Meaningful Clothes

There’s no doubt about it, life is tough these days. Even and especially if you’re staying home every day. There’s a sameness that drags on which can sap the joy from the most positive among us. We’re told we need to keep busy, get things done and keep our spirits up. But the truth is, we can’t always do that.

I vacillate between weepy and frustrated many days with no rhyme or reason and find myself wishing, again, that this at-home exile will end. I pretty much dress the same as I always did (except footwear), which goes a long way toward making life feel normal. But I need more.

Then I read a comment from a reader that struck a chord, reminding me of the power we have hanging in our closet! Deborah is digging deep into the back of her closet to unearth those clothes that she wore during happier times. Those pieces with history that hold happy memories.

It got me thinking about the women who may be dressing down each day because apathy has them wondering why they should bother to make an effort.

It can be very soothing to wear a garment that you wore during happier times. The skirt you wore to meet a girlfriend for lunch and a day of window shopping. That pretty sweater you wore for a casual date night. The kaftan you wore on a tropical holiday. And on and on…

Where are those well-loved pieces that you’ve put away to wear “when this is all over”? What could be hiding in the recesses of your closet?

Style Tip- Stop Saving Your Good Clothes for Later

Try taking a few out. Heck, toss on that scarf you bought in the museum during a fabulous trip that you’re afraid to wear because it might be ruined. There is no better time than the present to use your clothes and accessories to lift your spirits. Let your clothes work for you. Give them the chance to make you feel uplifted.

What’s languishing in your closet that should come out to be worn?

Wear what makes you feel good about yourself. I’m bringing mine out because, why not?



  1. I really wanted to make my spendy silk scarves that I rarely wear into masks but apparently silk is not a great material for that. I thought they’d be chic and practical. I have tried to order some more fashionable masks. It’s a silly thing but anything that lifts one’s spirits these days can’t be judged. Stay well. Xx

  2. Since I no longer have a bathing suit (burned up) and I have a pool at the new house, I decided to order a suit online. I have no idea how that is going to work, but I can’t go to the store and try one on. I’m hopeful my guessing at size will work. It’s suddenly hot in southern California, and I’m jealous of my grandsons who are out there splashing and having fun. (I count my blessings every day that I am here with them during this looooonnnggg thing.)

    1. Counting the blessings we do have is the best way to get through this thing

  3. Sharon Pappas says:

    And hope you have given us!!!!
    Thank you so much!
    When every day seems like the one b4
    We read of others & see the light!!
    Love to all !! Hold on! We’re good!
    And we can do this & come out better…

  4. Hello Jennifer. I’m doing the opposite and loving it! I am spending my days in drop-crotch jersey pants or sweatpants with t-shirts and slip-on Ecco white or black sneakers. I’ve been giving my skin a break from makeup and using serums and moisturisers. I’m working from home, and only getting into smart clothes to attend my virtual online meetings. I’m looking forward to coming out of lockdown here in NZ, and am only now eyeing up my other clothing options. Keep safe, and do what you need to keep your spirits up, best regards from New Zealand.

  5. what a great idea – in fact, I need to clean out my closet and have been loathe to do it but this is a chance to try on my clothes and mix and match things I might have been too shy to try. Ultimately I can get rid of things that just do not look good or feel good.

    1. I came up with a bag of those kind of clothes last week. They’re just waiting for things to open up to be donated.

  6. I think it’s time to start dressing for dinner, like the residents of Downton Abbey. Well, maybe not dressing quite like that, but kicking it up a notch.

  7. I’m still avoiding wearing anything black. I have been shopping online and have purchased several pink tops and a pink purse. Somehow, I’ve latched on to a color I’ve never worn before and it gives me hope and happiness. We missed a European cruise and I’ve been wearing all the new clothes I would have been wearing to drive thru dates in parking lots. I also have been making chocolate covered strawberries and having them in my “happy outfits” for a “happy hour” with my husband. This is a time we will remember so I’m injecting some good memories as well!

