8 Wearable Fashions for Guys & Girls After Rehab
Ladies and gents, welcome to our mini wardrobe guide to get you ready to tackle life after rehab. The completion of rehabilitation is an excellent time to ditch your old clothes for new ones. The new you can help be defined by donning some new threads- because who doesn’t love new clothes?
It’s true. Sometimes going wardrobe shopping isn’t financially possible, but you can always find great things at the thrift store and sales wracks. You should dress for the part you want to play. becoming successful, both in your personal ventures and career goals can be bolstered or inhibited by the clothes you wear.
Taking pride in putting yourself together everyday is so much easier when you have clothes you love. Even if you don’t change your style dramatically, taking the time to distance yourself from all memories of drug use and negative experiences is the best for your recovery. I had to let go of a sweater all the way back from middle school because I used it to hide myself all throughout middle and high school when I was crying. Obviously my memories of that sweater were not fond, but they were powerful. There came a time where it was better to let it go.
It’s like ditching pictures of your ex. You need to start over to make new, brighter memories! Even smelling your old clothes may plunge you into an unexplainable dread, or bring on old cravings. Our primal sense of smell can immediately transport us back to memories best left in the past.
Get inspiration from Pinterest if you’re not really sure where to start, or how to change your look without losing everything you love about your clothes. Let’s bring on that “new shirt” smell! Here are eight wearable fashions for both guys and gals to update or completely transform your look after recovery:
1. Adorably Approachable
Okay guys, forgive the title, but girls love adorable guys- and so does everyone else, ever. (If they say they don’t, they’re lying.) If you typically wear clothing to hide yourself, as to not draw so much attention, you may want to try lightening up your wardrobe with approachable garb to attract the right type of people.
Antisocial people are typically drawn together- which is fine, but widen your people pallet and explore different personalities- you may like what you see! When you wear approachable clothes people are more apt to interact with you (and this doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll invade your personal space and talk your ear off).
We are directly influenced by our immediate environment, and sometimes that includes the moods of strangers, as they perceive us. Don’t misunderstand me, their opinion of you makes no difference as long as you’re happy and you love who you are.
But why not try to bring some sunshine to your face and let everyone take a peek behind the hoodies, curtain of bangs, and hidden pocket-hands?
Try for colors that are light and warming like yellows, oranges, reds, lavender, sky blues, and greens; everything with a pop of color counts! Try to avoid painting yourself in blacks and greys entirely, pair them with a color. (Even if you start with a red converse.)
Take your hair out of your face with a clip or scrunchie and see the world without your hair in your face.
Guys, try doing something else with your hair. If you usually drag yourself out of bed and (maybe) pull a brush through it, add some gel or mousse and try a playful tousled look. (Literally, tussle your hair. Easy, right?)
You don’t have to make drastic changes to update your look when you do something different with your hair! Making your face more “available” will automatically make you more inviting, encouraging positive conversation– and even if you don’t want to talk to people, you’ll feel more confident in the long run embracing the beautiful person you are, as opposed to hiding behind your clothes, you “don’t care” about.
2. Studious Delight
I hate wearing my glasses- and I didn’t for a long, long time. Finally I forced myself to buy an updated prescription and frames I loved, and thought of them as an accessory, as opposed to a necessity. For some reason this has helped me wear them more consistently.
There’s nothing more satisfying than feeling in control of yourself by donning an air of erudition. (This especially helps your subconscious tune into academic or professional work, it’s all about how your clothes make you feel.) But how do you make yourself “feel” smarter and perform better with clothing?
Take inspiration from your personal idols you think are brilliant, whether fiction or real. This point of reference will help you align your behavior to the best of the qualities you admire in your role model. They always say dress for the part, don’t they?
This look doesn’t have to be “office attire.” If you’re running to the bookstore, or you’re just going to get coffee, you can sport the studious delight wherever you go!
Glasses are probably the most cliche addition to this garb, but you can also bring a book or a notebook with you- and yes actually read it. Changing your look isn’t about keeping up appearances it’s about actively assuming desirable personality traits. Your wardrobe can be a powerful catalyst of change if you allow it to be.
Notice how I didn’t say tablet? I mean sure, people can be productive on a tablet, but will you be?
Grab a pair of cute book reference earrings, hair pieces, or shirts. Nerdiness totally counts here if you want it to. As for the actual clothes you wear, find something flattering and “refined.” I quote refined because your clothes don’t have to look refined they have to feel refined to you.
For instance, if I dared to truly embrace my own advice, I would run around in a cloak- to me the mystery of a cloak and knowledge of the unknown screams studious delight. For many, they’d think I’m a whackjob. (And so what if I am!)
As long as what you’re wearing encourages you to pursue the things you love, or want to study, they’re doing the job right.
3. Rocking Alternative
I promise I won’t take your swishy hair away forever, but let’s update it a bit, shall we? How long have you been running around with the same bangs? Why not try something different, it’ll grow back, right? Or maybe you can add a streak to your hair or change your hair color completely- especially if your hair was dyed in your past life of addiction. (My cousin runs around in a variety of colored wigs all week.)
Cutting ties in as much of a physical change as you can will benefit your recovery. Ditch the old band shirts reminding you of the worst day of your life. Buy new band tees from different bands, or happier albums. Remember, it’s all about creating an alternative (see what I did there?) point of reference.
Add splashes of color, tie your hair in pigtails, try sporting some interesting earrings, bracelets, and necklaces that make you happy. You may even want to dab into some simple crystal healing by wearing appropriate pendants.
Trade in your old skinnies for new ones, and maybe pick up a different type of jean too- just to try. It’s not about ditching your look entirely, but updating it to represent what you want from life. That may be expressed in new colors, or in an investment of a wonderful jacket (or trench coat) you’ve wanted for a long time.
