To help us leave lockdown behind and get back to looking—and feeling—our best, Klarna’s Senior Communications Specialist Giulia Ricci sat down with Dawnn Karen, aka The Dress Doctor and author of Dress Your Best Life, who happens to be a pioneer of the Fashion Psychology Field®. Karen offered her top tips for emerging from lockdown in style. We’ve recapped the highlights:
Start the day with an exercise.
After a lengthy stretch spent in, well, stretchy pants, it can feel like a struggle to remember your personal style. Good thing The Dress Doctor is in! To help break free from your fashion rut, Karen suggested starting the day with a mindful morning exercise.
“Before commencing your normal routine, do a self check-in,” Karen said. “During the pandemic, you were very aware of how you felt. So do a self check-in to check your emotional temperature. You can ask yourself the following, ‘How do I feel right now? What’s on my agenda for today? How do you want to feel in the next eight to 12 hours?’ And just lie there and actually breathe, and just take that moment to do an assessment. This is your sacred time.”
Dress for yourself.
During pre-pandemic days, many of us were “on autopilot” and “very robotic,” said Karen. With all we’ve endured during lockdown, now is the time to treat ourselves gently.
While engaged in a morning check-in, Karen noted that two things will happen: You will either find yourself wanting to stay comfortable, or you may decide to step up your style.
“Dressing up doesn’t necessarily have to be really going full out,” she said. “It can be wearing a certain color or fabric.”
The key, Karen noted, is to determine what dressing up looks like to you as an individual.
“It’s all about styling from the inside out. You’re not dressing for external factors— your friends, your family, not even your workplace. You’re dressing for yourself, and it starts from within. It’s all about aligning the internal to the external or the attitude to the attire,” she said.
Never underestimate a great accessory.
If you want to make a small but significant change to your look, start by including a focal accessory. This is something that holds psychological weight and can be worn every day, which will allow you to feel grounded and centered in a world fraught with uncertainty, Karen said.
For some, it may be a family heirloom, such as a piece of jewelry. For others—especially Gen Z—it could even be wearable tech, like AirPods. The choice is up to the individual to find what makes them feel their best.
Create a capsule wardrobe.
To make getting dressed each day easier, Karen suggested creating a capsule wardrobe, which is a collection of elements that can be remixed and repeated. These foundational pieces should span four categories: casualwear, special occasion, outerwear, and accessories.
“If you have created a capsule wardrobe utilizing these four categories, you cannot go wrong; you’ll have essentially everything you need,” she said. “And then if you want to buy something, I always say, ‘Out with the old, in with the new.’ So as you buy something, get rid of something [else]. Donate it. Practice sustainability.”