    1. Very wise of you. We will all remember this for a very long time

  8. I wear the same thing when I go to the grocery store, jeans, something long-sleeved and the same pair of shoes, which I take off and don’t wear in the house. No jewelry, not even my watch as that would be just one more thing to have to wipe down once I get home. Mask, of course. I have noticed people are not really even looking at each other in the store, just want to get in and get out! I agree with a previous poster, fun clothes are my spring/summer clothes. Last week I did put the winter sweaters, etc. away since it is getting warmer now. We had a big vacation to Europe planned for July and I would have been making lists and getting excited at this point. It’s disappointing but I know other people who are dealing with so much worse. Many days when I watch the news I cry. This is purely awful. I am 70 and from what I understand, those of us in the vulnerable group will be asked to social distance for quite a while to come.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about your vacation plans. Hopefully, it will be safe by the summer

  9. I think this us such a great idea. And I’d be a lot more in favor if the first thing I did wasn’t a disaster. I put on my favorite denim shirt, which is heavy weight, added my fav striped tee under it and promptly forgot what I was wearing and dropped red taco grease down my front. Then I used a stain stick which left a lighter spot than shirt. So, while I highly recommend dressing in your favorites, don’t be like me. Forgot that mustard hot dog. LOL

  10. Mary Alice says:

    Thank you for sharing that some days are hard for you too! It is easy to think that I am thew only one having a bit of a hard time right now. I have a beautiful, red, embroidered kimono that belonged to my mother. When I was in my 20’s I wore it to formal events with black satin pants that I sewed. It has been hanging in the closet for literally decades! Today, I’m wearing it open with a black cami soft black pants. I live alone and don’t expect anyone to see it, but I’m going to wear it and remember my mom and my younger self!

  11. Claudette says:

    We are still in the erratic weather so wearing coats. I have learned to shop on line during this stay at home time and found a pair of pink slip on shoes that just said joy. When they arrived and I put them on (it was a rainy day) they just made me want to dance. Put on summer music and the day went from dreary to fun. I think my cats thought I had lost my mind!

  12. Dianne🇨🇦 says:

    I do enjoy your uplifting posts! I also enjoy a lot of your followers posts.
    I also get up, shower & get dressed every day.
    I find that my hubby & I wear a “uniform “ of casual clothes every day.
    We do rotate the outfits.
    I walk in the fresh air every day, social distancing! I take posts of the spring flowers in the neighbourhood & post daily.
    Do my friends in the eastern part of Canada ever love it,I get some great compliments.
    When I get home I tidy up & put on something brighter.
    Happy spring!

  13. Strange you should post this today, as I stopped and looked at my cruise wear before donning my bathrobe this morning wandering when I might wear those dresses. I came out and took a virtual tour of exotic places. It lifted my spirits.

    I get dressed every day! I believe those not dressing in anything other than loungewear or exercise clothes will or have become depressed. Not to mention those extra pounds you may be gaining will not be noticed in your waistline. Putting on real pants might be a wake up call.

    What are you going to wear and what memories are attached to that outfit?

  14. When I make a needed trip to the grocery store I will wear nicer clothing plus accessories. At home I generally hang out in my black Reebok slim pants and a light sweater. We still have many rainy days and some windy chilly weather here. I style my hair every day and wear some light makeup. Your post has inspired me to assess the outfits in my closet, try on things and see what I need to purge and determine what I can combine to make different outfits. I’ve been interested in a capsule wardrobe for some time and have been attempting, with some success, to curb my impulse buys.

  15. Nancy Fraze says:

    I read online that people are dressing in party and formal clothes to take their trashcan to the curb.

    1. That’s a thing in AU and NZ! Google it!

  16. Maybe you can take some pictures of yourself in your happy clothes and describe why they make you happy. That way we can celebrate with you. I am not dressing up because I seem to be doing messier stuff right now, but when I do put on, even a nicer top or pants it does change my mood! You have a lot on your plate right now, let us help you find some joy while being an inspiration.

  17. I like this suggestion and I definitely would be doing it, but its still cold here and my Happy clothes tend to be summer clothes. I decided instead to clear my closet and returned a minimalist selection to see how it would be to dress this way. I had the time and thought it would be fun to try. I find for me it makes me try new combinations of outfits. I settled on 3 of each layering styles as it is still needed here.

