Can wearing ‘happy clothes’ really make us happier?

By Alejandra Hernandez

Dopamine dressing is sweeping the runways… But what is dopamine? This neurotransmitter, according to the dictionary of Psychology, has an important role in motor behavior and is implicated in numerous mental conditions and emotional states. It’s basically a chemical side to happiness and it directs you away from pain and towards pleasure. This mood has been certainly reflected in designer collections and street trends for the past few seasons, but how are these two concepts actually related?

Think of your favorite outfit. How do you feel when you’re wearing it? Does it make you a better public speaker? An active co-worker? A party friend or the best version of yourself? There’s a magic formula that explains it all: Dopamine + clothes create a mind-blowing concept called ‘Dopamine Dressing’ and it’s starting to be a thing this year. But why? The fact that we are all having a feeling of hope in the air these days as we dare to dream of better days to come is basically the answer. Do you think it’s related to color therapy and chromo therapy? 

Though there are some colors we associate with certain emotions, it’s not related as you might think. According to Shakaila Forbes-Bell (the first black person in the world to earn a master’s degree in the field of fashion psychology): ‘The link between colors and emotions is tricky because cultural interpretation of color impacts the emotions that arise when wearing them’. Which means that your favorite color might tell a different story in other cultures. But remember, the way you wear it has to be completely related to the way it makes you feel, unlearning what we’ve been told since we were born, like what emotions should arise when wearing a certain colour or what it represents in general. 

Dopamine dressing invites us to know ourselves a little more, to know what makes us feel powerful. What does the best version of you would wear every day? How would you feel if you went straight to the store and buy it? We can all dress ourselves happy with clothes that make us feel confident enough to break our mental limits.

A big enemy of dopamine dressing is fear. If you keep wearing what you always do and keep getting the same plain sensations every day, you’ll surely feel stuck forever. Figure out what you associate with confidence and joy – and wear it. You’ll never know unless you try. (We assure you’ll love the feeling).  What will be the first look you’ll try?

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