The link between emotional states and clothing choices

The link between emotional states and clothing choices


As emotional creatures, our memories are often linked with feelings and emotions we had at a certain moment. And as we know, women tend to be more open in expressing emotions than men and their emotions could easily be attached to things like fashion garments. For example, if you had an unpleasant experience like а failed exam and you wore that blouse with the big yellow flowers while taking it, it probably would be the last thing you will choose for a date or a job interview. Because we choose our clothes according to the type of memories we associate with them.


On the other hand, people often use clothes to mask their emotions. If you felt dizzy or uncertain in your life this morning and you didn’t want the world to know that, you definitely would have chosen that brave red dress to present yourself in front of society. Sometimes, a bold and extraordinary approach in a person’s look might represent her/his strong inner uncertainty. Psychologists understand this as a compensatory aspect of a person’s life. Moreover, the harder you try to cover your uncertainty, the more convincingly confident you feel and appear.


Despite relying on clothes to boost our sense of wellbeing, we also blame certain garments when something goes wrong. Maybe you’ve heard people saying “this is my lucky T-shirt”. A report published in „Qualitative Research in Psychology“ in 2008 found that even thinking of some items from their wardrobe gave individuals confidence. People in this study confirm that simply looking at a fashion item they were always complimented on, makes them feel the joy of praise. The same goes the opposite way when something went wrong – we tend to address or project our inner guilt on the outer world, saying things like “I never have luck wearing this dress”.


According to another comparison, clothes work almost like photographs: they bring back memories of a moment in your life. Do you remember your prom or wedding dress, did you throw it away, did you sell it or do you still keep it in your wardrobe? Usually, if the memory is positive, the dress has such a significance to us that we just can’t part with it.