The short answer is yes! Clothes can definitely make you feel different. Clothing is not just a basic need for covering and protecting your body, but it also serves as a means of self-expression, social signaling, and psychological comfort.
So, how does that affect you? How does it affect you day to day and what difference can it make in your life? And then, most importantly, how can you incorporate these thoughts into a journaling practice so that you can log your thoughts and actually use them to change your life?
So, how do clothes make you feel different?
Let’s dive straight in.
How do clothes show your personality?
Clothing is a form of nonverbal communication, and it can reveal a lot about your personality. Here are some ways that clothes can show your personality:
The type of clothes you wear reveals your personal style, such as whether you prefer classic, trendy, or eclectic styles.
The colours you choose to wear can communicate a lot about your personality. For example, bright colours may indicate that you’re a vibrant, outgoing personality, while muted colours may indicate that you’re more of a subdued, understated personality.
Additionally, it might not mean that you are that personality but it might mean that you want to convey that personality in what you wear by wearing those colours.
The fit of your clothes often reveals your attitude towards your body. Tight-fitting clothes may indicate confidence and self-assuredness, while loose-fitting clothes may indicate that you’re more of a relaxed and easy-going personality. Looser fitting or baggy clothes could also indicate that you want to hide from something so you think that by hiding in your clothes you can hide from the world.
The accessories you wear, such as jewellery, watches, hats, or shoes, can provide additional clues about your personality, such as your taste, values and interests.
We know the value of one dress that we can accessorise in different ways. One small change of accessories from pearls and leather handbag, to diamonds and a clutch, transforms you from ‘at work’ you to ‘going out’ you.
ACTION: Journal about what kinds of non-verbal cues you are giving out. What would you change? What would you keep the same?
Does wearing clothes you like make you happy?
Well, yes it does. And you may know this already.
“People experience changes in their emotional state with a change in their style of dress… When you wear clothes that make you feel confident, happy and empowered, they can act as armour, shielding you from negative feelings and experiences.”Shakaila Forbes-Bell, fashion psychologist and founder of Fashion is Psychology
How does that help you on a practical, day-to-day level?
Wearing clothes that make you feel happy can have several benefits on a day-to-day level:
- Boosts confidence: When you wear clothes that you like and feel comfortable in, it can help boost your confidence and self-esteem. This can positively impact your interactions with others, as you feel more comfortable and confident in your own skin.
- Improves mood: Wearing clothes that make you feel happy and comfortable can improve your mood and overall sense of well-being. This can help you feel more positive and optimistic about your day-to-day experiences.
- Increases productivity: When you feel good about the way you look, it can help you stay focused and motivated throughout the day. This can lead to increased productivity and better performance in your work or other activities.
- Enhances social interactions: When you feel confident and happy in your clothing choices, it can have a positive impact on your social interactions. You may feel more comfortable striking up conversations with others, making new friends, or engaging in new experiences.
- Reduces stress: Feeling good about your appearance can help reduce stress and anxiety, as you feel more comfortable and confident in your own skin. This can lead to a more relaxed and peaceful day-to-day experience.
Wearing clothes that make you feel happy and comfortable can improve your day-to-day experience by boosting confidence, improving mood, increasing productivity, enhancing social interactions, and reducing stress. Which is great news! These are exactly the types of reasons that inspired me to create Wardrobe Journaling. Wardrobe Journaling is a course where you journal about your clothes: How you feel about them, what you’re currently wearing, what you’d love to be wearing instead.
Clothes have such a huge impact on our lives, so don’t underestimate their value. When you need to feel better or happier, try on some new clothes and see how your mood improves! You could even have a go-to outfit that you could put on each time you want or need to feel happier. In fact, I think subconsciously most of us do have outfits like that!
ACTION: Journal about what clothes make you happy? What could you wear more? What could you wear less in order to keep your mental health exactly that, healthy?
Why are clothes important?
In short, identity.
