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The Link Between Clothes and Well-Being

Many a study has concluded in links and benefits between what we wear and our well-being. For example, wearing bright colours can feel uplifting, while soft and comfortable fabrics can provide a sense of security. Understanding the emotional impact of clothing choices allows individuals to curate wardrobes that support their mental health.


woman breathing in fresh air and feeling happy
Clothes and Well-being

Working with 100’s of women’s clothes collections I have seen first-hand how clothing holds the power to instantly elevate your mood every day. The style of a neckline, a hem or a colour palette can totally transform how you feel. And if you already own a wardrobe of clothes, you have the  power to use Clothes as part of your Well-Being too.


So how exactly can your clothes improve your Well-being.


Here’s how: The results of a survey carried out by Fashion Psychologist, Carolyn Mair, and published in her book, The Psychology of Fashion, says,

“Feeling well-dressed leads to feelings of greater sociability, power and worth.”


Ah, so we need our clothes to make us feel good in the first instant and then we will feel better for the day ahead. Sounds simple. Love your clothes, ensure they are appropriately aligned to your lifestyle, know how to style them into awesome outfit combinations, and every day when you open your wardrobe door you will instantly be elevated with excitement to get dressed.


Sounds idyllic. If only it was that easy. Which leads me onto mindset. It’s mindset that prevents women from wearing the clothes they love, and instead settle for a set of mediocre outfits on rotation. This might suffice for a while, but eventually leads to a deflated feeling associated with your clothes. Unfortunately, we can’t just opt-out of getting dressed so the downward spiral of unfulfilling outfits, not knowing what to wear or not knowing what feels right starts to happen. Let’s take a closer look at mindset towards what you wear.


Mindset towards what you wear covers 3 areas:

  1. Acceptance of your starting point - Your body today and your current clothes.

  2. Garment Association.

  3. Matching what you see in the mirror with what others see.


Just telling a woman to accept her body and current clothes collection that contains history and memories, is not always possible. This is because of Garment Association. It might sound somewhat woo-woo, but it’s no different to when you smell or hear something that reminds you of something else. Your clothes, which are also your closest possessions, literally and figuratively, hold your memories constantly. Whether you want to forget or not, your sub conscious remembers. When you look in the mirror you see more than the clothes – you see how they make you feel mixed with how you felt all the other times you wore them. In addition to these feelings, and unlike a smell or sound, clothes are a physical reminder, a measure of instant proof your size has fluctuated, body parts sagged, or skin tone wan.


It's not unusual to want to hold onto clothes that anchor you to your past, or keep you feeling secure, but remember if memories of your younger or different body, or past lifestyle make you feel unhappy in comparison to today, the solution is to store those clothes items away from your daily go-to Wardrobe.


Once you have removed the sentimental items that no longer fit your body or lifestyle, you can then see what you have that fits you now and is appropriate for your ‘today’ lifestyle.


If you are stuck and feeling it is not possible to use your clothes to make you feel good, try this short exercise to help your mindset:



Slow down your breathing and begin to focus within by being aware of your chest slowly expanding and contracting with each breathe:


o   I would like you to repeat in your mind these 3 thoughts: “Greater Sociability”, “Greater Power” and “Greater Worth”.

o   Now layer on top of those 3 thoughts 3 symptoms that describe negative feelings you experience in life, such as stress, tiredness, anxiety, mood swings, reduced confidence…

o   Now add a third layer of thoughts that describe physical changes that have happened to you, such as weight change, body shape change, sleep problems, bloating…


Hold onto your layers of words, and allow the bottom layer to float up to the surface:


o   Greater Sociability, Greater Power & Greater Worth – Take your time.

o   Allow Greater Sociability, Power & Worth to be your top layer, your outer layer, your surface, and how the World sees you. Try again with your eyes closed.

o   Keep that layer of thought on your surface and ask yourself: If there is something I can do to help regain Power, Worth, Sociability, that doesn’t involve taking a drug or supplement, or altering the course of nature, or interfering with medication I may already be taking, AND makes me look good too, isn’t it worth a try? 


I’m not a doctor or a psychologist, I can’t stop the layers of emotional and physical changes, but I am an experienced Personal Stylist who can help you to use your Wardrobe of clothes to instantly bring joy to your day and strengthen your top layer.


If you believe the power of clothes can positively help with well-being, and you’d like some tips to get you back on track with your wardrobe and clothe choices, I have some free downloads to help you get started, including 10 tips to instantly up-grade your look, and 15 items into 100+ Outfits.


If you would like some further support with mindset around self-esteem, body changes, mental health, and physical health, I know, trust, and follow professionals who are experts in this field. My expertise stops at wardrobe therapy, but please do ping me an email if you’d like me to put you in touch with a mindset professional.

Love Sarah x



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