Dressing Up or Dressing Down. That's the question... But what exactly does it mean? In any case, the terms are not literal. You could say: get dressed in a representative way or let's dress as comfortable as possible, but this doesn't quite cover it.
Dressing up means that you have done your very best to look as good as possible. This is always related to your activities and representation. If you want to show yourself decent and respectful, then you get 'dressed up'. For example, for a concert, but also when you go to friends for dinner. During occasions such as weddings, parties at work or funerals, it is an unwritten rule that you are properly dressed. This usually means: no jeans, sneakers, flip-flops, a lot of naked or torn clothing. On some occasions there are 'dressing codes', so it is not only desirable to wear gala clothes, for example, but it becomes more or less mandatory.
Dressing down means that you are below the level of what social norms expect of you. For example, you get to work in jeans leggings to work. Or you wear too much naked or vulgar neon clothing during a memorial. You might do it out of rebellion, to look casual or because you don't care about it at all.
Dressing down shows little respect for the environment, the people or the occasion. But it can also mean that you are not doing it consciously. Some people have little sense of social norms or find it difficult to meet the requirements. In this case, it is useful to know yourself. You could ask in advance what is expected, if you do not want to be in the spotlights in a negative way.
The psychology of dressing up and dressing down
Dressing up and dressing down largely depend on your personal taste and how you want to be seen by your social group. Some people enjoy dressing and grooming themselves. Always and everywhere. They love beautiful clothes, like to spend money on them or like to make clothes themselves and their creativity knows almost no limits.
The same goes for dressing down. There are also people who always and everywhere opt for comfort. You will not easily see them wearing neat shoes and in the summer, flip flops are more than enough. Put on shorts, t-shirt on top and that's it.... To the city for shopping, to your in-laws, or a staff party, who cares?
However, what effects do you achieve with it? How does the environment think of you and how do you feel? Clothing and grooming yourself is often someone's first impression. Clothing is communication and shows a lot of yourself. Dressing down may be very relaxed, but is it nice? Does it give you positive bio feedback? Often not. After all, it is not pleasant for the other person to look into a crack in the buttocks of sagging pants or admire ingrown toenails.
Freedom of choice in terms of clothing and taste is a good and common right. However, what you do with it is entirely up to you. Taking care of yourself and dressing nicely is generally more appreciated by other people than the opposite. And even if you are alone, taking good care of yourself (and dressing) makes you feel good. Loss of decorum happens to sick and depressed people. It doesn't interest them any more ...
How do you do 'dressing up'?
Dressing up has nothing to do with money, designer clothes or expensive accessories. It is about the total picture and your appearance. Dressing up is doing something extra: wearing a watch while you have a mobile, which also indicates the time perfectly. An extra bracelet and nail polish while even if you are not a receptionist. Wearing a hat or a scarf while it is neither raining nor windy. A white blouse under a jacket instead of a t-shirt. An ironed blouse instead of a t-shirt. Matching socks and a matching handbag. And do not forget personal care: a minimum of make-up often ensures that you suddenly feel much better.
"After a long hospital stay I didn't look good. In the last days before I was admitted to go home, I started to put on some make-up, had a visitor helped me with a manicure, I was wearing a blouse instead of the t-shirts I had worn for weeks.
This did not go unnoticed. Every nurse and doctor who entered my room started to smile and said that I looked amazing .....
I certainly didn't look thát good, but at least I tried and people appreciated my intention to look better. The 'feeling good' effect was bigger than I ever expected."
Dressing up, in dark times In this corona crisis, is hardly applicable anymore. Why should we? Many people opt for convenience and comfort. But dressing up also has to do with joie de vivre, self-confidence, self-esteem and ambition.
As we wrote in: Living in a bubble, we now live and work digitally, but we are definitely seen. Behind the screen during Facetime conversations, by means of selfies for Instagram or during meetings on Zoom. A nice blouse with a bow or brooch, or a homemade Chanel-style jacket, shows a different attitude than a sweater or hoodie with a just-out-of-bed hairstyle.
There are more arguments for dressing down than dressing up. But some of them are wrong.
1. Dressing up costs money and I don't have that now ...
Dressing neatly has nothing to do with expensive designer clothes or golden accessories. It is all up to you and you can (learn to) make beautiful clothes yourself. Tips for doing this extra economically: How to save money, tios & tricks!
In fact, sneakers, jeans leggings and a hoodie with text are sometimes more expensive than a simple blouse and normal pants.
2. It is too hot to 'dress up'.
The weather seems to be an argument to throw out all your clothes. Sleeveless t-shirts, shorts and flip-flops are often considered the ultimate summer outfit. But women in India and Africa look just as elegant, even if they live in countries with reál hot weather. Dressing up is sometimes even practical in summer. Nice linen pants are chic, and provides a cool feeling, and a cotton blouse provides more coolness than a t-shirt which sticks to your body and show your sweat.
3. Finally, think about memories that you will have of yourself or how others 'see' you. What will your photo book look like, a bit later in time? How does the next generation remembers you? Do they notice a beautiful, nicely stylish lady or a woman who didn't care about her looks at all...
Dressing up says a lot about you as a person. It has nothing to do with money, but everything about your own style, taste and the way you feel about yourself.
Dressing down is also part of life and has become almost standard in these corona times ...
However, we love to dress up!
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