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January 12, 2020 1 Comment


Dopamine Dressing is the perfect way to banish the January blues and here to tell us why is our guest blogger Anna Jackson; colour specialist and stylist with a background in psychology. Follow her on Instagram at @AlwaysAFashionParade 💖

January Blues sounds such a cliché but how do you expect us to feel when you have taken away our lights, our tinsel and our party invitations but do we HAVE to lose our sparkle too?!

HELL NO! I present you with JANUARY JOY 🤸‍♀️ This is not only the start of a New Month and a New Year but it’s also the start of a NEW DECADE!! Surely that’s something worth sparkling for??!!

Need more convincing?! Well, let me introduce you to DOPAMINE DRESSING! This is the theory that wearing bright colours and fun clothes can lift your mood and actually make you feel happier.

dressing to make to happy - Dopamine dressing

Photo credits: @MinowaNorton, @Jetsetta_simz, @ZeynepAlkan

There is research that suggests that yellow, for example, is associated with laughter, optimism and happiness so a person surrounded but yellow generally feels optimistic because the brain releases more serotonin - our happy hormone 🌞 Source - The Psychology of Colour

Others have found that looking at warm, bright colours, such as red or pink, release dopamine known as the “feel-good hormone” — which can improve our mood, heighten the attention span and even boost our sex drive! That’s got to be worth a go right 😉Source - hownottowearblack

Dopamine dressing - beating the January blues

Photo credits: @Kleos_bubble@Lycra80sParty@BodyPosiPanda

Christina (IG:touchinfinity) tried this as an experiment and wondered how wearing something that you can’t always see (such as a fun slogan jumper) can make YOU feel happier discovered that by projecting positivity on to other people they project it back to you. Read her article "I Tried Dopamine Dressing To See If Clothes Could Make Me Happier" here.

So those you meet feel happier and you feel happier too! WIN-WIN

Even more research into the subject Carolyn Mair Psychology for Fashion suggests that you will only feel happier wearing a certain colour if you have positive associations with that colour. For example, I associate yellow with the sun so wearing it makes me think of happy times and summer and without fail cheers me up. Whereas wearing black I literally feel like a dementor has sucked all the happiness out of me and funnily enough beige reminds me of the time I ate a whole bowl of butterscotch angel delight and puked so actually looking at that colour makes me feel physically sick!!

Dopamine dressing - Beating the January blues

Photo credits: @alwaysAFashionParade@GrooveOmYoga@Alipow, @MsPinkDJ, @TasminTaylor_

As a colour consultant, I see firsthand the difference that colour makes to the way people look. If you have never “had your colours done” a simple way to see what colours suit you is to hold them up against your face and look at your eyes and your skin and see whether they light you up or dull you down.

Another way to test out this theory is to try on clothes and use the Marie Kondo effect... Close your eyes and think ‘Does this outfit actually spark joy’ and simply wear more of what makes you feel happier and the quicker you realise that no one else really cares what you wear and you start dressing only for you then the more dopamine is released and the happier you will feel!!

Anna Jackson stylist bristol

Photo credits: @AlwaysAFashionParade

So if wearing black and grey makes you feel black and grey then I suggest you give Dopamine Dressing a go and I think Christina (@touchinfinity) nails it in the conclusion to her experiment which she found “The trick? is to choose things you like that also radiate positivity. Rather than choosing the brightest or boldest outfit just because — choose one that makes you smile, one that procures happy memories, or one that makes you feel like you can take on the world” 

If you are interested in learning more read this article in The Guardian "Dopamine Dressing - Can you dress yourself happy"

Do you have an item of clothing that never fails to raise a smile or a compliment from the people around you? Let us know below 👇

1 Response

Karen Arthur
Karen Arthur

February 15, 2020

Couldn’t agree more! I’m a bright colours kind of woman – pink and orange are my faves – but im also aware that certain clothes when happy memories certainly help me through the day, should I need a boost. I call it wear your happy! Great article.

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