The Psychology of Dressing Post-Covid
As a Covid-19 “long-hauler,” I’ve spent quite a bit of time pondering the ways that the pandemic has changed me. A fashionista at heart and by trade, my thoughts often wander back to fashion and the world of style.
Sitting outside the other morning enjoying a much-needed jolt of caffeine and trying to organize my day, I immediately began considering what I might wear to feel comfortable, airy, chic and appropriate for my afternoon introductory zoom call with an industry professional. I had a strange sensation of feeling out of touch. As someone who has always been confident in her fashion choices, the notion of being in flux and non-committal was foreign. Mentally sifting through my closet, I began to consider the options, and, admittedly, came up confused. Down the rabbit hole of thoughts I went and the psychology of fashion post pandemic became curious. How does one dress to feel good when one doesn’t actually always feel good is a conundrum. That’s how I discovered the notion of Dopamine Dressing.
What is Dopamine Dressing? Simply put, it’s feel-good fashion. The scientific definition of dopamine, according to WebMD is that it “is a…. neurotransmitter. Your body makes it, and your nervous system uses it to send messages [to your brain]. …Dopamine plays a role in how we feel pleasure.”
The notion of Dopamine Dressing is that people are gravitating toward bright colors, fun, whimsical accessories, and uplifting and bold fashion choices. When people pick clothes, handbags, jewelry, and shoes that speak to them, their perceived confidence increases. We already know that the link between color and emotion is strong, so this idea makes sense.
In an article published in Vogue, fashion psychologist Dawnn Karen (dubbed “the Dress Doctor”) discussed the emerging trend. She stated “mood enhancement dressing is where you start from the internal…attitude, and you proceed to the external..attire, thereby creating an alignment between internal and external or attitude and attire.”
So what are some trends in Dopamine Dressing?
- Bright colors! Don’t be afraid to embrace pinks, oranges, yellows and neons
- Patterns! From florals to bold stripes, maximalism reigns
- Texture! Experiment with crochet, tulle, sequins and velvet
As with all trends, start slowly. Incorporate one piece at time and celebrate your unique style. Embrace what makes YOU feel good. XO Dori