Dressing Up When You’re Feeling Down

If you’ve ever been depressed, even just a little bit, you know that wanting to dress up and look good is pretty much the furthest thing from your mind. Even on a good day, nothing sounds better than sweatpants, so I know that when I’m depressed, the idea of wearing clothes that are even slightly uncomfortable seems like a terrible idea.

BUT, I think that getting dressed up, doing your makeup, just taking a little time to make yourself feel better on the outside can help you feel a bit better on the inside, and when you’re depressed, every little bit helps.

T-shirt flat lay

I think that the transformative power of makeup, if you choose to wear it, is powerful, so for me it’s the first step in my transformation from potato to functioning adult. Never underestimate the power of a lipstick that makes you feel great. Bust out the one that makes you feel like a million bucks, and give yourself a couple of swipes. I personally have really oily skin, and I’m pretty self-conscious about it, so I find that putting on a bit of powder makes me feel a whole lot better, too! You may not have the energy or the concentration to put on a full face, but figuring out the bare minimum that makes you feel good is still effort well spent.

Now, onto your clothes. You need a balance of something that is still comfy, but is also flattering and a bit more dressed up than you currently are. This is not the time for your jeans that almost fit; no one likes that feeling of your pants cutting off your circulation, and that’s just going to make you feel more uncomfortable and self-conscious. A good, well cut pair of jeans, some comfy black pants (maybe with a bit of stretch!), even some cute joggers that are clean and fit well can help you feel more pulled together. On top, same deal. Rock your favorite top, maybe an awesome graphic tee that makes you smile, and that you can layer with another (clean!) top to give you a comfy and stylish look. The T-shirt above isn’t dressy, but it’s my favorite and brings back great memories of going to Harry Potter world, so it’s a secret weapon for me to add a little something to my day.

The piece de resistance is your accessories. Even a graphic tee can look like a fashion choice if you accessorize the right way. This is where I think fun costume jewelry is the perfect choice. Pick out something fabulous that makes you feel fancy, and wear it with your chin up! Amazon is a great place to pick up some fun, bold choices that won’t break the bank.

Finally, give yourself a spritz of a scent that makes you feel great. I always put on my perfume after getting ready for the day, so for me it is the finishing flourish and signifies the beginning of my day.

There you are! An easy and fun way to feel just a bit better. Of course, if depression could be completely solved with a great outfit, that would be amazing, but I think it’s a first step on the path to getting yourself feeling better. If your depression lingers, or creates problems in your daily life, please seek the advice and care of a medical professional or mental health counselor. These tips are not meant to treat nor are a substitute for professional help, but I do think that being able to do something for yourself, that having control of some portion of your life, like the way you look, is still a helpful tool in your mental wellness toolbox.