For the longest time, people have focused on the idea of dressing for success. Picking out pieces that reflect the professional expectations of our environment, choosing to impress someone rather than to stay comfortable, and the like.
As our modern mindset moved more towards mental health and stability, fashion naturally followed suit. With Zoom calls taking over, the Zoom shirt trend replacing your traditional workwear aesthetics, people have finally re-created the comfort zone and dubbed it the happy zone. Maybe a combination of both?
Today, we’re dressing for happiness, or as the style world lovingly dubs this, we’re “dopamine dressing”. Referring to one of the strongest happy chemicals we can produce, this fashion direction is helping people rethink how they feel in what they wear and choose accordingly. This might be the most cherished transition in the world of fashion, finally liberating us from the dull notion of trends, and helping us explore what our wardrobes can do for our wellbeing.
Bubbly in pink – and how colors help you feel alive
When you imagine woolen, pink socks, or a pink blouse, you likely think “romantic”, “cute”, and “relaxed”. That’s because color psychology is something we’re all susceptible to, and different hues affect our moods and behaviors differently. So, in choosing your color palette, you’re actively choosing how you want to feel.
Of course, there’s a personal component to your color selection, too. Maybe you prefer darker tones as they soothe you, while others might not find them so appealing. Learn more about how each color can affect you, based on existing research, and that will open so many possibilities for combinations.
Orange might not be a color you typically see at the office, but it’s good for elevating your enthusiasm and energy. Green is connected to nature, so we find it calming, grounding, and it’s good for long hours of intense focus.
Successful when comfortable
Different cultures often dictate what we wear to work. If you live and work in Australia, for example, you know how much stock Aussies put in their wellbeing and comfort – and that is reflected in their attire, as well. For example, the latest women’s workwear in Australia combines quality fabrics that are skin-friendly and comfortable cuts. These pieces are also multifunctional, so women wear them to casual gatherings and for running errands, too.
Dopamine dressing is about comfort as much as it is about honoring your culture. If you feel good in the outfit you choose, you’re not going to feel constricted or stressed. You’re able to focus on your responsibilities and perform them on par with your expectations. Workwear is adapting to reflect this mindset across the globe, not just in the Land Down Under.
Wearing your values for peace of mind
Looking at the price tag used to be the key step in determining whether or not to buy a piece of clothing. Today, the brand name and its reputation play a much more significant role. Why? With the ability to do research quickly and effectively, the modern customer can learn about the brand’s carbon footprint, animal cruelty policies, fair trade and labor rights, and so much more. You’re able to buy from sustainable labels, support different causes, and donate to charities.
Knowing that you buy from brands that share your values is bound to make you feel satisfied and happy. You’re voicing your stance, you’re standing your moral ground by choosing to purchase from designers that abide by the same laws as you do. If that doesn’t give you a dopamine kick, nothing will!
Your style is your contribution
Another important way in which we, as consumers, help slow down fashion and change its course is through supporting our local, small businesses. In a sense, being a more mindful buyer in the world of fashion helps us understand our greater role in the local economy. This ties well with the idea of choosing labels that use, for example, recycled plastic in producing clothes, or steer clear of real fur.
When you open your wardrobe, knowing whose hands made those pieces and in what way is the freedom we should all embrace. It’s one of the most rewarding feelings you can experience – being part of something greater than yourself and understanding that fashion is created in the imagination and hard work of those who tailor the pieces, not the seasonal trends that come and go.
Speaking out through wearables
In addition to sharing your values, you let yourself breathe through your clothes. Your identity and beliefs come to life through the garments you choose. Whether you choose to be a minimalist to prevent overwhelming consumerism, or you choose to wear the rainbow to support the LGBTQ+ community, the choice is yours.
Expressing yourself through clothes, both as a member of a culture and an authentic individual, allows you to celebrate your identity and unleash your happiness.
Happiness is a multilayered, deeply personal concept that evolves with each individual. As such, it doesn’t comprise solely of your wardrobe, but the clothes you choose can definitely affect your feeling of happiness and satisfaction.
As a clear portrayal of what you stand for, who you are, and what you enjoy, your clothes are an extension of yourself. There’s no time like the present to start letting our clothes serve us and our happiness, instead of the other way around.