For many of us, our sense of style is largely an extension of ourselves. It’s a type of self-expression, and it allows us to define certain aspects of our psyche to the world without even saying a word. However, while fashion can be a fun and relaxing hobby for the most part, there can be times that even putting on a fresh pair of socks can feel like an arduous task.
We’ve all been there. You know what I’m talking about: those days where it feels like the weight of the world is crushing you, and simply getting out of bed to perform the basic functions of living can be taxing. Call it what you may – a funk, the blues, or even full-blown depression – but it can be completely exhausting and also take a serious toll on both your mental health and your desire to get dressed in the morning.
The fact is, depression in men is more common than you might realize, and getting prompt treatment from a trained professional is the best way to help regain your footing. However, life goes on, no matter how we’re feeling on the inside. If you’re looking to regain your fashion mojo for work, pleasure, or even just lounging around your home, then here are five tips to help you look your very best… even when you feel downright crummy.
Start With the Basics
The first step in building a house is laying the foundation, and so your first step when getting dressed should also start with the bottom-most layer. In this case, all you need to do is reach into your closet or your dresser and pull out a fresh pair of socks and underwear. Don’t even think about the rest of your wardrobe just yet. That can be simply too overwhelming, and doing so can make you want to give up even before you get started.
However, a pair of clean socks and underwear can be nothing short of transformative. Changing out of last night’s PJs and slipping into something new, especially after a shower, can help you feel like a brand new man. Remember, you’re taking baby steps right now, and once you get these basics mastered, then you can move on to the next parts. Just make sure your base layers are flattering and fit well, as they will set the tone for the rest of your outfit.
If you’re in a funk, then the last thing you want is to wear clothes that are going to bind, pinch, or restrict. And let’s be honest here. If you’ve been feeling down in the dumps, you may have been reaching for comfort food, leading to a few extra pounds on your body. Instead of punishing yourself by trying to squeeze into too-tight clothing, make comfort your goal when getting dressed. Elastic waist pants, stretchy fabrics, and drapey fits in high-quality materials will look and feel great.
Stick to Neutrals
Now isn’t the time to start experimenting with pattern mixing or bold colors. If you’re not feeling your very best, then you likely don’t have the energy to try to match random statement pieces in your closet. Instead, neutrals will be your best friend when it comes to trying to get dressed. Color families like gray, black, and navy go with almost everything in your closet, taking the guesswork out of trying to get dressed.
If you feel like it, though, don’t be afraid to add a pop of accent color to your ensemble – especially one in your favorite shade. Research has shown that color can have a dramatic impact on your mood, so if you’re wanting to add some pep to your step, feel free to play with hints of color here or there. For instance, blue can be calming and help you feel more serene, while bright yellow can give you a subliminal burst of energy.
Give Yourself Extra Time
If you’re been digging yourself out of an emotional pit, it’s normal to feel sluggish and move at a little bit slower pace than usual. Depression can actually make you feel more fatigued and tired than usual, which means you might want to set aside a few extra minutes for getting dressed in the morning. That way, you won’t feel rushed and panicky when putting yourself together. Plus, if you hate the outfit you pick out, it gives you a buffer of time for trying something else altogether.
Reach for Accessories
Finally, the right accessories can make or break your outfit. Even the most simple, monochromatic outfit can be taken to the next level with the right accessories. A striking gold watch on your wrist, a silky-soft scarf thrown around your neck, or even a pair of oversized shades to hide your eyes from the world can make all the difference. The use of accessories can also make an outfit appear intentional, adding a sense of purpose to your final look.
As a man, it can be hard to talk about your mental health, especially since we’re often told to just “suck it up” and “be a man.” However, there’s nothing weak or less masculine about asking for help when you need it. In the meantime, though, taking the time to look polished and dapper can make a world of difference in your mental wellbeing. Faking it until you make it can only go so far, but it’s at least a step in the right direction until you can get the treatment you deserve to finally feel better.