All dressed up with nowhere to go – the importance of getting dressed every day

With many of us currently spending a lot of time indoors to study at home, it is all too easy to roll out of bed and arrive at your desk in time for your Zoom call still dressed in pyjamas. But the process of getting dressed does hold real importance; this preparatory routine sets you up for the day ahead, leaving you ready to face the world regardless of whether you remain inside or head outside.  

There is no doubt that when faced with a day at home, it is easier to stay in your sleepwear or reach for a hoodie and sweatpants. If this is what you are comfortable and happy in, then good for you! But for some of us, however tempting it is to stay in our PJs, by not getting dressed we tend to feel less motivated, less organised and less ourselves. I know all too well that on the days that I’ve lingered in my jammies past 11 o’clock, I feel that I am running at a slower speed and generally feel like the day never properly started. By getting ourselves together, putting on a cute outfit and maybe doing our make-up, we get a greater sense of a fresh start to the day, a new beginning and more regularity to our routines.  

When you think about it, there is something immensely grounding about the process of getting ready in the morning. Showering, sipping my morning Nescafe and searching through my wardrobe, with the charming chatter of Greg James’ in the background, is perhaps the most relaxing part of my day. And perhaps this is because it is an environment where I am completely in control, and in the current Covid-19 nightmare that we are all living through, there is something potent about reclaiming a sense of power, however small.

Camilla Ackley in her recent piece for Into the Fold, writes that for her, what she puts on in the morning is irrelevant, but instead it is the process of getting ready that holds importance.* For her, feeling well dressed is the “feeling of keeping it together.”* Ackley’s words certainly ring true as the normality of putting on a nice outfit and applying a little make up, is something that is perhaps worth clinging onto in these uncertain times, as this habitual process is something so familiar to us that it holds an almost ritual-like status.  

In some ways, getting dressed everyday could be seen as a form of self-care and perhaps we need to readdress the historic reasons behind why we get ready in a morning. Rather than seeing clothes as items dedicated to events and occasions, or even how we look and dress being for the benefit of others (something society has programmed us to care about), we need to view clothes as something for ourselves. We need to realise that we can get up and get dressed purely for that feeling of confidence we get from wearing a nice outfit and recognise the importance of feeling nice purely for yourself. It is so easy to forget to take time to enjoy the little things, but perhaps we need to cherish this everyday routine a little more and like Ackley, recognise that getting up and dressed is time all to ourselves.* 

So now, after writing this piece sat here in joggers and an extremely oversized men’s plaid shirt, I might go and take a shower, brush my hair, sort out my eyebrows, put on an outfit that makes me feel slightly less like a grungy, adolescent male and make a note to practise what I preach… 

* Camilla Ackley – The Power of Getting Dressed 

Image Credit: JamesDeMers via