10 Ways Fashion Can Be Good for Your Mental Health:
We all have mental and behavioral health to tend to… Having a mental disorder isn’t a requirement for needing mental health help. Each of us have stresses to deal with, and we all know how it can feel to have our emotions get out of hand! Mental illness or not, it’s crucial to maintain mental wellbeing.
We often take fashion for granted… Most of us wear clothes every day. It’s a commonplace experience. Or sometimes we even see it as petty or shallow…
Would you believe me if i said that fashion can improve your mental health, and in more ways than one? Fashion and mental health can mix beautifully… Simply getting dressed can be a fantastic mental hygiene practice!
Here’s 10 ways fashion can be amazing for your mental health!
Fashion is Good for Your Mental Health When:
1. It Makes You Aware of Your Emotions and Thoughts.
One way that fashion can be a useful tool for improving your mental health is through it’s ability to cultivate self-discovery and awareness of yourself.
The question “What do I feel like wearing?” doesn’t sound deep, but it absolutely can be!
The moments spent getting ready are the perfect time to check in with yourself… How are you feeling? What are your first thoughts of the day or evening? Give yourself a little mental health assessment: Examine your mental and emotional state before you start grabbing anything out of your closet! When you keep these things in mind and prioritize the answers while you choose your clothes, fashion becomes an amazing tool for mindfulness.
What do you feel like wearing, and why?
We’ll go in more depth on this topic in future blog posts, ’cause there’s a lot to unpack!
2. It Slows You Down to be Present.
Mindfulness requires slowing down to be completely immersed in the moment. Especially if you have a busy day ahead, choosing your clothes for the day can be a much needed moment of calm. It can foster mental stability.
Don’t rush through it! Notice what you see, how the fabrics feel, the smells of your laundry detergent or perfume, and maybe even if your clothes make any sounds… Take it all in to ground yourself.
3. It Improves Your Mood.
Not only can we use clothes to examine our mood, we can also use them to change it!
Enclothed Cognition is a psychological theory that clothing can influence how we feel, think, and behave, based on the piece’s symbolic meaning. One way we can change how we feel is by using color psychology in our outfits: brights to cheer you up, and duller colors to calm you down is a basic rule.
4. It Motivates You.
Dressing for the right occasion can be a motivating experience! For example, wearing workout clothes is known to increase your chances of pulling yourself over to the gym, and wearing comfortable business casual instead of pajamas helps us manage to work at home better.
You can create your own motivation, too! What do you want to accomplish today? Wear something that reminds you of your goal!
As long as we don’t overdo it, feeling accomplished leads to improved mental health.
5. It’s Something Small to Check off Your To-Do List.
Equally motivating is the simple act of completing a task… Getting dressed up may or may not be something you even have to do–maybe you’re at home all day–but it feels so good to check off even the smallest things as completed. Getting dressed is a tiny accomplishment (one that feels huge when depressed!), and it gets the momentum going for us to accomplish more.
6. It Increases Your Confidence.
Good clothes have a way of making us feel good in our bodies…and that in turn makes us feel more confident about our whole self! Investing a little time and money into clothes that fit well, with colors that complement your skin tone is well worth it for the confidence boost!
Additionally, you can wear clothes that remind you of your positive qualities for an even deeper impact on your self-esteem.
7. It’s Something You’re Grateful for.
Take a moment to look at your clothes with grateful eyes… Thankfulness is a quick way to make a small but strong change in your mental health.
Think of what your clothes have and continue to do for you. From practical things like keeping you warm and dry, to social things like allowing you to show respect or be respectable in different occasions, to personal things like providing a creative outlet for self expression or even reminding you of a precious memory… Each piece is unique in what it gives.
8. It’s a Hobby.
Hobbies can be very uplifting by adding something fun and meaningful to how we spend our time… Life isn’t all work! Fashion, as a form of art, can be turned into a simple but beautiful hobby.
If you want to go beyond styling yourself from what’s in your closet each day you can also take up fashion sketching, sewing, knitting, crocheting, giving style advice to friends, or blogging…another fun and simple way to turn fashion into a hobby is by using the app Combyne to create outfits from hundreds of thousands of items and collage them together however you want.
9. It’s a Treat.
Getting dressed can be mundane, but it also can feel special if we allow it to. Some occasions call for dressing fancier, or cozier, or sexier…and when we create those occasions or maybe even take the special clothes out of their context (appropriately…for example, dressing up at home), we are treating ourselves to something enjoyable!
10. It Facilitates Connection With Others.
Sometimes clothes spark conversations and create opportunities to connect with others. These moments are incredible for mental health because there’s nothing quite like knowing we share things in common with those around us.
Maybe you’re wearing a style somebody else loves, or a clothing piece they also happen to own, or a graphic tee with their favorite character, or a vintage piece with a unique story, or words straight across your chest that beg for a deep conversation… Whatever it is, these serendipitous moments of connection are incredibly special and usually surprise us by happening without effort. They’re a reminder that we aren’t alone.
How Will You Use Fashion for Your Mental Health?
There are definitely a number of ways that fashion can have a positive affect on your mental health, so long as you utilize it for that purpose… From allowing self-discovery, to changing our moods, to providing an outlet to conect with others, fashion can be very uplifting!
Like any tool, it takes effort and practice to use it well. So why not give one of these things a try right now?
Let me know in the comments which way you’re most excited to improve your mental health with fashion!
Remember, using fashion for mental health is supplemental–If you’re struggling with your mental health, please reach out–preferably to a professional!You matter, and i want you to feel the best that you can while on this crazy planet! Please don’t give up and, in the meantime, know that i’d be happy to listen if you want to talk with me.
Sometimes just putting on that new top, or favourite shirt can put me in a better mood. Anyway, great post 🙂
All the best, Michelle (michellesclutterbox.com)
Totally true. And a great reminder for everyone!
Wow, I know wearing the right clothes for the right occasion makes you feel good, just not too sure about mental health. Now I know. Thank you for sharing
I love reading your perspective on how what we wear and why plays a big role in how we treat ourselves and perceive ourselves mentally! Wearing something that makes me feel good about myself is definitely a mood boost. 🙂
As a former fashionista, I find this post very interesting. I don’t know that fashion can help people to improve their mental health. The reason why I quit being a fashionista is because fashion once ruined my mental health. I made too obsessed with how I look and most people only look at me on the outside. But they never appreciated me for my inner strength.
It definitely can have a negative affect too…and unfortunately that’s the default. I have another post coming up about how it can do damage to our mental health. It takes some effort to get mental health benefits from fashion, since it can be used as a tool for mindfulness and tools need to be actively used…but it’s definitely possible!
I’m so sorry it caused you so much distress! Losing sight of our inner beauty is one of the most damaging things…