Retail therapy may sound silly, but scientific studies show that how you dress can affect your mood.
According to fashion psychologist Shakaila Forbes-Bell, author of Big Dress Energy: How Fashion Psychology Can Transform Your Wardrobe And Your Confidence, getting dressed to make you feel good actually works. .
“Fashion psychology explores the role of clothing in self-expression, the formation of first impressions, its influence on behavior, and more.”
Shakaira argues that for many of us, the pandemic has taken the joy out of clothes, and the odd impulse purchase has made our wardrobes worse.
Here, she reveals five mood-boosting fashion psychology dos and don’ts for you to try.
Do: Dopamine Dressing
We all attach meaning to our clothes. You can relate the suit to power and the trainer to energy.
When we wear these clothes, we subconsciously embody the meaning we attach to them, changing the way we think, feel and act.
When you find a style that you associate with happiness, embody that feeling and feel happy when you wear it.
That happiness comes from the release of a neurotransmitter called dopamine that activates the pleasure centers of the brain.
Fashion psychology admits that happiness doesn’t look the same for everyone.
For example, certain styles can release dopamine because they remind you of someone you admire, make your body look great, or bring out a side of you you thought you had lost.
However, we often don’t know how our clothes affect us because we think too quickly or focus too much on fitting a particular aesthetic.
Take the time to uncover the meaning behind your clothes, ask yourself these questions, and embrace your dopamine dressing.
Do: Experiment with color psychology
Humans are drawn to color because it boosts that feel-good chemical, dopamine.
Most of us have enough black clothes to wear an entire funeral procession, so one of the easiest ways to embrace change is to inject some color into your wardrobe.
Color is divided into wavelengths.
Long-wave colors such as red, orange, and yellow activate sympathetic neurons in the nervous system, increase physical activity, and excite us.
According to color psychology, if you want to feel nimble, powerful, and even sexy, you’ll want to wear these colors.
At the other end of the spectrum are short wavelength colors such as blue, violet, and indigo.
These colors activate parasympathetic neurons in our nervous system and calm us down.
Studies show that these colors are great if you want to be creative, focus, and relax.
You don’t have to dress like a Skittles bag to embrace the power of color.
Start with some accessories and work your way up.
Dressing up for pleasure also gives you a sense of control.
Use colors judiciously to manage your emotions and match the colors you wear.
What to do: Wear tight clothes
We tend to drown our bodies in oversized clothing such as hoodies when we’re feeling down, but research shows that if you want to boost your mood, you may be taking the wrong approach.
Scientists have discovered that “deep contact pressure,” a feeling of pressure around the body, has therapeutic benefits.
This is the same effect seen with babies wrapped in blankets.
Think of deep contact pressure as a soothing hug that calms your nervous system.
Allows switching from sympathetic activation to parasympathetic activation.
The former provokes a fight-or-flight response, while the latter allows for rest and digestion.
Try activewear, compression wear, and form-fitting clothing.
Don’t: Save Favorites to Best
The pandemic has taught us that our entire world can be turned upside down overnight.
In 2018, my sister passed away from cancer at the age of 32.
As I combed through her belongings, I was disappointed to discover how many beautiful pieces of clothing still had their tags attached.
We often save these special creations for future moments and events, but research shows that they may be depriving us of their mood-boosting benefits.
Research shows that wearing your favorite clothes can help you control your emotions and be more sociable.
These special pieces are often more unique than the clothes we wear on a daily basis.
Studies have shown that these works have a tension-releasing aspect as they help embody a sense of escapism.
If you experience these wonderful things while wearing your favorites, you don’t have to set them aside for a particular day.
don’t throw away old clothes
One thing we all share, regardless of style, age, gender, or ethnicity, is our love of nostalgia.
The reason we always think of the old days as “good” is that nostalgia-inducing activities can help people experience higher self-esteem, feel less lonely, feel more optimistic, more socially connected, and more creative. Because it makes me
Studies have shown that when people are placed in a cold room, they feel warmer when thinking about nostalgic thoughts.
Looking back on life through rose-tinted glasses makes me feel better, and wearing old clothes makes me feel even better.
Clothes are like memory banks. They constitute a powerful tool that evokes nostalgia, creates happiness and lifts the mood.
And honestly, nothing really goes out of fashion.
If it’s an outfit that makes you think of the good old days, cherish it a little more.
According to YouGov, most of us only spend 11-30 minutes getting ready in the morning.
While getting ready, it’s important to check in with yourself and make sure your costume projects and delivers the right energy.
You don’t need a style expert to figure this out.
All you need is to give yourself a few minutes to reflect.
Look in the mirror and ask yourself questions such as: What do you want from me today? How do you want to feel today? What side of yourself do you want to show?
Next, determine if what you’re wearing matches the answers to these questions.
“Look good, feel good” is more than just a cute slogan.
I’m sure everyone has experienced it at least once, but due to the hectic pace of everyday life, we get stuck in a rutted style, underestimating the power of clothes, and not knowing what is “good” for us. You may even forget something.
By making our choices more intentional and empowering ourselves with psychological know-how, we can jog our memory and surround ourselves with a better frame of mind.
- Big Dress Energy: How Fashion Psychology Can Transform Your Wardrobe And Your Confidence (Little Brown, £16.99) is available now.