Clothes are important because they help us express our identity. Whatever you think about yourself and however you regard yourself is expressed very clearly in what you wear. And we know from enclothed cognition studies that the clothing/brain connection works both way. What you think about yourself is reflected in what you wear AND what you wear will affect what you think about yourself. So, if you want to have a new way of thinking about yourself, change your clothes. Start there.
How your clothes affect your mood?
This brings us on very neatly to how your clothes affect your mood. We know from enclothed cognition that there is a relationship between our brains and our clothes. These are some very simple ways that your clothes affect how you feel:
- Comfort: When you wear clothes that are comfortable and fit well, it can help you feel relaxed and at ease. This can have a calming effect on your mood, reducing stress and anxiety.
- Colour: Colour can have a powerful effect on mood. Bright, vibrant colours can create feelings of happiness and positivity, while darker colours can create a more sombre or serious mood.
- Texture: The texture of clothing can also impact mood. Soft, cosy fabrics can create a sense of comfort and relaxation, while rough or scratchy fabrics can be irritating and distracting.
- Fit: The fit of clothing can impact mood as well. Clothing that is too tight or constricting can make you feel uncomfortable and self-conscious, while clothing that is too loose can make you feel sloppy or unkempt.
- Style: The style of clothing can also impact mood. Wearing clothing that reflects your personal style and makes you feel good about yourself can help boost confidence and improve overall mood.
So, make sure you use your clothes to direct your mood. If you want to feel relaxed wear a cosy fabric. If you want confidence in a meeting wear well fitting clothes in a darker colour and be well groomed.
ACTION: Journal about how you feel in your clothes? Do you feel comfortable? And how does that affect your mood?
How clothes impact your life
Clothes can have a significant impact on a person’s life in various ways. Here are a few examples:
- Professionalism: The way you dress can impact your professional life. Dressing appropriately for your work can help you establish credibility, authority, and professionalism.
- Social interactions: Clothes can impact the way people perceive you and influence how they interact with you. Dressing in a way that is appropriate for the occasion and reflects your personal style can help you make a good impression and feel more comfortable in social settings.
- Self-confidence: Wearing clothes that make you feel good about yourself can boost your self-confidence and self-esteem. This can lead to better performance in various aspects of life, including work, school, and personal relationships.
- Comfort and functionality: Clothes can impact your comfort level and ability to perform certain tasks. For example, wearing appropriate clothing for sports and physical activities can help you move more freely and perform at your best.
- Cultural and societal norms: Clothes can reflect cultural and societal norms, and not adhering to these norms can have social consequences. For example, wearing inappropriate clothing to certain events or occasions can lead to social exclusion or negative reactions.
Overall, clothes can impact a person’s life in many ways, including their professional image, social interactions, self-confidence, comfort, and adherence to cultural and societal norms.
ACTION: Journal about how you think your clothes are currently impacting your life. Positively or negatively? Could you change your clothes and have a different impact? What would you change?
Do clothes really make a difference?
Are you in any doubt by now?! If you still are, here are some final words on whether clothes can really make a difference in your life.
Yes, clothes can make a difference in a your life. They can impact a your mood, confidence, and how you are perceived by others. Research has shown that clothing could potentially affect your cognitive processes, such as your attention and problem-solving skills.
For example, dressing professionally could help you establish credibility and authority in the workplace, leading to greater opportunities for career advancement. Wearing comfortable clothing during physical activity can improve performance and reduce the risk of injury. Dressing appropriately for social events can help you feel more confident and at ease, leading to more enjoyable experiences.
Clothes can also reflect your individuality and personality, allowing you to express yourself and make a statement. In some cases, clothing can even have a symbolic or cultural significance, representing important values or beliefs.
Overall, clothes can make a significant difference in your life life, affecting your mood, confidence, cognitive processes, and social interactions.
ACTION: Journal about what ways you could let clothes affect your life. How can you dress differently? How can you step up and be the best version of yourself that you know you can be? If it were just down to your clothes what will you change now, today?
If you’d like to journal around your clothes, why not try Wardrobe Journaling? It’s a great way to understand yourself in a kind, empathetic fashion.
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