Mental Health

Dressing for mental well being

I never understood how people can follow the latest fashions so easily. How can they go from wearing athletic clothing to XXXXL handbags to 80’s styles in a short time? I basically have the same 10 dresses, leggings and shoes that I wear all year round and most likely change according to the season and what I feel like wearing. Some of my dresses I’ve had for 6 years!

Many studies have been done on the correlation between mental health and the clothes you wear. Particularly in Women and young girls. One of which is here. It’s a good read and I do agree 100% that what you wear influences your mental health and vice versa

Your choice

So, first and foremost. Dressing for yourself. If you dress according to what the people around you say will look good on you then you are setting yourself up for a battle with your mental health. It’s your choice what you wear., no one else. Ignore your parents and there views on your style. Don’t listen to what the magazines are telling you to wear for your body shape or size. Wear what you want to wear!

If you’re always wearing what other people influence you to wear then your being who they want you to be rather than who you’re and your personal style. Your style and fashion should reflect who you are as an individual and should be a way of expressing yourself and showing off your personality.

‘I don’t care’

If you have the ‘I don’t care attitude’, most of the time you will find that you actually do. It’s healthy to have this attitude towards clothing but only if it’s for the right reasons. You shouldn’t care what people think but you should care about feeling good in what you wear and expressing yourself. If you dress in old clothes covered in holes with no sense of what to wear because you don’t care what other people think then it reflects on what you’re feeling inside which is a lack of self-love, confidence and self-esteem in your own skin.

It all most becomes a way for you to rebel again society and what you think people want you to wear. Instead, you should be dressing in clothes that you love and that make you feel amazing!

Self Esteem

Sometimes, you may find yourself picking up that magazine and seeing an article like ‘Dress for your body shape’ or, maybe you love the way your friends dress or want to have the confidence that a co-worker has. Compensating by dressing a certain way to fit in with a certain crowd is not good for you. This goes back to dressing according to what you think people want you to wear but instead you’re dressing a certain way to fit in with the image you want. In other words, you’re trying to be someone your not because you see that person as confident, beautiful and the person you want to be.

Instead, you need to focus on the issues you have in your own mind. This may be a case of going to therapy or opening up to others. Do what you need to do to feel comfortable in your own skin. Stop comparing yourself to others. You’re stuck with your body, skin and all its beautiful imperfections for the rest of your life and you only get one chance to embrace it. Wear that brightly coloured top you have been avoiding because you haven’t seen anyone else wearing that style. You make the style! All trends and fashion come from one person who began it all. You could be that person. Or, in simple terms, wear the clothes you love and in turn, your confidence and self-esteem will flourish.

Uncomfortable clothing

All clothing that I wear feels extremely comfortable because this is what makes me feel good and confident in my body. So, for example, you have spotted a bodycon dress on another girl and it looks amazing! She looks so confident and you love her style. You buy a similar dress and you feel like crap in it because its too tight but you wear it anyway because people tell you-you look good. Why does it matter what people think? If you spend the day pulling the dress down and worried about all your lumps and bumps because the dress is so tight. Is it worth it? The short answer is no.

Heels, jeans, low backs, no matter what the fashion trend is or the style. Don’t just wear it with no real reasoning. Wear that dress only if it will make you feel good and confident. Don’t get me wrong, its good to try something new and develop your own style, learn what you love and hate just like trying new foods, but, you also have to feel comfortable in the clothes you’re wearing. If the Jeans are too tight then put some trousers or a skirt on instead because it’s really not worth it. Fashion should never be painful if the pain effects how you feel.

Media is terrible at doing this. You always see women wearing high heels because high heels elongate your legs and look amazing in the clothes they tell you to wear. What a load of rubbish. Wearing those beautiful flats won’t ruin your outfit or make your legs look short. Heck, the only person who’s going to notice is you. The only thing other people notice is the clothing items they love or the confidence you’re portraying.

Feeling safe

This is something I dealt with when my anxiety was at its worst. I wore a cardigan quite frequently and called it my comfy cardigan but at the time it wasn’t that. It was because I felt safe in that cardigan and it had become one of my many safety nets. It becomes a huge mental block that if you’re not wearing that item of clothing then you’re not going to have a good day etc etc. You’re your own worst enemy. Clothing shouldn’t make you feel safe unless you’re climbing Mount Everest and wearing safety gear. There is a huge difference between feeling comfortable and feeling safe. If you don’t feel safe then therapy is the best place for you because you need to figure out what is making you feel unsafe as there are some underlying issues there.


It’s one thing to wear a coat because it’s raining or cold out but it’s another thing to tell yourself that you need to wear that coat. Most of the time you won’t be sure why you need to wear it and this is your anxiety talking and controlling your actions and clothing choice. So, when you dress, ask yourself how it makes you feel and why you picked that clothing. Now I don’t wear that cardigan as often and when I do it’s to keep me warm or because I like how it looks with my outfit. Nothing more, nothing less.

Dressing for me

So, I’ve talked a lot about what to do and what not do to. Now I thought you would appreciate if I told you what I personally like to wear and my mental health. This is only what works for me though as everyone is different.

My usual go-to is leggings and dresses. I don’t own a single pair of jeans as I don’t feel comfortable in them. I don’t wear tight clothing or anything too revealing because of this. My style is very girly, lots of floaty dresses and pretty things. I don’t buy regularly from high street stores, instead, I love buying clothes from eBay or charity shops that have a story or what I see as a timeless piece.

I used to wear a lot of hair accessories but not so much these days as my style preference has changed a little over the years, however, I have made up for that with leg warmers which I adore in winter. My style summed up would probably be girly, indie, casual vibes and I love old fashioned styles from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s but generally, I don’t fit into any category as I wear what makes me feel good.

What makes you feel good? Let me know in the comments below and like this post if you enjoyed it. 

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