I am notorious within my family and group of friends for having trouble picking out my outfits, and hanging on to clothes that I never wear because I remember a fun night I had in outfit. Now after years of struggling with my overcrowded closet, and torturing my sister and friends to help me decide what to wear, I have science to back up my what I like to think of as “endearingly quirky” behavior. It turns out that I am not the only lady in the world who gets emotionally involved with what’s in her closet. Researchers have already proved that women tend to attach their emotions to their clothes, and use outfits that make us feel pretty to elevate mood. That’s why when you’re not feeling so hot emotionally, if you put on an outfit that doesn’t make you feel pretty/sexy/thin, it is suddenly a major catastrophe. Now further studies at the University of Queensland are underway to investigate the ways in which ladies use clothes to improve and mask their emotions. Let’s say you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, you might put on a colorful, flowery dress to make you feel a little better about tackling the day. This is using clothing to mask your unpleasant mood, making you seem bright and happy to the world while you are feeling down, and also to boost your sense of well-being or to elevate a bad mood to good.
At the same time, people use clothes as scapegoats. An outfit worn for an interview that tanked may never be pulled out again, or a slinky dress for a failed date tossed in the donation bin. This is fashion scapegoating, experiencing bad feelings that occurred while wearing a certain item. At the same time, people remember the clothes that others complemented them on, and experience that rush of good feelings each time they wear it. What you put on, and if you feel good in it impacts your performance, self-esteem, and how well you interact with people. Now do you see why picking out an outfit can sometimes be a challenge? To keep all of these complex emotions from paralyzing you when you get dressed in the morning, think about your favorite outfits that make you feel good – then get to the bottom of WHY you feel good wearing them. Buy more clothes that have those qualities. If you have an outfit you bought, had a bad experience in, and have never worn again, toss it already. It’s only bringing bad juju to your closet. Finally, don’t let your nay-sayers make you feel guilty about holding on to clothes with sentimental value. They are akin to a family photo album of happy memories, but you might want to consider moving them out of the way to a storage location, your parent’s basement, or an under the bed bin where they’re not clogging up your decision making in the morning. Now happy outfit hunting!
What helps you pick out an outfit that makes you feel good? And! Check out the article that inspired this post here!