Dressing When You're Depressed


Maybe it’s SAD. Maybe it’s clinical. Maybe you’re in a breakup. Or maybe you just have the blues. Whatever the reason, it’s better to wear clothes (trust me).

I actually have clothes set aside for when the Black Dog’s stalking. I hope most of you don’t, but let me tell you, clothes are the last thing you want to think about when you’re down. And yet, being in something crummy or dirty or shleppy can make you feel even worse. And while it can’t work miracles, having something to slip into can provide a little comfort.

Basically, there are two real options: wallowing and rallying. Let’s say you just want to wallow — whether that means holing up in bed or vegging out on the couch with a miniseries and a mug of tea (ideally prepared by someone else.) For this line, obviously, you want the coziest, snuggliest, softest clothes imaginable. This is the one time when “loungewear” really makes sense to me, because it can be depressing to stay in PJs — but you don’t want real clothes. Think a cozy cardigan and some soft and lovely yoga pants, and of course slippers. Bra — and Snuggie — both optional.

But let’s say you feel like rallying! Either you have to, for whatever reason, or maybe you’re just stir-crazy and bored and want to distract yourself. This is when, first of all, you need music. Not your strut-song, necessarily — it may be too early for that — but something that gets you rarin’ to go. I like Big-Band, but this is a personal choice. Sometimes when you’re down, it’s useful to call in an alter ego. It needn’t be Sasha Fierce literal, but turning into a bombshell or a badass for a little while (even if you’re just dancing around at home alone) can give you a lift. Go crazy. Think garter belts, and false lashes, or perfume. Yeah, it sounds weird, but sometimes desperate measures are called for! Fake it til you make it — and, as we all know from “The King and I,” you may fool yourself while you’re at it.

So that’s what works for me, but what about you? How do you cope, sartorially-speaking? After all, misery loves company!

For all of our handy Dress Code guides, go here.

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