The days are too fickle to not dress for joy.
A quick search of ‘dopamine dressing’ will conjure brightly-hued outfits and glittering wardrobes out of our wildest fever dreams. In reality, the movement looks different for everybody and doesn’t inherently imply any kind of fluorescence or colour blocking.
Rain, hail or shine, research shows that what we wear and how we feel are linked, as our mood feeds off our outfits. ‘Enclothed cognition’ is the idea that our wardrobes influence our psychological processes, alluding to the symbolic value of what we wear and the powerful experience of dressing.
Enter jewellery, the quiet dopamine providers that can make your day.
The idea in question uses clothing to catalyse a dopamine spike, being the feel good chemical that influences our emotions. Colour theory suggests that certain shades are mood-boosters, others have calming properties and others have the opposite effect - but what about when it comes to metals?
Outward appearance and inward expression are so inextricable that dressing to evoke positivity extends to all colours, textures, pieces, styles and aesthetics. This goes further than the relatively automatic correlation between vivid colours and a brighter mood, as we can establish a personal connection with all kinds of garments and accessories.
Jewellery is especially loaded with symbol, as we quickly attach meaning to trinkets and tangible items over apparel. A simple signet or chain transforms into a sensory experience, inciting universal feelings regarding culture and custom, as well as personal associations of sentiment and value. Finding joy and wearing it is made possible by jewellery.
Whether it’s a mental, emotional or motivational reaction inspired by our style, dopamine dressing is the ultimate exercise of individuality. In doing so, we devote no time to how others perceive our sartorial habits. The art of dressing is entirely subjective, meaning dopamine dressing hinges on our personal feelings caused by fashion.
In another sense, it is an act of defiance. Wearing pieces that mean something to us directly opposes the notion of fashion as something we are entitled to ceaselessly consume. Casting off trends and seasonal saturation in favour of personal expression is a commitment to meaningful consumption. Feel-good fashion strengthens a level of self awareness in our mood and style, pushing us to look beyond trends to tap into how we genuinely feel. When we prioritise our response to fashion, dressing becomes not a matter of trend-based decisions, rather those that understand and reinforce your creative identity.
The association between dressing and joy makes for an experience - one that is open to individuality, to adventure, to romance, to joy.
Take cues from within and give your personal uniform an emotional edge. Dopamine dressing provides an opportunity to experiment; break up your week with a few more rings than you’d usually wear, or layer chains and cuffs in an unexpected way. Double down on silver and gold to cultivate a style that plays on your psyche and makes you feel good.
Make every decision one that takes little and leaves less. As always: mindfully consume, consciously create.