Style = Self-Care

What do you think of when you hear the words self-care? Maybe a bubble bath, long walk on the beach, alone time...what about clothes? Does what you choose to wear (or buy) fall into the self-care realm?? YES!! Obviously working for an apparel company makes me sound a little biased (and I definitely am!); however, this is actually backed up by science. 
Awesome, right?? Let me explain. 

Enclothed Cognition 

Researchers coined the term “enclothed cognition” while studying the effects of clothing on how we perform as well as our psychological states. So basically, when you look good, you feel good. 
Isn’t that the essence of self-care? It sure is! In fact, the actual definition of self-care is “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.” 
I don’t know about you, but this pandemic has been insanely stressful. Maybe some extra special self-care is in order? 
What a great idea! Let’s dive in and explore how apparel is the next level of self-care we so desperately need right now. 
Let’s say you’re getting ready for a date, party or even an interview. You don’t throw on sweats and a hoodie do you? (If you do, leave a comment and tell me more!!) Most likely not. Events like these usually call for our best attire, possibly even a shopping trip. 
Now what do you wear while you’re hanging out at home on your own or with just your immediate family or closest friends? Changes are, you opt for something comfortable - here’s where sweats and hoodies really shine. 
Sure, your favorite hoodie and those worn in pair of sweatpants are comfortable, but how do you feel? Are you ready to conquer the world? Make a presentation? Wow your significant other (or potential new lover) or land your dream job? Probably not. 

On a Deeper Level

On a subconscious level, what you put on communicates your expectations. For example, sweats or pajamas tells your brain that whatever you are doing - working, hanging out, etc. - is not worth dressing up for. By undervaluing your time in such a way, you are less likely to be productive or feel confident. In the new work-from-home days we are currently experiencing, this can hinder your performance and lead to an increase in dispirited feelings. 
On the other hand, dressing up (even when staying at home for work, virtual get togethers, etc.) communicates fruitful experiences, productivity and an increase in confidence. The glow of confidence will emanate through computer screens, phones, in person, in any situation that may present itself. 
Therefore, clothing choices = self-care. 

Quality vs Quantity

The outfits we choose are just as important as other self-care practices. They are designed to make us look and feel amazing - no matter what body shape or size someone is. As such, the quality of clothing directly affects the aforementioned confidence and positive feelings associated with “dressing up.” 
You may be wondering how? Why does quality matter? 
I’m so glad you asked! 
Yes, high-value clothes may be more expensive, which means you will have less options; HOWEVER, they tend to be more flattering. Not to mention they also feel better on and use healthier materials - for you AND the environment. What a nice bonus right?? 
Simple things, such as a cheaper, scratchy white tee will feel different from a white tee made from quality materials with a great cut. A low-quality vest with a high acrylic content will feel and fit significantly different than one made from satin, a wool blend or cotton

Give it a Try 

So how do we put this into practice? How can we practice self-care during this time of isolation? Here are a few tips! 
Practice mindfulness 
Be mindful about your clothing choices, even if the only place you’ll be going is your living room. 
In the morning wear something “comfy” - sweats, pajamas. Then, in the afternoon, dress up - toss on a button down or a nice sweater. That evening, assess your experience. When were you more productive? Confident? More animated/lively? Try this out for a few days. Keep track, and share your results in our private Facebook group. We’re curious to hear about your experience!! 
Rearrange Your Wardrobe
We understand, more than most, the economic impact the pandemic presents. So while a complete wardrobe upgrade would be AMAZING, it isn’t quite practical for everyone, and that is OK! Try rearranging your wardrobe instead - favorite to least favorite. This ensures you are more likely to wear a fierce, confidence-boosting outfit. 
Try Out New Looks 
One benefit of virtual meetings, gatherings, and other events is the opportunity to try new looks with the ability to escape if you feel uncomfortable. What a relief, right? So much less pressure! Positive feelings/experiences means you have a new look! Uncomfortable or anxious feelings just mean try again. Take note of what you like/don’t like, and rearrange! 

You’ve Got This! 

So many things have changed since the beginning of the pandemic, making self-care more important than ever. Take the time to protect your own well-being and happiness. Enhance joy, boost your self-esteem and minimize stress by simply being mindful about the clothes you choose each day. Shift your thought processes from dressing for the type of event (interview, party, date, etc) to the type of mental event  you want to have. 
Wear something you feel proud in. Let your unique personality shine through, and tell your brain that each and every day is IMPORTANT.