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Karishma Gulyani

Karishma is an engineer turned fashion stylist and writer who loves talking about trends as much as eating desserts. Gucci, Ranveer Singh, salted caramel ice-cream and lipsticks make up four chambers of her heart. Like Karishma's story? Drop her a line in the comments section below.

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How Our Clothes Impact Our Happiness

One feel-good outfit at a time…

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Blair Eadie, Image Courtesy: @blaireadiebee/Instagram

As we ease into 2021, the ghost of 2020 still hangs around, spreading anxiety, distress, and dullness. And well, frivolous fashion is just the ghostbuster we need. In case, you are having doubts about fashion’s tranquilizing powers, let me remind you of ‘all dressed up and nowhere to go’ moments from lockdown days or when we dressed up in our Sunday best just to go grocery shopping. To be honest, dressing up for the smallest activity or even for no reason at all brought such joy and relief then. And then, there’s the cheerful dress-up sessions from our childhood, joyous birthday/anniversary outfits, or that little bounce in the step and a beaming smile when we try out new clothes. Yes, the road to happiness does indeed pass through our wardrobe, but the power of clothing lies in the association we have with our clothes – be it emotions, impulse, or fun.

Well, the dopamine rating of clothes depends upon comfort, contentment, and confidence. And when we feel good and comfortable in what we are wearing, we tend to exude confidence and positivity, which is also apparent in our posture, voice, and other non-verbal aspects. It’s not just how we feel when we are wearing them that makes a difference – we are also influenced by the reactions of those we interact with. That may involve compliments, grins and smiles, or even some frowns. But then, these reactions should always be an afterthought, after all, what others may or may not think is far less important than how you feel. Simply put, always dress to impress yourself and even be a little vain.

One of the most important associations we have with clothes is through our emotions. So, if we have an outfit that we wore to a successful meeting or a momentous occasion or was gifted by someone special, we tend to create a symbolic connection with that outfit, and that gives it power. And when we wear these pieces that are often associated with good times, it triggers a wave of nostalgia and happiness. Then, there are slogans, prints, and colours elevating our emotional connection with clothes. Therefore, for a quick cheerful fix, all you need is a care package of fun and eccentric slogans, peppy prints, and/or favourite band/movie/cartoon merchandise. And when it comes to colour, yellow, pink, and red are the obvious choices for an uplifting and energizing effect, followed by calming blue. But the truth is, bright colours don’t manifest a positive emotional connection for each and every one. For some, sunshine yellow is an instant mood-buster, and for others, that’s black. And then, some wish to live life in all seven hues of the rainbow. Well, I am Team Rainbow through and through; what about you?

See, the essential part of dressing happy is being true to ourselves and celebrate our uniqueness, after all, what we wear represents us, our identity, and our values. And well, dressing for your true self means wearing clothes that make you feel good, caring less about what others may think, and most importantly, having fun doing it. Well, my choice of feel-good clothing switches from a tropical print t-shirt to all things polka dots with vibrant dresses in-between; making up a delightful package of style and smiles. So, what are your favourite dopamine-boosting styles? Share below.

GIFs Courtesy: GIPHY

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