There are many things we know clothes can, and can’t, do for us. We know that how we dress can make us attractive, associate us with a particular subculture, denote status, show off our wealth, etc. But there are other, subtler ways that dress influences us and people around us. And some of them are a little weird, but well worth knowing.
1: Your clothes change your mood and temper.
Something I have noticed about clothes is that what you wear can change how you feel on a very basic level.
For example, when I’m depressed I feel far worse when I stay in my pyjamas than when I get dressed. Why? Probably because I associate being in pyjamas all day with being in the worst state of depression.
On the other hand, when I wear more girlish clothes like my favourite brown dress, I feel happier and more excitable because I naturally associate them with innocence, girl scouts and fun.
Your clothes can actually make you feel the way you normally feel when you wear them. If you hate your work for example, you’ll probably feel worse in the type of clothes you wear for work.
2: Your clothes alter your posture and walk.
We know about this to a degree. Heels will make a woman’s hips stick out, make her steps smaller and make her arch her back backwards. Corsets will make someone walk, sit and move without bending their back.
But clothes alter our movements more subtly. When we brush against the hem of a skirt we can subconsciously start moving to avoid that brushing, for example. Or when something squeezes our hips we walk with our knees closer together. This is why you can sometimes get thigh chafing wearing a loose denim skirt but not from walking in a swimming costume.
By wearing clothes that hug your mid back, drape over your hips, free up the groin area and don’t weigh down too much on the shoulders and back we can walk more naturally, more upright and with smaller, more precise movements.
3: Your clothes change how people treat you.
And not just on the obvious level. Of course strangers will treat you differently based on whether you’re dressed as a goth, as a man, in businesswear or as a woman. But it runs deeper than that.
People will treat you subtly differently when you change tiny aspects of your clothes. When your clothes are a little bit more disheveled than usual people treat you as less significant and your words as carrying less weight. When you wear too much jewellery people can treat you as someone scatterbrained or artsy. When you wear androgynous clothing people will treat you a little more like someone of the opposite gender and a little more coldly.
But this isn’t restricted to strangers either! Even people who know you well and know how you normally dress will slightly change the way they address you based on small changes in your clothes. Wearing more black or less put-together outfits can make your friends a bit more dismissive and coddling, basically treat you more like a child. Family can put more weight on what you say when you’re in professional clothes.
How much of this is how the media teaches us to treat people and how much of it is your change in mood? I don’t know, but it’s definitely there and it’s very odd.
4: Your clothes impact on your health.
Again, we are aware of this to a degree. We know high heels are bad for you and skinny jeans may cause cellulite.
But the effect your clothes have on your health goes further. When you feel better you are less likely to be stressed and less likely to suffer stress-related illness. If you’re not depressed you are less likely to act in a defeatist manner and sabotage your happiness. So clothes that make you feel good will lead to behaviour that improves your health.
And when you wear clothes that give you good posture as well then you can end up adopting behaviours and movements that are better for your body, meaning you don’t wear yourself down physically too much.
Wearing fitted clothes that you like, associate with good things and that push your back in and your shoulders flat can result in better diet, better choices, a more solid back and an all round healthier you!
5: Your clothes can change your demeanour and confidence levels.
Tying in to everything else: what you wear can drastically change the way you carry yourself, the confidence you have and your comfort in yourself.
If you are happier in yourself, not stressed or sad or angry about anything and wearing clothes that make you feel happy and excitable, then you will have a more pleasant attitude and enjoy interacting with people more.
If you have good posture you will look confident. But confident posture helps with internal confidence. Just as forcing a smile or a laugh releases endorphines, when you walk like you’re confident, your body decides that you must be the boss.
If people treat you as someone who’s got it all together, who’s got good things to say and who’s fun and awesome to be around, then you’re definitely going to feel that they’re right after a while.
And if you’re healthier you will be proud of your physique, that extra glow on your skin and your great hair.
So choose clothes that make you feel happy, that help your posture, that get people treating you right, that improve your health and boost your confidence. Who knows? Maybe a change of wardrobe is just what you need to get your life on track after all.*
*Disclaimer: A change of wardrobe is not a solution for every problem, however cool that would be.
TTFN and Happy Hunting!
What clothes make you feel great? Have you found that any items in particular make people take you seriously, or relax around you? Do tell!