What we wear can have a massive impact on our behaviour, feelings and our interactions with others.
Let’s take the example of a friend of mine who has a grumpy jumper.
When she wears her grumpy jumper it’s when she’s already feeling low. While she is wearing her grumpy jumper she gives herself permission to think negative thoughts and gives herself time to work through her issues. As she begins to feel positive again her grumpy jumper comes off and is put back in the drawer.
Since she first told me about her grumpy jumper, she’s now bought herself a happy jumper too. So when she is at the other end of the spectrum she boosts her mood even further by wearing clothes that make her feel happy.
To some degree we all have a grumpy jumper and a happy jumper in our wardrobes. They may not be jumpers of course, but they are clothes that when we wear them have an impact on our state of mind.
We have outfits that make us feel confident. Many women find that wearing heels particularly in a male dominated corporate environment makes them feel more powerful.
The opposite can happen when we are feeling anxious. We tend to hide from the world and will chose clothes that don’t make us stand out, but help us blend into the background. We become disinterested and may find that we choose from a small selection of clothes. The majority of people wear 20% of our wardrobes 80% of the time. When we feel depressed we are more likely to wear 10% of our wardrobes 90% of the time.
Karen J Pine, Professor of Psychology at University of Hertfordshire believes that our clothes have the power to distort our thoughts and judgements.
We can dress for how we feel or we can dress for how we want to feel. Sometimes by putting on a particular item of clothing or jewellery it can enhance our mood.
Our clothes have an effect on others too. We have already looked at how others make instant judgements based on non-verbal communication in Does Your Style Reflect You? . When someone you know dresses differently, what do you think? On a conscious level you may be thinking about their clothes. But on a subconscious level this can trigger you to wonder about their mood.