are stylish and country people (or homebodies) aren’t. How many times have we seen the trope of the stylish city person who finds themselves surrounded by poorly dressed country bumpkins as soon as they get a few miles outside of the metropolis? Even if the country folk aren’t poorly dressed, they’re simply and practically dressed—they aren’t expressive or flamboyant, they don’t have “fun” with fashion. Or so it always seemed to me by the media I was consuming. It wasn’t until I discovered blogs from girls who were students and secretaries and waitresses all around the world that I realized anyone could express themselves with fashion. Blogs were honestly the first time I realized that anyone, anywhere, with any job, could wear what they wanted. I don’t know if this was just a mental block I experienced that others can’t relate to, but it was a huge realization for me that I could have the fun clothes even if I didn’t have all the other stuff. I still didn’t live in a city or have a big budget for fashion items, none of my friends shared my passion for clothes or shopping, but it didn’t matter. So, I started experimenting with fashion and expressing myself, in the process of experimenting I gained a lot of confidence. Before it felt like how I looked was almost a burden, I had to put on clothes, but there was no joy, I almost dreaded picking out clothes. Once I started filling my wardrobe with clothes I liked, getting dressed was fun and I started liking my body more and I felt freed from a lot of self-consciousness. Simply put: my clothes made me feel good. wildgreen-71-side
ASOS hat, Little Women "Beth" dress, old belt & ballet flats, vintage basket
wildgreen-76 wildgreen-51 wildgreen-38 wildgreen-41Today I still have my days where getting dressed feels like a burden and I can’t be bothered to put any effort into my appearance and that’s okay! I bought sweatpants last Christmas primarily for my winter dog walks with Solomon and they have been the coziest purchase—I even wore them under some of my maxi dresses this past winter for a mix of style and comfort. I’ve also noticed for myself though that when I do make the effort to put on nice clothes, even if I don’t initially feel like it, getting dressed up helps improve my mood and makes me more productive. It’s like a mental switch from “can’t be bothered” to “yes I will tackle that to do list” and suddenly dressed in linen I find myself answering emails more quickly, doing more chores that I would usually put off, and squeezing a bit more into my day. For me it’s clear when I put on a good outfit that it has a positive effect on my mood and productivity. But starting the day with a small, manageable task will help your daily productivity, even if that task is as small as making your bed. Studies show when you tackle one small task it gives you a sense of accomplishment and sets you up mentally for the rest of the day. More often than not for me that first task is getting dressed in clothes I like. wildgreen-25 wildgreen-53 wildgreen-55-sideThis is not an indictment against anyone who is currently spending their days in their comfiest clothes. My blog has never been about telling other people how to dress or live—I shy away from questions about how to dress for different situations or body types, because I believe the best style is personal and expressive. I hate sites that critique fashion, I loathe worst dressed lists, and guides that give prescriptive advice on how to dress. But because my style is personal and expressive I can’t stop dressing up right now. I need the comfort of these classic linen dresses and whimsical animal jewelry and oversized straw bonnets. To some these clothes look overwrought and too much effort right now, but to me they represent my comfort zone—they’re my armor that helps me face the day and fight what dragons might come my way. So yeah, I’m still (mostly) dressing up in lockdown and it might seem odd to some, but to me it makes perfect sense. wildgreen-2 wildgreen-9 wildgreen-33
ASOS hat, Little Women "Beth" dress, old belt & ballet flats, vintage basket
**edited with presets from my Bloom Pack, click here to shop them**


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