I recently heard the term “Dopamine Dressing” and thought it sounded right up my street, but what does it actually mean?
The phrase has been around for years with the idea of wearing bright colours and patterns to boost your mood. And it doesn’t just have to be about trying to outshine the sun if that’s not your jam – you are not required to dress like a handful of Skittles! – it can be the feel of the fabric or the cut of the item, anything that gets the dopamine flowing, lifts your spirits or makes you just feel good in any way, shape or form.
Dopamine (along with serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins) is the brains feel good chemical. It brings feelings of pleasure and plays a big part in how we experience happiness – and who doesn’t want more of that?!
But does it actually WORK? Can your clothes REALLY boost your mood?
The answer is a resounding YES! Professor Karen Pine, from the department of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, says that according to research this is a very real and valid concept. So much so that Pine found clothing to have mind-altering properties, and participants confidence increased when wearing items that held some symbolic meaning.
The clothes we wear have the power to make us feel confident and they are a great tool to show out personality to the world. For some it will be classic tailoring and a killer pair of heels, for others it’ll be bold shapes and pattern clashes, or maybe it’s simple lines but full of texture and the right accessories – but whatever makes YOU feel good is the best place to start.
For me it’s about a pop of bright colour and the feel of the fabric; if something is itchy or stiff then it’s a no – I can’t spend my day being uncomfortable as that will certainly not help my mood! Hot pink or a bright blue are my go to colours for a quick pick me up and my wardrobe is quickly filling up with more adventurous shades. This is also the reason that I am now offering my designs on a number of brighter coloured t-shirts which are also wonderfully soft.
While the idea definitely isn’t new, after the state of the world over the last few years it is understandably making a comeback! So if you are looking to feel empowered for an important meeting, need to find some motivation to get out for that run or just searching for a bit of sunshine on a grey day then look no further than your own wardrobe.
Tell me, what do you have in your wardrobe that gets your dopamine flowing?