I’m a big believer in the power of clothes to change your mood. If you wake up feeling super blah, then it’s all the more important to dress extra un-blah. Never is this maxim more true than when you’ve contracted the dreaded-but-often-unavoidable “spring cold.” After all, it’s beautiful out! Birds are singing, the sun is shining, women are foregoing bulky tights in favor of bare legs. This is a time for celebration! But a runny nose, hacking cough and watery eyes have you feeling the opposite of festive.
They say that laughter’s the best medicine, but there’s nothing funny about running through a box of Kleenex when it’s 70 degrees outside. So I’d amend that cure-all to “style.” If the change of seasons is wreaking havoc on your immune system, I say, fight the urge to dress the way you feel.
Yes, you’d prefer to show up to work sporting pajama jeans and the hoodie you wore to bed, but resist. Instead, try taking the opportunity to up your style game. If you’re well enough to go to work (or, more likely, if you don’t have time to stay home), then act – and dress – the part. After the jump, three reasons to dress up when you’re feeling down:
1. Throw them off the scent.
Go a sartorial step above your normal attire to throw others off your Vaporub-tinged trail. Co-workers will wonder if you’re gunning for the corner office, not if you might be contagious. Distract from your sneezing with a fancy handkerchief. Keep warm in the office’s chilly AC with a fine-gauge cashmere sweater. Wear (flannel-lined) chinos instead of your usual jeans. You want them looking at your clothes, not your nose.
2. You’ll feel better.
Consider it the sartorial placebo effect. When you pass by your spiffy image in a reflective surface, you’ll stand a little taller thinking, “Who is that handsome devil?” not “I wish I was on the couch watching Duck Tales eating chicken noodle soup my mom made me.” (At least, that was my sick day cure growing up.)
3. Nobody wants to be around the sick guy.
If you value your work relationships, then take one for the team and put on a good face. When I was a kid, my dad came down with pneumonia right before we left to go see the Badgers play in the Rose Bowl. But when we stepped off the plane in California, he looked like the picture of health (apart from being pale as a ghost in the west coast sun – but that was true for all us Wisconsin folk). For him, the power of Badger red helped him rally. What color, or suit cut, or favorite jeans will make you feel like a real person today? Throw ‘em on.
Of course, if you’re really, really sick, stay home, throw on those sweats and make yourself some soup. Duck Tales has to be showing on repeats somewhere in cable, right?