How does clothing affect mental health?

Mental health is often overlooked, even now. The conversation around mental health has grown in volume and sensitivity in recent years, but some messages still don’t get through. Especially in men. Taking care of your mind and emotions is just as important as taking care of your body. One in five adults experiences mental health problems at some point – and that only applies to those individuals who are self-conscious enough to report it.

Feeling emotionally or mentally distraught is not conducive to one’s success and happiness. While those things look different for everyone, keeping a clear head will ultimately help you achieve your goals.

It’s easy to write off fashion as superficial, but it can help with your sense of identity and feeling good about yourself. Those things are closely linked to some mental health issues, so we don’t think it’s smart to spend serious time and attention on them.

Fashion as a form of self-expression

Dressing well has a different definition depending on your style and context. Whether you’re a punk, a techwear geek, or a devoted follower of old-school tailoring, getting involved in your fashion choices allows you to express yourself. If you prefer a minimalist wardrobe or drape yourself in Gucci, the way you dress is a reflection of your true self. We like to think of it as a matter of pride. A source of confidence and comfort.

In a more meta sense, expressive media — such as art, music, and fashion — also aid mental health by enabling a deeper exploration of the self. Not only can this help you process emotions, but it can also help you interact with others and communicate in a clearer, more meaningful way. Artistic expression has been shown to improve mood, behavior, cognition and functioning. Who says getting dressed in the morning isn’t included?

Improved self-esteem

There are many reasons why a person cannot have confidence. There are internal and external factors and most of them are very common. The messages you receive from friends, family and the media can affect your confidence. The effects are usually emphasized in the female population, but low self-esteem also affects men.

Again, this may sound too simple, but improving your style game is one way to get around negative thinking. Follow fashion trends and discover what you would like to include in your wardrobe. Dress for yourself, not for someone else – although studies show that the perception changes toward well-dressed individuals. This shouldn’t be your main goal, but it can help you handle social situations.

Increased socialization

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Social anxiety is common, which affects more than 8.2 million adults in the UK alone. It was a problem long before social media apps or lockdowns became a thing – although those things certainly exacerbate the problem. Ape is here to prove that with the right preparation, you can dress for any occasion. Just do a little research on:

Once you have a solid collection of pieces, you can quickly put together an outfit that makes you feel confident no matter the situation.

Better body positivity

Today, body positivity is brought up more regularly on social platforms and in the media, not least because it affects mental health in many ways. Both men and women dwell on body image. It is universal to want to make a good impression on others. While men may be considered “quieter” about body negativity, there is an equal need for positivity for all genders.

Again, style can remove insecurities. We’re not suggesting that clothes are a substitute for self-love, but being more confident in what you wear will make you feel better about your body — and the way it’s perceived by others. Tips for dressing to your body include:

  • Find out your body shape and find out what suits you
  • Find out which size, styles and silhouettes suit your body
  • Tailor suits, jackets and trousers to your unique shape
  • Wear dark colors for a slimming effect
  • Draw attention to your favorite parts of your body

When you’re researching ways to dress, remember that too much focus on these things can exacerbate any body image problems. Learn enough to hide your insecurities if it helps. Even better, learn that you can wear what makes you happy.

Tips to dress for a better mood

Dressing confidently can boost your overall self-esteem, but clothing can also boost your mood at the time. If you’re ever having a bad day, lacking motivation, or just need a pick-me-up, try:

At the end of the day, the happier you are with your clothing choices, the better you will feel. Style as a form of self-expression serves as an emotional outlet and a way to adjust how you want to be seen by others.

Just remember that balance is key, and incorporating fashion into your daily routine can be as simple or complex as you need. Don’t think too much about it, but research enough to be comfortable picking out a beautiful outfit for every day of the year. Your mental health will thank you for it.

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