I’ve been a night owl all my life, but a recent bout of depression has been keeping me up later and in bed longer. Almost every morning, I force myself up and at ‘em about nine minutes before I have to leave for work, which means – if I’m going to brush my teeth, eat breakfast, and/or glob on a coat of mascara before I trip out the door – I have exactly one minute and forty-five seconds to get my outfit together. Here’s what that typically looks like:
Not bad for someone who was awake until 3 a.m. emotionally eating Ritz crackers and watching YouTube videos about plastic surgery in Thailand, right?
When I’m feeling blue (like, dark blue, like navy blue), I try to notice small details that bring me even the slightest bit of joy. It keeps me, you know, standing.
This outfit may have recently been in a giant pile on my floor, but every piece of it helps me combat depression with positive associations.
For instance, these jeans come from a tiny store in Manhattan Beach, California, where the hilarious owner, Tammy, insisted she help me find a pair, popping in and out of the dressing room with the audacity of a mom and laughing when I tried to cover myself. I hadn’t bought a pair of jeans in over five years because I get so frustrated with my thighs, hips, knees, ankles, and general way of life, but this woman probably has no idea how much her patience and excitement over these pants helped boost my confidence.
Plus, unlike the 1,800 pairs of leggings I own, these have a perfect pocket for carrying a ‘lil rose quartz heart, a slightly overpriced reminder to love myself.
I have some really bad news about this Free People jacket. Like, you’re going to hate me.
I got it…from…Crossroads. For $12. I know, we can’t be friends anymore. Free People is one of those stores I never go into because I’m scared the pauper alarm is going to go off, and I’ll be escorted out due to my lack of coolness…and money. Usually, when I do laundry, I throw lights and darks and delicates into one machine and wish them luck – I’m too busy watching those plastic surgery YouTube videos to separate my clothes! But this jacket gets the VIP-solo-cold-spin treatment, because it might be the fanciest thing I’ve ever owned: It’s covered in delicate, gossamer lace and has holes on purpose.
And now. This shirt. This shirt makes me happy for three reasons:
1. It was gifted to me by HelloGiggles beauty editor and star human being, Marie Lodi.
2. It fits like I stole it from a rock star’s closet after we had really fun, protected sex that we will both remember forever even though we never see each other again. And…
3. …I wore it a few times before finding out it’s from a company that sells weed lotion. Happy to support local businesses but should probably check what labels mean before I display them on my chest.
This necklace is an incredible secret anti-anxiety tool!
Inside lives a little round pad that soaks up essential oils, which means you can casually take deep breaths of goodness throughout the day without carrying around a full apothecary of smelling salts. Lavender is forever my oil of choice, because it doesn’t give me a headache, and it reminds me of my mom. I got this locket from a friend that has perfected that, “On the outside, it totally looks like I have it all together, but on the inside I’m usually freaking out,” lifestyle, and I strive to be brave like her. *Sniffs locket*
For some reason, I associate wearing a watch with having your shit together, so I recently grabbed this one in the checkout line of an H&M. (The $20 watch actually cost more than the romper I was buying, which is the H&M-iest thing ever.) Don’t let this piece fool you, I do not have my shit together; I’ve turned the watch off so I don’t have to hear it tick or ever know what time it is. Healthy!
My ring is an heirloom (ha! I’ve just always wanted to say that). No, seriously, my great-grandfather gave it to me when I used to visit Los Angeles when I was a kid. Long story short, I moved here partly because of him, so this sparkly always reminds me that I belong in this city even when it feels like I don’t.
Oh, boy. Now you’re really going to hate me.
These amazing Spice Girls-style platform tennies were made by ASOS, but purchased by moi in the same Crossroads where I got my jean jacket. When I googled the shoes to see if I could buy three more pairs, I found entire Facebook groups dedicated to begging ASOS to start making them again. Apparently, they are very loved, but also very discontinued. Ugh, I’m so sorry. They make me ridiculously happy, though, because they tie together any mismatched ensemble and they make me model-height and they don’t smell bad even though I wear them every single day.
I know you have one lingering question and that is, “Where’d you get those beautiful matching socks?” Thank you for asking! I got these itty bitty stretchy guys on a stress-fueled Target run where I went in for sunscreen and ended up spending $200 on underwear…and NYX eyeshadow…and a 4-pack of these socks. Lucky for me, they are pretty much the only socks I own right now, so they always match. ~Movin’ on up!~
If you or a loved one is dealing with depression or a different mental illness, please know you’re not alone. Dressing in my armor of clothes and accessories that remind me of positive things helps me a lot, but of course you should find what works best for you. In the meantime, I’ll be spraying Febreeze on my Free People jean jacket to avoid doing laundry for another week.
Buy it all here:
Straight Cropped Jeans from Cello ($24.99 on Amazon)
Lace-Trimmed Denim Jacket ($148 by Free People)
Ultra Soft T-Shirt ($40 by Lord Jones)
Aromatherapy Locket (5 pack, $11.99 on Amazon)
doTERRA Lavender Essential Oil ($23.31 on Amazon)
Wristwatch ($19.99 from H&M)
Copy-Cat of my heirloom ring ($299 from Zale’s, bonus points for clever engravings)
NYX Matte Lipstick in Butter ($6 on NYX.com)
Platform Sneakers (Seriously, there are nowhere to be found. I told you that you’d hate me! ASOS has these rose gold platform shoes that I bet are great for $42. You could … spray paint them black?)
Peds Sport Cut Liner Socks ($7.99 from Target)