Does what you wear affect your mood?

Do you think that what you wear affects your mood? I really think it does and there seems to be tons of research out there to back this up, alongside loads of anecdotal evidence.

Several studies show our mood can be affected according to what we wear. Likewise, how we feel upon waking up can affect our choice of outfit and subsequent moods.

A 2012 study by Professor Karen Pine, from the psychology department at the University of Hertfordshire, found 57 per cent of women admitted to wearing a baggy top when ‘depressed’, compared to a two per cent wearing one when feeling happy. Similarly, 62 per cent would put on a favourite dress when happy, compared to six per cent when feeling sad.

The outfit women turn to when they are feeling down is what? Jeans – with more than half of the 100 women interviewed turning to their trusty denims on a ‘blue’ day. I don’t agree with this actually – I would steer away from jeans if I wasn’t feeling great.

Whatever your feelings, it is highly likely that your emotional state is playing a huge role in your outfit today. Whether you woke up feeling ready for everything or the exact opposite, the clothes you picked out were likely to be a direct reflection of your mood, even if you weren’t consciously aware of it as you rooted around in your closet.

If you picked out a leopard print top or t-shirt, chances are you were ready to kick some ass out of your day for example. If you opted for baggy sweats or a oversized baggy jumper and fluffy socks, chances are you couldn’t wait for the day to be over!

A team of Australian researchers found that people will sometimes avoid re-wearing anything they had on during a hard situation. Is this true for you? Do you associate outfits with certain feeling or situations?

When you’re worn out, choosing an outfit can feel a bit like running a marathon. This is the time people are most likely to reach toward a go-to uniform, happily removing another decision from the day. Whether it’s jeans, boots, and a sweater or a loudly printed dress, it’s something that requires zero thought.

When you’re feeling on top of the world, you’ll naturally gravitate toward bolder looks. That might be something bright, something fitted and figure hugging or something a bit bold and different – everyone’s version of that will differ. What’s yours? Perhaps it’s your sage cropped loungewear, that little LBD, or even that figure hugging black loungewear.


We all take a little extra effort to look nice for special occasions -but for the most, people remain conflicted between wanting to dress up and feeling guilty about taking the time to focus on clothes. Science now suggests that how we dress may just be the difference between giving ourselves the extra edge in our professional and personal lives, what do you think?

We hear sayings like “dress for the job you want; not the job you have” and “look good, feel good” all the time. Most people don’t really believe in them, but we try to match our attire to the occasion nevertheless. The good news is that research into the impact of clothes on behaviour now suggests that there may actually be a grain of truth in these sayings. Science says that the clothes we wear affect our behaviour, attitudes, personality, mood, confidence, and even the way we interact with others.

The psychology of gym clothes

Are you struggling to get motivated enough to exercise daily? Wear some of your gym clothes! It works – just get dressed in them instead of anything else. Then you are ready to go whenever you can grab a few minutes. Wearing gym clothes / active wear makes it more likely that we will actually exercise. This may happen because wearing our workout gear acts as a reminder to make healthy choices – and, of course, for many, having the clothes on eliminates the step of ‘dressing for exercise’; and reduces one of our ‘excuses’! Even if you cram in a quick 10 minute workout – moving is always better than not moving and this way you are all ready to go, whenever that 10 minutes presents itself during your day. Have you tried this? It really works for me.

This is a collaborative article.


  1. Yes, definitely, if I am feeling gloomy I wear dark clothes otherwise I am bright and jolly!

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