Dressing well has a direct impact on your day. The colors you wear for a day and the silhouette you choose for an event can impact your mood and social desirability to a dangerous extent. It is an arena that needs immediate attention.
The pandemic from the past year has been an essential lesson for survival and sensibility. It has reiterated the life-long teachings of good hygiene, proper immunity, and even revoked attention on the subject of distances.
While being physically distant from the systems of social support, the loss of routine has had negative impacts on countless individuals’ mental health.
The lack of work-life balance during work-from-home and the deterioration of physical health due to the restriction on outdoor movements has been a global cause of listlessness.
Now that our daily routines are going back to ‘normal’ and mornings are starting with showers and immaculate dressing, it is time to reiterate the significance of dressing well. It is a crucial component of your daily practices that play a psychological catalyst in your journey to Damascus.
Comprehensive research from the National Alliance on Mental Illness states ‘following a dress-up routine can significantly boost your mental health.’ Inspired by the stimulus control mechanisms embedded in the human psyche, the process of dressing up can set up the tone for the rest of your day.
Here is how dressing well can help you brand yourself for a better day.
How does your outfit contribute to your identity?
Your attire is a part of your identity. It is a subconscious representation of your choices, opinions, and expression at large. The way we choose to present ourselves to the world speaks volumes about our take on life.
A fashion enthusiast on the street can be easily identified with their custom leather jackets, skinny jeans, and eccentric accessories. In the same way, you can identify a non-binary individual using gender-neutral pieces and gender-fluid fashion. The way you dress is defined by the purpose of dressing up.
The workspace’s etiquette dictates that you cannot walk into a meeting in a slinky, backless dress, nor can you go to a funeral in black-tie! These unwritten guidelines play a crucial role in establishing the social structures of space.
It involves confirmation of the pre-existing norms and finding a suitable way of teaching your personal vision into a masterpiece that is nearing perfection. This implies that the only liberty you have in the social fabric comes from the representation of yourself. And what could be better than letting your attire speak for you?
The psychology of dressing well
Your choice of clothing is not just a superficial decision. It is an evolutionary process that is passed down to you in the genetic material you have inherited from your ancestors. It is only natural to assume that fashion choices are a matter of superficial importance since they have no apparent logic to life’s practical side.
But the question here is, what would you do to dress well, had fashion not existed in the first place?
Today, fashion is fast and fluid. It continues to change every few weeks and finds its sinister ways to become an undeniable part of your daily routine. From the pajamas you are wearing right now to the phone you have in your hand, everything has been branded out to you through creative psychological techniques.
It is quite synonymous to how a human being brands himself for success, superiority, and intelligence through dressing to the nines in perfect and well-cut pieces, shoes-polished-enough-to-catch-a-glimpse-of-your-face in them, and accessories that could lighten up the Milky had they been left out after the dark.
All of these choices are driven by your innate ability of self-analysis about how you can adapt your clothing with the purpose and perceptions you have in mind. When we choose to judge people based on physical appearance, it is only fair to be courteous enough to consider ourselves in the shoes of the one being judged by a total stranger.
A woman in a trench coat with French manicures and glossy tresses would attract a different opinion: the one dressed in loose pants, a baggy shirt, and a baby in tow. It is truly that simple.
Your clothes communicate everything your words do not!
The human brain is a visual processor. This means that everything we do can be translated as a message. Coloring your hair in a bright color may be considered as a phase of transition, or getting your hair done for an event could intrigue people about your love-life.
In the same way, your clothes consciously engage the viewer’s attention and let them peer right through you. As intimidating and objectifying as it may seem, it is the truth of the fact. We like to look our best to let others know that we are doing well.
Whether it is a corporate meeting or a valedictorian speech, we go the extra mile with makeup, hair, nails, and accessories to ensure that every aspect of our being stays in tandem with our intention of achieving the zenith for the day.
It is safe to say that the way you dress is like a soliloquy written aloud!
Self-affirmations through dressing up
When we look calm and collected, our general peace of mind is restored, and life seems to be on the right track naturally. The positive outcomes driven from your outfit of the day is a direct manifestation of a self-affirmation that you may have made subconsciously. If you feel positive about a look, you continue to keep your mood upbeat and smile throughout.
But on the other hand, when you are forced to wear a hideous, old, trouser and threaded shirt in a state of stupor, it is evident that the world would seem like a labyrinth that is dark and dreary that day! Remember that the clothes you choose today indicate where you plan to go in life (in the circumstances).
Kate Pine from the University of Hertfordshire states that dressing in a cheery outfit on a doomed day can positively impact your mood and help you restore the day. Individuals dealing with depression must pay special attention to their appearance as a distraction from their health and as an effort to move forth from the vicious cycle. The catch here is to dress for happiness to attract happiness. Even if it means wearing a poppy yellow dress to the church on Sunday!
Our clothes affect our confidence, self-esteem, and overall morale we have for the day! This is why it is often said that dressing well equates to self-care. Working on your appearance allows you to live in the present and to take a minute to yourself. It allows you to honestly assess yourself and see where you stand today.
This practice of self-awareness is critical for boosting your mental health on a challenging day. The key takeaway here is to remember that we dress to impress, and the first person we must impress is none other than ourselves.