Well Dressed Wednesdays: Depression

 

I just got off the phone. Why was I on the phone? It was an interview to do work for a startup. What did I do before the phone interview? I took a shower, shaved, and then put on some damn nice looking cloths. I didn't need to, I could have just worn the jeans and t-shirt I had been wearing all morning. I'm the same person in both outfits, but I chose to look nice for people who can't see me. Why would I go through the trouble?

To answer that question I have to explain that I, like so many other people in the world, get depressed. Often I mange to keep up a good front in the face of depression but I still get bogged down in a mire of self doubt and apathy. When this happens I find it hard to write, to respond to email, to create, and to go out and look for work that puts food on my table. Not being able to do these things has a serious effect on my life. First and foremost is the no work thing, I like to eat and have nice things like electricity and an apartment. Going out and finding the contracts I need to keep the bills paid is really important. Beyond that, I love to write and create. Not being able to do these things often makes my mood worse, leading to a spiral that often includes depressing music and lots of ice cream being consumed.

So where does dressing up come in? Well through out my life I have found a few things that help me move past my depression.

Success: Success is a big one, when I manage to make something I am really proud of, or I'm able give an over the top performance on a project it can often snap me out of a funk. The down side to this is that when something is too awesome it often leads to a small bout of depression following. I guess it's that after I do something that is amazing my regular work feels somehow diminished by it. Nonetheless, I have found that DIY projects, focusing hard on work I have to complete, or trying something new and succeeding really do help with my depression. Sadly there are few projects I can get done on a whim in order to ensure I am pumped up before a phone meeting or interview.

Exercise: I hate it! Well I guess I love it too but I hate the thought of exercise when I'm hard at work doing other things, or hard at work doing nothing at all. I spend an exorbitant amount of time trying to convince myself that I don't need to go to the gym. Or that I don't have enough time. Often when I'm in a funk I can do the convincing with little to no effort at all. When I do make it to the gym I often find that my attitude changes almost immediately. Perhaps it has something to do with succeeding; if I can run two or three miles it's something to be proud of. I'm pretty sure it has something to do with chemicals released into my brain as I work out. I could get more into the science behind it but let's just say that there are chemicals in my brain, and working out makes the happy chemicals more abundant.

Image:  Image isn't everything. A lot of people will tell you that it is, but most of the successful people I have met in life will tell you that hard work has a lot to do with it. Also, knowing appears to be at least half of the battle. Really though, image has a lot to do with how I fight my bad moods. When I'm in a funk or depressed, getting dressed can become the same mountainous task the rest of my work is. I tend to wear the same thing, often for days at a time: jeans, a black hoodie , old sneakers and done. Oh I wear underwear too, though the color doesn't really matter and I do change them daily, cause I know it makes my mom happy.

The simple act of putting on something nice, of wearing something that took effort to put together, somehow helps me break out of my funks. It's a first step in doing things that need to be done, things I usually avoid when I'm down. When I put together an outfit I like, put it on, and then look in the mirror it's as if I can see the road leading out of my depression and I can begin to walk that path. It's not as if I put on a jacket and suddenly I feel all better, but the investing of a little of my time into myself that begins the turnaround. My style and my image do not determine how my day will go. If I walk out of the house in an old shirt and some ripped jeans I won't have a bad day. But if I'm having a bad day taking the time time to look better often helps me feel better. I woke up this morning and I was in a darker place, but I had things I needed to get done. Now I look good, and I'm starting to feel better. When I get done writing this I'm going to go to the gym, then come home and get more work done. It's not all because I got dressed, but it definitely started there. Geek Out.

