Reader Comments about “Get Dressed!”

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This reader comment was posted in response to the story "Improve Your Life Right Away — Get Dressed!"

I can really relate to the truth in this week’s column. This has occurred to me twice.

In 1993, we lost our newborn son due to an undetected birth defect. With no prep time of any sort for the blow, we were devastated. On top of that, we had 3 other kids 7, 5 and 2 that had to be taken care of. Fortunately, we had family in town that took care of our kids so I could physically recover.

Woman Getting Dressed - Getting Dressed can make you feel better

After several weeks, I realized that I could not live like that, and made myself get up. I flushed the Xanax down the toilet and figured out that life had to go on. And by the simple acts of getting dressed, makeup and hair, I made myself move on. Yeah, it was hard and I cried a lot in the shower (and the bedroom, and the kitchen, etc.) but it helped. It was also a signal to my husband that I was going to be okay. He could not take much time off as we owned our own business, but we made it. I realized that I had turned the corner when we were watching tv one night (Highlander: The Series to be exact), when I looked over at the tv and thought, "Hey, he’s nice looking"…I knew I would be okay.

A year later, in June ’94, I had a series of 3 strokes, caused by chiropractic manipulation of my upper neck. I was taken to the ER, sent home after stabilization, and was back there again that evening. I went home 4 days later and had about 3 months of recovery. Again, I realized that getting dressed was important to my recovery. And that was a sign again to my husband that I was improving and ready to try a few things again. Fixing dinner one night was a real triumph. Of course, due to weakness/damage from the strokes I couldn’t pick up the pot to drain the water from the pasta…but at least I got dinner fixed.

Don’t discount putting on your clothes!




  1. Maggie says

    After my liver tranplant and several hospital stints, I got up one day for a doctor’s appt and put on some lipstick just because I was feeling a little better. My doctor commented that he could tell which women were on the mend because they decided to put on lipstick or a little makeup for their appointment. To me, this was like getting dressed. I began to look at myself as a survivor instead of a sick person. It makes a difference in how you feel. You may be moving slow but you are moving.

  2. Tammy says

    I struggled with depression from my teenage years through my early twenties, in particular, and with each of my pregnancies due to both hormones and personal circumstances that coincided with the pregnancies and tore my heart out. What I discovered with each of those was that if I got dressed up and put on make-up, I felt better about myself. I worked for a company that dressing up was not required for the work we did or for interviews. Shorts and t-shirts with flip-flops would have been perfectly acceptable attire; however, I always dressed-up for those, even though during the work week, I dressed in jeans or shorts t-shirts or polos far more than dresses. (Primarily because I invariably had to fix a cabling problem under my desk the days I wore a dress and that was far less lady-like than wearing shorts or jeans for the job.) When being interviewed, I would be asked about the change and I point-blank told them that it gave me more confidence to look my best on the outside.
    The “Improve Your Life Right Away – Get Dressed!” article is valuable on so many levels and was definitely good food-for-thought.

  3. Amanda says

    Even on my days off from work, I still bathe, get dressed, do my hair, and do my makeup. I do this for myself, not for anyone else. It makes me feel better, even if I’m not going anywhere and no one is coming over.

    However, this is not how I was raised. My mom doesn’t change clothes or bathe unless she is going to the store, which is only once or twice a week. I cringe when I visit her and she is wearing a house dress/gown and looks like she hasn’t bathed or brushed her hair in days, the house is a mess, pet hair everywhere, etc. I love her, of course, but I know that she would feel better as a person if simply put forth the effort to keep herself groomed. I’ve casually asked her why, and she says that she has no reason to- she’s a widow and no one ever comes over. ?? But she doesn’t groom herself when we come to visit.

  4. Tabitha says

    while i can see where you are going with this, i never wear makeup. EVER. and i always even when working or going out put my hair in a pony tail. Also, i am very large breasted and wearing a bra around the house just hurts, and makes it hard to nurse, and when i wear my good clothes i stain them or rip them and i cannot afford to buy new ones. so for home i wear navy or black tshirts and legginds, brush my hair and try my best. except now i kinda feel bad

    • says

      Tabitha the main point is to do the grooming habits which you use and get dressed so you don’t just slop around in pj’s all day. The way you dress and groom yourself does affect the way you feel about yourself. If you don’t wear make up that’s fine but wash your face or what ever and slip on something nice and comfortable (leggings and t shirts are just fine). The main thing is to get out of your pj’s and to look reasonably nice. I don’t were my good clothes and I have my every day clothes too because they do get stained and dirty but I at least have clothes on and we all have different life styles so you need to adapt the tips to yours but when you can at least comb your hair, brush your teeth and get dressed even if that is all you do.

  5. says

    Tabitha, I would recommend wearing a bra. I am like you but many years older and I have found to my chagrin that I should have worn a bra more than I did. It keeps them where they are supposed to be so that they don’t sag when you reach a time in your life that you want to wear nice clothes again and have your children saying good bye at the door as you leave on a date with your husband.
    They also save your back and for me that is why I put up with them.
    When I was a teen I loved horse back riding and someone would always say got a bra on? cause we don’t want to see you with black eyes if you get out of a walk. That gives a clue as to how large mine were.

    I do not wear makeup unless I look really sick with the black circles and tired skin. It gives me more confidence when meeting people.
    As for clothes I have my house clothes but by the door I keep a nice top for when my husband gets home and says lets go out for a few minutes. I put on a better top and we go. It doesn’t take more than a minute and it makes me feel like I am actually getting away from housework even if it is just going to the store.
    Don’t feel bad. If it works for you. Try making simple no fuss changes and as they become habit move on to another thing that makes you feel bad.
    I am 55 and still making changes almost daily.
    Life has a way of getting in the way of living sometimes.

  6. Marilyn says

    I was always so proud of my mother. She was always dressed as if royalty was coming. She used to say “you can always tell a lady by her hands” Actually wore kid gloves when cleaning the house, and I mean our home was spotless. I on the other hand, forget the gloves and am usually found in jeans and a Christian Tee unless I am going out to the store.Well, to be honest, I sometimes make a quick run out to a little convenience store in same. I have to wear mascara and lipstick or I feel naked, but I admit I do put on a little foundation if leaving the house. I wish I could be more like my mother was, but I live an entirely different life. This article reminded me that I really should dress a little more my “age” 66. Just because I can get into those size 8 jeans, doesn’t mean I should live in them. Love to all

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