How does anxiety, depression, or other issues affect your fashion?

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    How do these things affect what you choose to wear? I find that on days when my depression and anxiety are especially bad, I just go to my classes in yoga pants and a t-shirt. On other days my style is drastically different and put together. How do y’all manage your wardrobe when your emotions are all over the place?

    EDIT: I also would like any advice about how to reconcile my need for comfort on days when I don’t feel well emotionally and my wanting to still look put together, if y’all have any!

    EDIT 2: Thanks for all the kind comments and responses. This is a lovely subreddit!

    EDIT 3: I apologize if this question has caused any of y’all stress. I didn’t mean for it to be like that, I was just curious about how these things affected other people. Thank you for the advice, and I wish you all good luck on your journeys.



    Sounds like you’re an emotional dresser. For me, I plan my outfits beforehand and try to stick to the plan no matter what. That way I won’t have to go through the dreaded indecisiveness when I open my closet.

    Also I won’t decide what to wear based on how I feel that particular day, especially if I feel low. I’ve read somewhere that it has been proven what you wear affects your mood and how you view yourself ([related video here]( So perhaps when you’re feeling depressed, you’d want to feel shielded instead. Or cheerful. Or light. Or cozy. Just trying to find moods for outfits here. If you know what you want to feel like, you can make it into an outfit. The night before your class, set out an outfit that will make you feel the way you intended to feel. For example if you want to feel cozy; you can wear a blanket scarf. If you want to feel more cheerful and lighter, you can wear vibrant colors. So on and so forth… I highly suggest you try this and see how it affects your mood.

    Just for this reason I made a Pinterest board of outfits that will make me feel comfortable and cozy – emotionally. I knew I needed to feel that way, so I wanted to use clothes to make me feel that way. If you’re curious about it, it’s [here](

    One tiny tip for achieving the put together look is, you can try adding accessories, or if you already have them, try playing around with them. You don’t even have to change your default outfit to create a different look. Just add a hat, scarf (which I think would make you feel safer emotionally), necklaces, watch or bracelets, rings… And see what it does to an outfit.

    **TL;DR**: Choose outfits based on how you *want to feel*, not how you already feel; and it will alter your mood.



    For me, throwing on a dress doesn’t require much decision-making or effort since it’s just one thing. If I can’t manage a shower, dry shampoo and baby wipes are helpful. Tying a little silk scarf as a headband can cover up dirty hair.



    You can tell I’m going through a depressive spell when I start living in pajama pants and a sports bra.

    But when I actually have to leave the house and look presentable, I like to lean on dark jeans, a simple tank top, and a dark cardigan – as long as they pass the sniff test, it’s easy to look like you actually put thought into your outfit.



    I had an extreme anxiety disorder during university, which made my stomach/digestion all funny, too. I ended up choosing comfort over fashion, but there are some tips and tricks to it. The things I did to help:

    – I exclusively wore highwaisted stretch jeans and heavy duty yoga pants (think: Uniqlo legging pants). They were stretchy and comfortable, but still looked like pants.
    – Oversized knit sweaters. So many oversized knit sweaters. I had sweater paws for 4 years.
    – If I was really feeling down, I’d just wear a crewneck with my university logo. School pride, and all that. It looks nicer than school hoodies.
    – Lots of oversized beanies. If you can’t deal with your hair… wear a beanie. Those giant headband/ear-muff things work, too.
    – Almost everything I owned was navy, grey, and black. That way I didn’t have to think about putting together outfits. I tried to lay out my clothes the night before, too.
    – Focus on accessories. Lots of big comfy scarves. Earrings, rings, necklaces. Fun shoes and boots (I liked mine to be flat, though – faux Blundstones and ankle boots always look nice). A nice watch goes a long way.
    – Make yourself a ‘uniform’. Use the same perfume every day. Wear simple, small hoop earrings and the same basic necklace every day. It’s little things like this that can help you feel put together.



    For me my reaction to more intense bouts of depression, OCD, and anxiety can have a couple of opposite effects. One reaction is that I completely forget how to put together an outfit, feel terrible and ugly in everything that I put on my body, and lose all the joy that I find in what I wear. I get extremely critical of myself and my appearance, and shoot for “good enough” for whatever situation and avoid mirrors or having photos taken as much as possible. The opposite reaction also happens sometimes, where I get a bit hyperfocused on my appearance, and buying and wearing clothes I love is the only thing that brings me any joy, satisfaction, and sense of control. I sort of feel like if I can control how I look, then maybe I can control how I feel. I’m still pretty critical of myself in these phases, and I spend a lot more money than I should. I also use my clothes as a way to stay busy and feel useful in these times. I spend hours mending things, hand washing, pill shaving, steaming, ironing, cleaning, conditioning and weatherproofing my leather items, etc.

    I have a pretty small wardrobe now, though. It’s not a capsule exactly, and I have warm weather and cold weather pieces, but the lack of choice makes it easier for me to stay consistent no matter my mental state.



    Apparently this is about the opposite from most, but depression is what taught me to dress better/in clothes that made me feel pretty.

    As a young teen, I was very uncomfortable in my body and definitely didn’t want the fact that I was changing to show, so I always hid it in big, oversized sweaters in the most awful colours (what I’ve learned from those pictures is that light grey is NOT my colour).

