Fashion Feels: How Fashion Affects Your Mood

We all know there’s nothing cozier than pulling on our favorite old hoodies that are perfectly worn in and soft. And there’s something about zipping up a snazzy red dress that makes us feel like we’re ready for a night on the town. Is this fashion-related mood shift simply a coincidence, or is there science behind it? VALLEY has the answers to your fashion science questions.

Dress for the job you want.

Vogue published an article highlighting a study featured on the Journal of Experimental Psychology‘s website that focused on the phenomenon of people feeling empowered when they wear certain articles of clothing. In the study, participants who wore lab coats performed better on tests than those who wore street clothes. As Vogue pointed out, this same science can be applied to the idea of wearing something that you think someone strong, powerful or influential would wear. Wearing a jacket that makes you feel like a boss might actually set you on your way to becoming the boss.

Dressing “happy” is a thing.

In an article published by, one woman shared her experience using the act of dressing in bright colors as a way to jumpstart her recovery from long-term depression.

“I realized putting an outfit together made me feel good about myself,” 42-year-old Danielle Armstrong told “It became a very important tool in my recovery.”

Dress well, test well.

Reader’s Digest published an article reporting the results on a study featured by Social Psychology and Personality Science. In the study, people were asked to complete tasks that challenged their cognitive thinking skills. Those who wore dress clothes reported feeling more “in-control” and “powerful” than those who dressed down for the experiment.

Capes give you superpowers.

Professor Karen Pine from the University of Hertfordshire told the Daily Mail about an experiment she conducted, asking a group of students to wear superhero T-shirts. Pine found that the students who wore the T-shirts reported feeling physically strong, more confident, and more likeable.

So next time you’re trying to decide what to wear in the morning, think about who you want to be that day. According to these articles, the clothing choices you make can impact the person you are and the things you do. Clothes can make you stand taller, speak better or even go after something you didn’t think you could. Fashion may seem at times like an inconsequential part of your day, but according to science, it could actually change your life.


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