Everything feels more familiar from the inside of my favorite hooded sweatshirt. It’s heather gray and comprised of a thick, not entirely soft poly/cotton blend that makes me feel safe. The shape is satisfyingly stocky. The hood stands bulkily at the nape of my neck and the front features a healthy-sized kangaroo pocket that’s held everything from cold medicine to a handful of Cheddar Goldfish. The giant red letters, which are stitched across the front in such a way that my chest is mercilessly scratched if I wear it sans T-shirt, read: MCGILL.
A complete list of things I know about McGill:
1. It’s a university in Montreal, Canada.
2. My college roommate Kelsey’s childhood best friend Becca attended it.
Sometime in 2009, Kelsey lent me the sweatshirt and we dubbed it the Healer Of Bad Feelings. We continued to pass it back and forth until we graduated, at which point it became a permanent fixture in my closet and on my body during times of rapid change.
It sits, revered, with other soothing pieces:
An old pair of black drop-crotch sweatpants, a loose white T-shirt with holes in it and thick, gray socks when a hard day has worn me out and I need to feel like everything’s going to be okay.
An oversized red cotton tee worn over my favorite slouchy jeans and high-top Converse when I’m anxious and not feeling like myself.
We often talk about using our clothing to express our emotions, but sometimes the clothing itself is the emotional linchpin around which we build our mood. What if the items in our closets that brought us the most comfort were the most honest indicators of our personal style? Soft and baggy — the common element among mine — doesn’t feel so off to me, actually.
What do you wear when you’re sad or lonely or anxious or tired? Something old and familiar or new and novel? Crazy colors? All black? Do you dress to reflect your mood or deflect it?
Photo via Getty Images.