  18. Thank you for the up lifting posts and especially congratulations on your test results. It’s hard enough to go through the lockdown but to have health issues too. God Bless you. Love this article. It’s hard to realize what everyone is going through. I almost think this is a science fiction movie that I never though would happen. We just have to be grateful and visualize much more happy days ahead.

    1. Agreed. We don’t know that struggles another woman is going through so we need to be kind and supportive.

  19. Beverly Glotzbach says:

    Thank you for this post! Just thinking about the possibilities lifted my spirits. Hope you are doing well. Sending good vibes from Sweet Home Alabama.

  20. I agree getting dressed each morning in a nice outfit is helping me keep my spirits. As well as praying for all my family & friends. Most of all my faith in the Lord, that this too will pass keeps my spirits up.

  21. I bought some clothes in anticipation of a trip to Morocco this summer. Sadly, like so many others, my trip was officially cancelled this past Tuesday. But what I did on Wednesday, was put on one of those new outfits that I was planning to wear. It might not be the markets in Casablanca, but what the heck! I felt great that day although disappointed about my cancelled trip.
    PS already rebooked for next summer!

  22. Jennifer, just a quick note this morning off topic. I started my husband on the drunken raisin thing when I saw it on your post. He has both arthritis and neuropathy in his feet. I hesitate to say this, but I really think they are helping him. Not sure he’s noticed, but he has quit complaining about pain in his feet on a daily basis. He takes medication for this also, but it seems to be better since we started the raisins.

    1. Bonita, that is wonderful! When I read your post, I remembered a book I read lately: Cured by Jeffrey Rediger. This book provides information about the life-changing science of spontaneous healing, the placebo effect, and much more. You might find this book helpful. Good luck!

  23. Jennifer thanks for your joyful words-makes my day!!
    I have been shopping on line and keep a colorful bag in my extra room with my purchases. It is so fun to shop my bag and pull out a new item. Yesterday I decided to wear a new pink Chico blouse! Wow did it elevate my mood. Paired it with a white tank top, long strand of pink pearls and of course my favorite frayed bottom jeans. I headed to my sewing room and made masks for my friend. Next stop was my kitchen to prepare a new recipe. Thanks to my new pink blouse, I had a great day!

  24. Perfect timing for this article Jennifer. I was finally able to put away the last of my winter clothes yesterday, as our bout of winter temperatures the last few weeks is finally over. Now I can wear some of my warmer weather clothes and add more colour. I think I will retire to the textile bin some of the clothes I wore the most for the last 7 weeks, as the quarantine reminder will always be there if I were to wear them again.

  25. Linda R Gaertner says:

    I’m finding that getting into nicer cloths raises how I feel and act. If I’m in lounge cloths I have a tendency to not do much all day. If I dress up I want to be more active. So the perfect choice for me is get up and do some workout in gym cloths and then shower and put on a nice outfit.

  26. You are spot on this morning Jennifer! I did order a couple basic clothing pieces that were seasonal to help extend my existing wardrobe. I start my day wearing my usual attire to get my basic, daily chores done. Later, I change into something a bit more upscale and yes, it makes me feel better. Just because it’s not new it doesn’t mean it’s outdated or not fun to wear anymore.
    They keep saying that “this is a marathon not a sprint”. Thankyou for keeping us connected Jennifer. I look forward to your posts and love reading all the responses from your amazing followers. Stay well, be kind and remain grateful.

  27. À spin-off idea I have seen is to imagine you are in another location and celebrate that place in your day’s choices. Wear a scarf for Paris, shorts for a desert, colorful cotton for India, etc. Add food favs and entertainment and music that reminds you of your place as well!

  28. when I go to the grocery now, I actually dress up in a nice outfit and jewelry. that is something I would never have done before. Makeup is not needed because my face is covered with a mask! The recovery from this virus situation will take a long time. It is going to be a long process so that is demoralizing also.

  29. Great idea to dress in our special/favorite clothes. Remember our memories & create hope. Thanks

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