I love a good university study! Recently I jumped at the chance to go to an event sponsored by Comfort, who had commissioned an international study by Professor Karen Pine, about how caring for your clothes can be good for your mental health. My relationship with clothes has always been a bit rocky. All bar one of the schools I attended required me to wear a uniform. The one that didn’t was so stressful as my parents didn’t have much money, and I was often wearing the same outfit multiple times a week. Kids notice these things and can be quite cruel. I was always clean just on repeat!
Growing Up My Clothes Were Always Too Big!
My school uniforms often came with strict rules and included blazers and summer hats. Some required hair ribbons to be worn as a final touch! I remember at that school there often were ribbons languishing on the ground, having fallen from their owner’s hair, destined for the bin! Throughout my teenage years the uniforms I wore were waaay too big. My parents, anticipating a growth spurt that never came, purchased dresses four sizes too big! This had a knock-on effect into my twenties where I was not in love with clothing. I could never dress myself, often purchasing items that were too big, not really knowing what was flattering.
The study, by the University of Hertfordshire, found that 64% of Brits believe that how they dress can make them feel better. I am completely in agreement! Having tried and failed for years to go shopping, my mid-twenties saw me pay for a personal stylist. It was the best thing I have ever done!
I Invested In An Expert To Help Me Dress!
Meeting on a chilly morning in Melbourne I showed her photos of the type of professional look I wanted to convey. What happened next was one of few amazing shopping days in my life! She knew her stuff and every store we went into had me trying on two to three pieces that fit perfectly! I ended up walking down the main street of Melbourne, pretty woman style, with over 20 shopping bags making an entire new wardrobe. Joy! The subsequent years wearing those clothes and adding new pieces made fashion fun and I fell in love with clothes.
During this period my confidence was at an all-time high. I was promoted multiple times, went on plenty of dates and achieved my goal of moving to the UK. Clothing played its part in adding to my everyday confidence. In the study 35% of respondents believed that a situation had gone better because of the clothes they were wearing. Waking up and knowing that everything in my wardrobe fit and I was set for my day was an empowering feeling. When recently I fell out of love with my wardrobe I noticed it played a significant part in how my day started and my mood throughout.
Clothing Influences Our Moods and Natural Fibres Are Best.
The study found that over 41% of participants found they associated feelings of calm with cotton and linen which could be included in your mindfulness routing. Whereas poor man-made nylon only contributed to 5% of these feelings. Boosting your wellbeing through increasingly wearing natural fibres can be subconsciously good for your mind. Having made sure I don’t save for best, I am also becoming more mindful about the clothing I wear. The hoody in these photos was on my wish list and when it went on sale my parents agreed it could be a birthday purchase. Every time I wear it I feel like I am being hugged in a cloud of wool and cashmere. It is so divine, and my mood is lifted. There is something in how natural fibres can make you feel happy and boost your subconscious mood.
Professor Karen Pine’s 5 Tips To Make Clothes Positivity Impact Your Mood.
- Choose natural materials that feel nice on your skin. Try wool, cotton and linen.
- Wear clothes that make you comfortable. Remove and donate clothes that you don’t enjoy.
- Add colour on dull days. Boost your energy with bright, vibrant shades.
- Add accessories. Statement necklaces or bright lipstick. Add pops of colour this way if bright clothing feels to risky!
- Develop a signature look. Build a look you like that makes you want to get dressed in the morning.
How are you dressing at the moment? Do you have a preferred textile that your clothes are made from? I’d love to hear about it. PF xo