Fashion has always been about expressing oneself and the art of weaving together threads of emotion, and building a connection between what we wear and how we feel. This in turn, emphasises the importance of choosing colours and styles that can positively impact one’s mood. Fashion, ideally, should be a source of joy, fun, confidence, and comfort tailored to individual preferences. In the dynamic world of trends, the concept of ‘Dopamine Dressing’ has emerged, transending mere aesthetics.
Having said this, ‘Dopamine Dressing’ does not follow any particular rule, colour, or texture. The term, coined by fashion psychologist Dawnn Karen, known as the ‘Dress Doctor’, in her book ‘Dress Your Best Life’, encourages creativity, promotes confidence and even influences how someone feels, thereby affecting people in their day-to-day life. For instance, if a person is low in spirit – what they wear can change their mood, the way they think, and the way they behave.
So, what exactly is ‘Dopamine Dressing’?
Dopamine is one of the feel-good neurotransmitters released in our brain and on the same lines, ‘Dopamine Dressing’ means dressing up in a way that releases a rush of happy hormones. It is about the joy of dressing up and wearing what you love, hence the term.
Today, many people are embracing the joy of dressing up as they choose ‘Dopamine Dressing’ to feel good and release ‘happy hormones’, but this is not the answer to mental disorders.
“Although, Dopamine Dressing can be a great way to boost your mental health and mood, it is not the answer to severe mental disorders. If a person has anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or any other mental health disorder, professional treatment is must,” warns Mind Coach and NLP Practitioner Manyyaa Adlakkha.
She adds: “We can use Dopamine Dressing as a switch technique to lighten up the mood or to enhance the confidence, by wearing clothes that can remind us of happy memories. But it is not a treatment to any mental disorder.”
The Impact Of Dopamine Dressing In Leadership
There are various elements that contribute to a leader’s success. One aspect that deserves attention is the connection between clothing choices and the brain’s release of dopamine—a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward.
Motivational Speaker and Life Coach Nasir Shaikh says: “Dopamine Dressing goes beyond mere fashion choices; it’s about strategically selecting attire that boosts confidence, positively influencing both the individual and those they lead. When leaders feel good about their appearance, they exude confidence, creating a ripple effect within their teams.”
“The attention to detail in their appearance reflects a similar commitment to excellence in their work. The resulting increase in self-esteem translates into better decision-making, improved communication, and heightened resilience in the face of challenges,” he continues to say.
The psychological impact of Dopamine Dressing is also profound. It is not just about looking good; it’s about leveraging the powerful connection between self-image and leadership effectiveness.
Nasir Shaikh says: “When leaders present themselves with intentionality, they command respect and foster a positive workplace culture. This practice not only elevates personal confidence but also inspires a sense of assurance in team members.”
Impact Of Colour On Dressing:
Colour has a multifaceted impact on dressing, shaping individual choices, influencing emotional states, and contributing to social perceptions. Awareness of colour psychology allows individuals to make informed and intentional decisions about their clothing, enhancing self-expression and communication.
Also, when we talk about this, a relation generates between colour and fashion psychology, which explores the psychological aspects of clothing and style, examining how clothing choices influence individuals’ thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.
As Dopamine Dressing encourages individuals to choose clothing that makes them feel confident, happy, and expresses their personality, the concept aligns with the psychology of colour, where different colours are believed to evoke specific emotions.
Talking about this, Sanchi Kapoor, who is a wellness psychologist & career counselor based out of Dehradun, says: “Bright and bold colours, in particular, are often associated with positive feelings and energy. Understanding the psychology of colour in fashion allows designers, retailers, and individuals to make intentional choices that align with personal preferences, cultural influences, and the desired emotional impact of their clothing. It adds a layer of depth to the art and expression of personal style.”
Here are some ways in which the psychology of colour affects dressing and fashion mentioned by her:
- Emotional impact
- Personal expression
- Perceived identity
- Trends and seasons
- Colour combinations
- Psychological comfort
While these connections suggest a potential relationship between fashion psychology and dopamine, it’s important to note that the field is complex, and individual responses can vary.