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A case for getting dressed while social distancing 

PHOTOGRAPHY BY SEUNG-ROK
WORDS BY JASMINE WALLIS

When the world is upside down, the ritual of getting ready can help re-centre you.  

For the last week, I haven’t gotten out of bed until mid-morning. I didn’t change out of my PJs until after lunch when I then got dressed into some lowkey athleisure wear for my daily walk before having a shower and… getting back into some PJs. 

And you know what? I felt miserable. Comfy? Yes. Was my mental state okay? No. 

Seeing as we’re all moving into a period of hibernation to combat the outbreak of coronavirus, this spike in popularity of athleisure wear, pyjamas and tracksuit pants was inevitable.

And while comfort is key when dealing with a global pandemic, most people’s daily routines have drastically changed.

Alterations to your everyday life – incredibly quick alterations at that – can take a big toll on your mental health, leaving your mind searching for a sense of normality in what is very much not a normal situation.  

One way you can retain your sense of self and routine is by putting some consideration into what you’re wearing each day. Here are a few things that have been helping me keep my mental health in check this week. 

Accessories to the rescue 

Nothing sets me up for a good day better than wearing some jazzy earrings or a fun headband (apart from coffee, obviously). Whether they’re gold hoops or colourful beads, wearing your favourite accessories can really elevate your outfit and increase your confidence. 

Even if you’re wearing trackies and an old shirt, by chucking on some bright bracelets or a pair of earrings from a friend it can give you that little boost of positivity throughout the day.

I’ve also been switching between different pairs of sunglasses when I go for walks, because variety really is the spice of life in times like these. 

A little glitter and a little gloss 

Until today, I hadn’t worn makeup in about two weeks and it wasn’t until I was grooving in the mirror to my favourite playlist and playing with my Glossier paints that I realised how much I love the process. I semi felt like myself again. 

It doesn’t have to be a full smoky eye look and heavy foundation – unless that makes you feel good and you want to – but even a tinted moisturiser can make you feel a bit more ready for the day and help you switch off when you remove it at night.

And don’t forget the SPF, even if you’re staying indoors those UV rays can still reach you. 

Workshop your post-pandemic outfits

I don’t know about you, but I’m already daydreaming about the outfits I’m gonna absolutely werk when we get out of isolation.

With all the spare time I have on my hands, I’ve been going through my wardrobe and creating new outfits out of clothes and shoes I’ve had for years; mixing old favourites with new pieces I bought before lockdown.

I might have nowhere to wear them right now, but it gives me something to look forward to in the future and lets me flex my sartorial creativity. 

Wearing a piece you’d normally wear to the office (yes, really)

I’m not saying you have to wear jeans and heels to sit on your couch (I’m not a maniac) but by putting on a blouse or white linen shirt that you’d usually only reserve for your nine to five, it can put you in a work mindset through association. There’s even a name for it: enclothed cognition

The best part is that you can still wear your leggings and Uggs on the bottom, safely out of sight from your boss during a Zoom meeting. 

Be gentle on yourself and wear what makes you feel good  

These are crazy times we’re living through and your emotions might feel somewhat similar to a rollercoaster most days. Don’t forget that it’s okay if you’re not feeling like yourself and just want to get through the day without thinking about what you look like. 

In saying that, one of the biggest ways we express ourselves and our identities is through clothing. So even though your world may seem like it’s been turned upside down right now, by giving yourself a break and wearing pieces and makeup you normally would, you can give your mental state and confidence a much-needed boost.

Plus, you’ll look fire while living through a major historical event, which will surely make for a funny anecdote one day. 


As you’re no doubt already aware, coronavirus has well and truly taken hold in Australia, and an increasing number of us will be self-isolating or working from home. We’re living through a scary, uncertain time right now, and it’s easy to get swept up in the neverending cycle of negative news. Over the coming weeks, we hope to provide you with a little reprieve from all the heaviness, and lots of ideas for how to fill all that time you’ll be spending at home. Take care out there and don’t be a stranger. We’re all in this together. Love the FJ team xx

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