4. Relaxed & Comfy
If in the past you’re always over-dressed and tried so hard to fit in with your social circles and garbed yourself to the T of whatever was trending in the fashion world, why not take a break? Get back to you. You are not defined by the clothes you wear– despite their ability to help you achieve your goals and aspirations, they may hinder your personal development and progress if they are used as a mask to hide behind.
Let your hair fall around your shoulders- sport natural makeup, and guys, leave the hair gel alone for this look. Just be you. Big sweaters and flattering pants or shorts are ideal for comfort- and yes, you’re still attractive not all dolled up.
Find yourself limited by your wardrobe in terms of what you can do out in the world, like walking through grass, or going on a spontaneous beach trip? Fix it with fetching casual wear. You don’t always have to dress up like you’re the life of the party. Take a step back and just enjoy leaving your house in (gasp) fifteen minutes.
5. Strong & Proud
Feeling powerful, or want to add some confidence to your look? Throw on a pair of boots- whether you like Timberlands, boots with belts and multiple buckles, or knee high boots- make sure they make a satisfying “thunk” when you walk into a room. You can model your personal font of inspiration for this look by modeling after the style of people of power.
This is the day to wear your hair crazy- or to pile on the eyeliner. Yes guys, wear the expensive cologne today. Do sport that watch sitting sad and alone in its box. Ladies, wear the blue eyeshadow and lipsticks you never have the courage to– and no, you don’t need to wear a matching blue shirt if you don’t want to.
When you don’t have a professional obligation, why shouldn’t you wear exactly what you want to? If you’ve done that in your past of abuse, donate your old clothes and opt for new ones. Your sense of personal power has certainly transformed after the trials of therapy– whatever new power pieces you choose will help you blaze the path towards your newfound goals. Getting rid of clothes you used to throw on when you were pissed and stomping around town will help you more than you think.
Taking away any negative points of reference (and yes, even if they were your favorite) will allow you to “paint” new memories with your clothes.
6. Business & Office Wear
Going back to the basics of office wear (which I needed to do myself not so long ago): dresses and skirts should be at, or just above the knee! It doesn’t count if your dress is short with leggings; trust me, I know, I’ve been doing this all year- but I’ve resolved to use my clothing powers for good now!
Invest in a suit– even if it’s only one. You’re bound to have important meetings, or meetings with clients at some point. Stock up on the articles you can mix and match so you won’t feel dreadfully boring. I think where most people go awry is not having enough pant or skirt variety. Sure, we always stock up on the shirts, but changing the color of your pants, their cut, or type of skirt can help revitalize your wardrobe while making you feel like a person. As opposed to the perpetual office clone.
Guys, button up shirts are your friends. They’re easy to wear, and look way better than “dressy t-shirts.” The same goes for polos, that are well fitted. It won’t do to swim in a sea of fabric, or squeeze into a shirt two sizes too small. That won’t make you feel confident! The way your clothes make you feel is key, especially at work.
I remember starting my job a year ago, and I decided to buy dresses, because they’re beautiful and easy to throw on when you’re running late. Great concept, but because I went to the stores I typically shop at for my everyday wear, my execution was less-than-stellar.
I ended up getting dresses that were far too short! (Oh the embarrassment- I didn’t realize right away.) Also, keep the cleavage factor in mind. For low cut dresses I bought a bunch of sports bras in different colors to wear underneath, because the way many are cut look like modesty covers- and they work like a charm.
So, ladies and gents, if you’re going shopping for your new job, maybe visit different stores, known for professionals. (Although I’ve never stepped foot into one, I hear Old Navy, Sears, and Kohl’s are good choices.)
7. Sexy with Class
Going out with your special someone (or perhaps a soon-to-be-someone) doesn’t mean you have to show them everything all at once– and yes, you too guys. You know what you do. Try to balance out your look- if you’re wearing a short skirt, wear long sleeves- if you’re wearing a low cut shirt, opt for pants instead of a skirt.
We all want to feel amorous and beautiful, but that doesn’t mean we have to “let it all out.” In fact, doing so may cause anxiety- which is the last feeling you want on a date. Wear something that’s beautiful and comfortable. Dresses are great alternatives, because they take the guesswork out of skirt-shirt combos.
And guys, just because you look great already when you roll out of bed, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put effort into your dating attire (which is especially the case if you have a long term relationship). Ladies love flattering button up shirts (and heaven forbid, do not button the top two buttons- that’s for work), cufflinks, and watches. Explore bracelets and necklaces too- they can help pull your look together.
Wear jeans, or trousers, that fit nicely– we don’t want to see your bum, or have an overemphasis on your manly bits. That’s awkward. And please comb your hair, you can even put some gel in it!
8. Sober Good Luck Charm
Hopefully you’re excited to start looking at your clothes in an entirely different light than you did before. There’s just one thing left to complete your recovery makeover: a sober charm.
This can be as simple as a hair clip, necklace, pocket watch, ring, rock, or anything you can carry around with you. Charms help keep us focused on the task at hand and spur is to the progression of the paths we choose for ourselves.
Changing the way you think about your wardrobe can be helped with carrying around a momento. You don’t have to make it a “sober charm” it can be a “better me” charm, or represent an ambition of yours.
How’d we do? Should we write a hair guide too?
About the Author
Alexandrea Holder is a South Florida native working toward double Master’s degrees in Psychology and English. She finds the psychological aspects of addiction and mental illness fascinating, as both are prevalent in her family’s history. When not researching and spreading addiction awareness, Alexandrea enjoys sparring, artistic pursuits, and admiring puppies online.