It’s often said that first impressions are everything, and that’s because how you present yourself can have a significant impact on how others perceive you. Yet, it’s important to recognize that your presentation can also impact your own self-perception. The clothing you choose to wear, in particular, can have a notable effect on your mood, confidence, and productivity.
Enter dopamine dressing, a modern take on the traditional “dress for success” philosophy. Here, we’ll explore the potential benefits of dopamine dressing and how you can try it on for yourself.
What Is Dopamine Dressing?
You’re likely already familiar with dopamine and how it can positively affect your mood. As one of the “feel good” hormones, dopamine acts as the reward and the motivation you need to do something that brings you pleasure.
You get a hit of dopamine every time you do something you enjoy, such as eating a delicious meal or spending time with a loved one. However, the colors you’re exposed to and the clothing you wear can also serve as a source of dopamine.
In fact, there’s a term for it. Psychologists use the term enclothed cognition to describe the influence clothes can have over your psychological processes.
For example, wearing an outfit you deem to be impeccable can boost your confidence. Conversely, wearing uncomfortable, outdated, or uncomplimentary attire can significantly lower your self-esteem.
Along those lines, dopamine dressing is the practice of choosing to wear clothing that uplifts your mood.
3 Dopamine Dressing Tips to Elevate Your Mood and Professional Presence
Once you start exploring dopamine dressing, don’t be surprised if you find that what you wear impacts the energy you bring into a room. If you want to achieve your desired mood, here are some tips for dressing the part.
1. Choose colors that “match” the mood you want.
Color psychology is the study of how different colors affect human behavior. Many researchers have acknowledged that colors can elicit specific emotions in individuals.
By developing an understanding of how colors can lead you to experience different emotions, you can effectively choose clothing that elicits a positive dopamine response.
Depending on how you want to feel at work, you might choose to wear:
- Yellow: Known to boost energy, confidence, and happiness. This color is a great choice for meetings and networking events.
- Orange: Known for creating a sense of warmth and joy, orange is perfect for networking and everyday meetings.
- Green: Seen as ideal for relaxation, rest, and security. Go for green on stressful workdays or when you’re trying to relax.
- Blue: Said to promote relaxation and creativity. Bring on the blue to help yourself problem-solve or de-stress before a presentation.
- Purple: Known for invoking a sense of sophistication and imagination, purple can be a solid choice when brainstorming ideas.
- Black: Suitable for individuals in positions of authority; wear black anytime you want to stand in your own power.
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2. Try out different textures and prints.
As you begin to experiment with colors in your wardrobe, remember that the texture and pattern of your clothes can also impact your mood.
Tweed, tulle, and velvet can all help you achieve a more sophisticated professional look, while soft and comfortable fabrics can help you relax. Selecting stiffer, well-fitted materials may help you remain focused and energized on your goals for the day.
Additionally, prints can influence your mood as well. Pay attention to the kinds of fabrics you prefer. Do you prefer to wear bold florals, or do you tend to opt for a refined houndstooth to tackle the day? By experimenting with different prints, you can determine which patterns energize you and make you happy.
3. Wear what makes you feel your best.
Dressing appropriately for work matters of course, but that doesn’t mean you can’t show off your individual style and preferences. You may have some room for creativity within the guidelines of your company’s dress code. You can add some bright colors, interesting cuts, and eye-catching patterns to your wardrobe and still look professional.
When it comes to choosing your work attire, ask yourself a few questions to make sure you’re comfortable and confident in what you’re wearing.
- Contemplate which pieces make you feel most confident. When you’re wearing something you love, you’ll feel better about yourself and that confidence can shine through in your work.
- Think about which pieces make you feel like your best self. Are there outfits you’ve worn that have made you feel extra happy, productive, or confident? Try to incorporate these pieces into your regular work wardrobe.
- Consider which pieces complement your figure. Wearing clothes that flatter your body type can make you feel comfortable and confident, which can certainly boost your mood.
- Ask yourself which pieces match the mood you hope to have today. For instance, if you’re feeling down or stressed, wearing bright colors may help lift your spirits and your energy levels for the day.
The Bottom Line
You can improve your mental health in a simple but fun way by dressing in ways that increase the dopamine in your brain. Additionally, by dressing for your desired mood, you can cultivate a sense of confidence, happiness, and positivity in your daily life.
But ultimately, you should choose to wear whatever makes you happy.
Arootah can support you in becoming your best self, whether personally or professionally. Our coaches can partner with you to help you achieve your goals, whether you’re looking to design a brighter future and walk confidently towards it or find more fulfillment in your life or career.