We’ve all been there; feeling down about ourselves and perhaps not happy with our appearance, begging the question “does dressing better make you feel better?” In short, yes it does.
There are some indicators that dressing better will improve our mental well-being. Suppose, if we are suffering from general blues or feeling down about ourselves, or have low self-esteem.
So how do we link the two and begin to benefit from the positive benefits of dressing better? How often do we need to “dress better” to feel better continuously? What else do we need to know to make this a sustainable habit?
Why Dressing Better Make Us Feel Better?
So much of our self-esteem & confidence is determined by how we feel about ourselves, in totality. So it makes sense that if we are dressed poorly and look frumpy, we may begin to feel how we look. Not necessarily just because we are dressed poorly. But because when we are dressed poorly sometimes others also treat us poorly-and that can affect how we feel about ourselves. While it shouldn’t matter, unfortunately, it does.
We see this exemplified in how people may treat someone who they think is homeless, versus how a businesswoman in a suit may be dressed. While it shouldn’t matter it does?
Historically, the way a person dresses has always been linked with their status in society, and that status can be linked to how it makes us feel about ourselves. Think about how someone is treated if they are in a military uniform, or a wedding dress, or a nun’s habit.
Each of these very specific types of dress elicits a different response from many people. How does that treatment affect the way they may feel about themselves? It makes sense then that the way we’re dressed affects the way we feel about ourselves.
Also Read: 4 Hacks To Style Monochrome Outfit
The Science Behind It
In a study by Northwestern University whose findings were published on The Web site of The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, and published in The New York Times, a phenomenon called Enclothed Cognition-how clothing affects our cognitive processes, was discovered. (Sandra Blakeslee, April 2012, New York Times)
Blakeslee reported that scientists found, “that we think not just with our minds but with our bodies.” Dr. Galinsky (the Doctor performing the Northwestern experiment), discovered that “our thought processes are physical experiences that set off associated abstract concepts. Now it appears that those experiences include the clothes we wear.”
The study ultimately determined that clothes and the way that we are dressed have a lasting effect more than just the way we appear to others, but also how we feel about ourselves. They “invade the body and the brain” and as such can have an effect on how we feel about ourselves. That means the way we dress can actually make us feel better about ourselves.
How To Use Our Dress To Feel Better?
If we’re able to pinpoint that you’re feeling down, that’s a major first step towards being able to do something about it. Now that we know that we’re not feeling our best, we can take action and perhaps implement some immediate things to improve how we feel.
Start off with a moment of self-care. Doing anything that’s just for you. Perhaps a facial or a bubble bath. Both of which are a great foundation to start the process of feeling better. Next, try putting on an article of clothing that you love!
Now that we know that dressing does in fact affect how we feel about ourselves. Putting on a piece of clothing that makes us feel great on the outside, will absolutely make us feel better about ourselves and our current mental state.
Nic Tip: Bonus points if this piece of clothing is a bright color or fun print. There’s something about wearing bright, fun colors and upbeat prints that really do make us feel like sunshine. This is especially true on a grey rainy day.
Don’t forget to put on your favorite shoes and try that new hairstyle you’ve been considering. The goal is to feel great about yourself. So, there’s no need to pull back any punches in the process of making that a reality.
Go Somewhere, You’ll feel better
Now that you look amazing, take it one step further and go somewhere; anywhere! There’s nothing like a compliment, smile, or fun conversation from a stranger at the store that helps to boost our confidence. Keep in mind that because you look amazing, it’s actually attracting others to you. We shine differently when we feel good about ourselves, and that energy is almost impossible for others to ignore.
That energy will directly help to make you feel better about yourself, even if just for that day. But now that you have the blueprint, you can repeat this every day if you desire. Just think about how your mood, self-esteem, and confidence can benefit overtime with continual positive reinforcement, all because you look like a million bucks!
How To Make It A Continuous Habit?
Dressing nice every day may sound daunting at first, but it’s actually easier than you think. Once you curate items in your wardrobe that are conducive to dressing well, pair well with each other, and make it easier for you to have the look that makes you feel good about yourself, it’s just a matter of wearing them.
The secret is building a wardrobe that you feel confident and beautiful in, whatever that means to you. If you put a garment on and it makes you feel self-conscious, unattractive, or any type of negative feeling, this is the exact type of garment to stay away from. Remember your goal, to feel better. Dressing in a way that makes you feel a negative feeling is the best way to start bringing in those bad feelings again.
Nic Tip: Taking care of yourself and your garments is a great way to boost the effects. Even if you have to wear a uniform for work. For example, a uniform that is clean, pressed, and fits well will have a different effect on your mood than one that is dirty, unkept, and ill-fitting.
Determining the type of clothes that make you feel good doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go shopping for a new wardrobe. But it does mean you will need to go through your closet and remove those clothes that aren’t serving you and the way you want to feel about yourself.
When you’re ready, you can then begin to add pieces of clothing to your wardrobe that will help to build and craft the feeling you want to keep having from the way you dress.
Using clothes to boost your mood is a great idea. Hopefully, in no time, you’ll have an improved self-esteem and be feeling better about yourself in no time.