Design in Cheek
the user experience of fashion

clothing has the power to change our self-isolation experience

Today I put on jeans… for thirty seconds. My idea of ‘getting dressed to work’ was a flop. I was uncomfortable, and it didn’t fit right. Instead, I put back on my baggy t-shirt and said fuck it. I’m not going anywhere, so why am I still filling in my eyebrows, putting on lip tint, and worrying about wearing a dress?

Normally, when we get dressed, we do it both a mix of both ourselves and for others. We want to look how we feel and exude things we may not. We use clothes as shields against this crazy world to show that we can handle whatever it throws at us, but now our crazy world is often limited to our house. If you’re like me and self-isolating to the max, sweat pants and really unflattering baggy shirts are all I look for, but sometimes… there’s the desire to get dressed.

But is that desire a surprise? Getting dressed is empowering. Showing off what we wear helps us control how others see us, but choosing what to wear to please ourselves let’s us help ourselves in a new way. We use the power of clothes to help define our experiences. When we feel overwhelmed, we can find comfort in our sweats. When we feel lazy, we can find ease in wearing our pajamas. And when we feel the need to feel like things are more normal, we put on real pants.

A while ago, I woke up having a shit morning and getting dressed instantly helped. Because I would normally get dressed to go to class or work, I was able to embody that experience of normality by putting on a pair of jeans. What we wear and when we wear it gives us the power to change how we experience the day.

Now, more than ever, what we wear helps us gain a sense of control during these unpredictable times. We give ourselves the power of choice to reflect on how we feel and dress accordingly. Instead of worrying what we look like, we can worry about how we feel.

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