Well Dressed Wednesday: Belt Buckles

It used to be when I thought about belt buckles I thought about the deep south, and rodeo stars. Let's face it, no one rocks the huge-ass belt buckles like the urban cowboys of North America. I don't think it's fair to let the Wrangler wearing population monopolize all the awesome belt buckles. A belt buckle can be more than a way to let everyone know your name is Buck, or that you won a calf roping competition when you were 15. Buckles can be a fun way to add just a bit of spice to your outfit. Here at Geek Cred we are firm believers in the idea that every outfit can use a small addition to show personality; be it cuff links, shoelaces, pocket squares, ties or the ever-awesome belt buckle. To that end, I have decided to give you all a small selection of my favorite buckles to do with as you please. Be careful though - not all buckles are appropriate in all situations. That Punisher belt buckle might not be the best idea for a job interview. Then again, if you are applying for a job at a comic store it might be your ticket in. Super heroes: Some of the best belt buckles I have found to date have been the most iconic. The symbol of a beloved hero might be enough to start some pretty awesome conversations, or to get people to look at your crotch. Either way, they bring a lot to the table. Captain America Belt Buckle Captain America: $19.95, hard to get more iconic than that, and with the recent popularity of the Avengers I'm pretty sure that everyone will know what you are wearing. The Green Lantern: $9.13 - Every DC reader has wanted to belong to the Green Lantern Corps, and any kindred spirit will acknowledge your geek cred when s/he sees you sporting this on your mid-section. Batman Belt Buckle - Amazon Batman: $8.00 - O.K. so perhaps Captain America might not be the most iconic. This Batman buckle could only be cooler if it doubled as a batarang. Transformers: $14.11 - This one starts so many conversations at parties. The Transformers Autobot symbol is the universal symbol for "party over here!" Wear it to work or a social affair and everyone will know that you know how to rock. Video Games: Comic lovers are not the only ones who get to express themselves through their waist band accessories. Video games have gotten a lot of love in the belt buckle category. Nintendo Controller Belt Buckle - Amazon Nintendo: $7.99 - Old skool gamer? Show it! Let everyone know that you were there when cartridges were king and all you needed was two buttons to save a princess. Atari: $17.95 - Yeah Nintendo is old skool but Atari had graduated before old skool was even in session. Pause? Two buttons? Show gamers that you only needed one button and a stick to have a good time, no dirty jokes please. Pac Man Belt Buckle - Amazon Pac Man: $13.95 - I swear to God I will hug you no matter where we meet if I see you wearing this. No one is more iconic in the video game world than the man himself, Pac Man. While he is is a bit dated, Pac Man still represents everything that is awesome about video games. Mario Brothers Bullet Bill: $15.09 - I mean just look at it. It's Bullet Bill from Super Mario Brothers and it screams "Wear me with a suit and tie." General Geeky & Functional: Not every belt buckle has to be iconic, some can show off your general geeky side while others can be functional and fun at the same time. I don't own all of these but I'm thinking I need to get most of them. Robot Belt Buckle - Amazon The Robot: $7.99 - When robots take over the earth there will be no better way to say "welcome new metallic overlords" like robot fashion accessories. But until that time, they just look cool. Robots can be fun for people who are not into any particular geeky genre. Rebel Alliance Belt Buckle StarWars Rebel Alliance: $25.99 - Insert your own "These are not the droids you are looking for" joke here. Since the empire is in a galaxy far far away and it was destroyed a long time ago I think it's safe to show your support for the rebel alliance with this kick-ass buckle. Hardcore StarWars fans will give you mad props when they see you sporting this bad boy. Storm Trooper Belt Buckle Storm Trooper: $19.99 - I love this one but at the same time it feels a bit strange to have a face down in that region. You know... down there. I have this buckle and I also have to admit that it is a big and a bit bulky, but even with those drawbacks it's still a pretty awesome and eye catching buckle. Lighter Belt Buckle - Amazon Butane Lighter: $17.95 - This is one of those James Bond-esque accessories that might be an awesome idea but also might not. I don't smoke, but I do see how having a lighter handy at all times might come in handy. At the same time I might not be too keen on a container of flammable liquid being so close to my crotch; I can see that whole situation ending badly for the hero. I say wear it at your own risk. Flask Belt Buckle Flask: $8.18 - This one is for my friend, Ryan Macklin. I know he has one of the most awesome flasks out there but I also know that he is a guy who knows that sometimes subtlety is needed. Anyone who is a regular convention-goer might enjoy being able to keep a bit of awesome sauce handy without compromising valuable bag space. I'm also a fan of advertising that "Yes I have, in fact, been drinking." Careful where you wear it though, as sporting events and bars commonly confiscate flasks; you might find yourself going without a belt for a while if you take this to the wrong place. Is that all? Hell no! I have a metric crap ton of belt buckles that I want to share with you, but I'll get to those on another Wednesday. For now feel free to share your favorite belt buckle with me and all the other readers. Leave a comment and let us know which buckle you use to add some geek cred to your outfits. Or you could drop me a line at Thadeous(a)Geek-Cred.com with a picture of you in your favorite awesome buckle. Geek Out