Fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld once said, “Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life, so you bought some sweatpants.” But this was before the coronavirus pandemic; and for many of us, being able to live and work in sweatpants and a T-shirt, or even our pyjamas, has had some advantages we’ve really enjoyed during lockdown.
However, if you’re anything like Neil and the team at HKT, you can only go casual for so long. Dressing smartly every day can play a key role in making many of us feel happy and positive, and even get us active. Plus, there are many other physical, mental, social and economic benefits to smartening up your appearance. Something we explore more in this article.
- Dressing up can help to preserve your identity
People who use clothing as part of their identity have probably found lockdown particularly hard. Because our clothes are a fundamental way that we express who we are as individuals. This is why it can be important to still dress how we normally did before the coronavirus pandemic. Seeing ourselves in the mirror with a crisp shirt and sharp blazer can remind us of who we are and make us feel good. Or if we go to the local store for groceries, why not wear something that lets people know what your style is, rather than choosing something safe and monotonous, which you might have slipped into wearing because of quarantine?
- Choose an uplifting outfit to boost your mood
Without doubt, clothing and mood are strongly interconnected. If we wear the same thing for a few days, it will probably have a negative impact on how we feel in general or about ourselves. Psychologists even say that not getting dressed, ie staying in our bed clothes, can also lead to us eating poorly, drinking more alcohol, and reduce positivity and engagement in life across the board.
In contrast, getting dressed in the morning can help boost our mood, productivity and sense of purpose throughout the day. That’s because if we put on an outfit we like wearing positive neurotransmitters are released from our brains including dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, and endorphins.
- Regain a sense of control
A lack of control is one of things that stresses people the most in life. And certainly, the coronavirus has made many of us feel that the world is spinning out of control. But one of the ways you could regain a sense of control, make yourself feel better and increase your productivity is by introducing some structure back into your life.
This could include you getting up and going to bed at your normal times (and staying up later and lying in on a weekend); having meals at the same time and eating the same or similar food; dressing the way you normally did during the week, for example, wearing your gym clothes for your early morning exercise, wearing your office clothes while working on your laptop, and then changing into something more casual when the working day is over.
- Keep impressing your clients and colleagues
Clothes are fundamental to how we are perceived by others. They communicate a huge amount of information about the person we are, and often the person we want to be. So even though you may not be physically seeing people, it can still be very important to dress well for Zoom or FaceTime meetings, or however you’re engaging face-to-face with clients and colleagues.
And in fact, because many people may be struggling to look their best during lockdown, you have a real opportunity to stand out from the crowd. By wearing a new made-to-measure shirt or bespoke blouse for that important pitch, you might convince that prospective client that they’re dealing with someone who’s ultra professional and cares about excellence in all aspects of their life.
- Dress for success
As we mentioned earlier, dressing well can really help to boost your mood. But did you know that dressing smarter can also lead to better results in business and improve cognitive skills such as how quick you process information?
In one study that was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology it was found that men who wore informal clothes had lower testosterone levels than those in formal business attire, and actually secured less profitable business deals as a result.
While another study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science found that participants performed better in cognitive tests when wearing smart clothes than those in more casual clothing.
- Have something to look forward to
At the moment, many people may not have too many things to look forward to during lockdown. But dressing up actually offers you a real opportunity to get excited about something. Remember how you normally feel when you start thinking about how you can look your best for a party, wedding or important meeting.
So why not enjoy those feelings by organising a virtual dress up party with friends? Or how about taking the time to lay out your clothes and create a stunning outfit for your weekly work meeting on Zoom?
Making a concerted effort in this way can be really exciting and the highlight of your week. And in fact, the preparation may be more enjoyable than the actual event. Also, seeing other people dressed up at a virtual party or on social media can lift your spirits, and you can lift theirs by doing the same.
- The perfect time to experiment
In your closet you’re more than likely to have some smarter items of clothing that you haven’t worn for some time. That shirt that always felt a bit itchy around the collar. The tie your in-laws bought you last Christmas. The made-to-measure suit you once loved but which has now fallen out of favor.
Well, lockdown is the perfect time to go through your closet and start to wear and assess clothes that you’re unsure about. Also, why not start to experiment with some new combinations to see if they work together as a whole outfit?
By doing this, you should achieve the following positive results by the end of lockdown:
- A better idea of what works for you and what you need to buy more of.
- A pile of unwanted clothes that you could sell or give to charity.
- Some new combinations of your clothes that means you can stretch your current wardrobe a little further.
Need a new garment to dress up in?
From Monday, May 4, the HKT store reopened for appointments (no walk ins) and for limited hours. To help keep everyone safe, we’re only allowing one client in the store at one time.
If you’d like to book an appointment or discuss the creation of a new bespoke garment, please give Neil and the HKT team a call on 770-458-8682 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition, we are still offering virtual appointments and curbside pick-ups. This is the perfect choice if you want an item of clothing altered, or you wish to purchase something that doesn’t require us taking your measurements.