How fashion can be your armour on bad days

Should you dress how you want to feel or dress how you feel? Fashion experts weigh in on the idea and suggest what you should add to your wardrobe

Photo by Ethikal
Photo by Ethikal

Purva Grover

Published: Thu 13 Jan 2022, 7:17 PM

Last updated: Thu 13 Jan 2022, 7:18 PM

Not long ago, researchers from Northwestern University found out that wearing specific articles of clothing affected the wearer’s psychology and performance. The researchers concluded that clothes have a symbolic meaning i.e. when we wear an article of clothing with a specific meaning, these clothes can influence our psychological state. It’s called “enclothed cognition”. In this New Year, as we continue to grapple with the realities of the pandemic life and figure out a way to take care of our mental health, we wonder if fashion can indeed be used to brim positivity. It’s after all said that individuals who suffer from depression or anxiety do prefer to wear certain items during difficult times, seeking comfort from what they slip into. “Fashion can be both empowering and comforting and should be used to reflect your style and individuality. Your clothes can help you achieve your full potential, whether in the work environment, in your social life, or the practice of your sport,” says Gabriel Saint-Martin, Sports & Streetwear Category Lead, Namshi.

Dress according to how you want to feel or vice versa?

Natasha Inman, founder, State of REM, believes that if you get up in the morning and dress how you want to feel, you’ve already ‘won the day’. “I think that is a great way to start the day positively. However, I’m also a firm believer in being kind to yourself and finding a balance. Sometimes there’s authenticity when it comes to dressing how you feel,” she shares. Gabriel believes how one should not be restricted by fashion, instead use it in a way that works for one. “It also is a way to facilitate and maintain your mindset into what you need it to be, and it can help you feel both comfy and strong, depending on your state of mind.”

Looks good, feels good

For some, wearing a bright red gives them the strength to overcome all obstacles, but for others, red is their colour of comfort. “New age consumers are more aware and desire clothes that provide comfort regardless of the occasion. Nevertheless, judging comfort wear is difficult, because what is comfortable to one may or may not be comfortable to another. Comfort wear is a personal style of dressing up,” suggests Deepthi Chandran Joyau, founder, Only Ethikal. Natasha adds how it is important to have a staple loungewear wardrobe that fits well and doesn’t startle anyone when you answer the door! “It’s usually quite difficult to find something that looks good and is comfortable at the same time, this is what we wanted to achieve with our recent collection,” she adds. Gabriel feels that comfort or loungewear reflects our physical and spiritual comfort and in today’s post-pandemic era, it’s important to be authentic to oneself, and embrace your mental health. “So if on a given day, you don’t feel so good, and want to lounge around in a comfy tee and joggers, go ahead and do it.”

The clothing items that could help us ease into this time of uncertainty

Leggings, baggy T-shirts and slippers, suggests Natasha, adding that however, “Most people are tired of this attire now and trying to embrace the look good/feel good type approach at home.” The shift in people’s working environments and not knowing how to dress appropriately for professional Zoom/Microsoft Teams video calls from home was part of the inspiration behind their designs.

Deepthi shares how they’ve witnessed a rise in demand for loungewear like joggers and sweatshirts made from organic cotton in colours like white, beige, and light blue. She recommends the brand’s jumpsuits made from hemp fabric as a great feel-good product as buying sustainable wear impacts your mind too and how the story behind each product also impacts the person who purchases or wears it. She sums up the idea well when adding how fashion is a form of expression: “There is no right or wrong. For some people, being comfortable in their clothing makes them feel good, and for some, the bling in their clothing gives them confidence.”

More news from