    It made me so uncomfortable in a different way, though. I was already feeling weird, and now people were also thinking I looked weird? It took me a pretty long time to grasp and I certainly went overboard, but at 19, at the height of my depression due to circumstances, I just started going on a shopping spree and made sure everything I bought was tight and pretty. These were not your everyday clothes, more like slightly alternative dresses, but that I didn’t look frumpy in them was for sure!

    The new clothes didn’t magically cure my depression, but I finally didn’t feel even worse when I went outside. Yes, I do think it’s a lot of effort to come up with what to wear, so I started creating weeklong schedules with outfits that I then could lay out the night before and always look my best, without having to freak out in the morning!

    Still depressed, still do the same. I have to add that I find most “comfortable” clothes incredibly uncomfortable because of sensory issues and I can’t stand that feeling of clothes that are too big rubbing on your skin.

    EDIT: I’m chronically depressed due to loneliness and ASD, so I’m not sure if that changes anything, but I mainly wanted to add it because I can’t tell if I sound rude whenever I answer these things. It may also change the way I cope with things, since it’s been going on for ten years now (but started getting a lot better since last year).



    For me it’s also all about how the clothes feel. When I’m depressed I’m craving comfort.
    I wear a comfy wireless bra and pull my tights all the way up. I prefer soft fabrics with a tight fit underneath, think a little viscose or tencel shirt. Feels like a hug! In top, a simple dress always looks put together.
    Sturdy but comfy shoes also help. Docs or brogues. I put my glasses and watch on = instant office look.
    When feeling like hiding, I love to wear big scarfs, turtlenecks and, even if I don’t feel like putting on make-up, foundation and a little blush.



    It’s funny because when I’m depressed I aim for cozy and warm clothing, but I also insist on looking my best – I get actively upset when an outfit doesn’t look quite right, and I refuse to leave the house without at least a little makeup. I guess when I’m depressed and I look in the mirror, I hate myself no matter what, but I tend to hate myself more when I’m ugly, so I have to look presentable in order to not hate myself quite so much? IDK.

    When I’m emotionally stable, I straight up do not feel any need to wear makeup and don’t care as much about how my clothes look.



    I wear a lot of dresses. You can try to find fabrics that feel comfortable for you. I tend to use a lot of bandanas in an old school rockabilly way – their cheap. Last episode of depression I had, I stopped going in for haircuts (I keep my hair short) so the bandanas helped me out quite a bit. Here’s hoping you find something that makes you feel comfortable!



    My anxiety issues fluctuate quite a lot, but mostly I have trouble making decisions, dealing with attention, and generally being social. This translates to wearing a lot of modest clothing in black and other plain colours, usually with headphones and big sunglasses.

    When I do have sensory issues, it’s usually a question of bloating and/or itchy skin. On those days, I’ll wear a really simple cotton knit dress, with a comfy bralette and opaque tights underneath. I buy the tights a size up so they’re not constricting. Unless it’s really hot, I’ll throw a cozy scarf on top. I also have a couple of pairs of trousers that are a little loose in the waist; if I really need to look professional, I’ll wear my stretchy slim trousers with a slim cotton or cashmere sweater – again, maybe a scarf to dress it up a little. Natural fabrics (sometimes blended with something stretchy) and elastic waistbands are crucial for me.

    For accessories, I have some really comfortable old oxford shoes that I usually wear on those bad days. In general scarves, sunglasses and any sort of knit blazer or cardigan can also make outfits look a lot more planned.

    There’s no reason you have to dress in the same style or level of formality every day, especially if you’re a student! Hang in there and keep fighting 🙂



    I stopped doing laundry. Lots of hoodies and things that passed the smell test.

    I’ve improved since then



    Depending on the weather, I either go for my oversized sweater that make me want to attempt walking on clouds or red plaid trousers with a black stripe down the side that say enough to the world without needing me to verbally communicate much. What matters most though is the fabric – I want to feel like I could give a lecture and take a nap so I stick with natural fibers. Cotton and silk make for very good clothing that won’t cause many turned heads for the intermediate phase between normal and a full on spiral.

    As for looking put together, a shower and manicured nails can go a long way. Even without makeup or jewelry, a good shower will make me look awake and clean nails serve as a reminder of me being capable of accomplishing something even when I really don’t want to do anything.



    This is an embarrassing answer but I’m sure I’m not the only one, so here we go.

    I have anxiety and one way I “deal” with it is by skin picking. I’ve always had acne (even now in my 30s) and other skin problems that were very embarrassing and especially self-esteem demolishing as a teen. I also have depression, and this caused me to see my skin problems as evidence that I am no good and repulsive, so I’d “punish” myself for having skin imperfections and being a gross human by scratching and picking at them until they got worse like I “deserved”. And of course picking made me get even more imperfections, so it was a self destructive cycle.

    So now I skin pick out of anxiety and habit and the worst part is that it forces me to choose my outfits and accessories for the day based on where I have the most spots. I try not to pick my face but my chest, back and the back of my neck I’m still working on. Especially in the summer when most people show more skin, it’s very embarrassing and I haven’t worn some of my favorite shirts in years because of it. It undoubtably doesn’t even look nearly as bad as I think it does and I often see other people wearing a tank top with back acne and don’t feel like it’s a big deal, but I have so much shame around it.

    I hate it so…. so fucking much. But apparently not enough to stop picking.




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