How What You Wear Affects Your Mood And Behavior
There’s A Science To Looking Good
You may not realize it, but what you wear affects your mood and behavior. Looking at yourself in the mirror, do you see someone who is pulled together and confident… or someone who needs to strip down and start all over?
Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner, a Clinical Psychologist, writes at great length about the psychology of the way we dress… “Clothes help to place us where we think we want to be.” We associate a person’s clothing with their social status, abilities, education, etc, and by dressing a certain way we assume the behaviors and attitudes associated with that attire.
As an example, Science Digest described a study where students were told to put on a Doctor’s lab coat. When they did, they were instantly able to focus and maintain sustained attention better.
There is also research indicating that the more powerful we consider the type of clothing we are wearing, the more powerful we feel. For example… If I wore a black or navy suit, red blouse, and heels to my office… I would have taken on any lawyer, client or staff member that I needed to deal with. If I wore pants or a skirt, a blouse and flats… not so much.
Connecting the Outside to the Inside
The relationship between color and mood is well documented. Color actually sends feedback to our brains. For example:
- neutral colors (tans, beiges, whites) make us feel safe
- bright colors (reds, oranges, greens) make us feel alive, extroverted, and passionate
- yellows uplifts our spirits
- shades of blue make us feel calm and conservative
- purples – from lilac to royal purple – make us feel regal, refined or spiritual.
How Fashion Impacts Behavior
When we LOOK good… we FEEL good… and we DO good. Feeling confident in the way we look makes it much easier to be kind.
According to Psychologist Nathaniel Branden… “There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will be to treat others with respect, kindness and generosity.”
If you’ve needed a reason to indulge in a little “fashion retail therapy”… there it is.
When talking about what to wear… there’s one thing you should never forget to put on. Not only does what you wear affect your mood… so does a smile. A smile can transform your entire mood and mindset.
The brain contains four mood-elevating chemicals and hormones that fight off stress… serotonin, oxytocin, dopamine and endorphins, and they’re all released when you smile. So, no matter what clothes you decide to wear… be sure to finish off the look with a smile.
And before you walk out the door, check the mirror one last time… “darn you look great”! And you’ll leave the house standing a little taller and being a little more self-confident.