As we begin to leave our homes and enjoy the freedom that a post-COVID society allows, we are starting to realise how important our wardrobes truly are. Throughout various degrees of lockdown and an evermore ubiquitous remote working culture, our clothing choices tend to have been geared toward comfort over style. When so few others are going to see your outfit, why bother? This is the same logic that created the so-called Zoom attire, which sees employees dress professionally on top while wearing casual clothing, or even pyjamas, beneath.

Dressing in such a relaxed way as we keep to our homes is useful. It helps us feel comfortable and relaxed. There’s no stress involved in baggy outfits that stretch and adapt to our sedentary lifestyles. However, the comfort they bring to us doesn’t necessarily transfer to the outdoors. In fact, as many of us begin to take our first steps back into social events, we realise that choosing our outfits and getting dressed up is a great way to feel good.

Whether we enjoy dressing up in the latest, stylish numbers or show-stopping unusual clothing, embracing and expressing our character through our clothing is proven to make us feel good. There are other ways it benefits our wellbeing too. Looking good, even solely for our own opinions, helps us to feel good. Our brains feel happier when we are comfortable in our outfits, adorning the colours and styles we enjoy. Having others notice the effort we make toward our outfit, especially when resulting in compliments, leads to plenty of feel-good emotions too.

Plus, the statement we make with our outfits, the textures and designs we embrace, are a mood board for our wellbeing. Workplace uniforms and dress codes are often restrictive and, generally, quite drab specifically because it not only exudes refinement and discipline but because it also subdues creativity and distraction. This is why workplace outfits are seldom ever adopted outside of the office.

Instead, we turn to colour and different materials, those that shimmer, sparkle, or brighten. Each of these qualities not only complements our personality traits but also encourage certain emotions. The cosy folds and soft hang of our lockdown outfits were an enjoyable retreat but, as we seek to enjoy a return to normality, we must make sure that the palette of our outfits are encouraging the type of routine we want to experience.

This doesn’t mean that your favourite lockdown pieces are now useless. Even if you’re not interested in upcycling old clothes and turning them into something creative and new, you will still be able to make use of them during your downtime. Or, if you are absolutely certain they can no longer be put to good use, donation centres and recycling centres are the perfect destinations.

So, while the lockdowns may have led your wardrobe to stagnate, for the sake of your wellbeing and mental health, be sure to give it the consideration it deserves. You will find yourself experiencing brighter days when wearing brighter outfits, even impressing positivity onto others too.