How To Elevate Your Mood with This Fashion Phenomenon
Dopamine Dressing Contributing Writer | See what I’ve been wearing
Have you seen all of the content on TikTok about dopamine dressing? It started trending on the video platform during the pandemic and never looked back.
Dopamine dressing is about choosing clothing that elevates your mood, boosts your confidence, and sparks joy in your everyday life. It’s a way to harness the psychological benefits of fashion, and it can transform the way you approach your wardrobe.
Dopamine is often referred to as the “feel-good” neurotransmitter, and it plays a crucial role in our emotional well-being. The idea behind dopamine dressing is to use fashion as a tool to trigger the release of this powerful neurotransmitter. When you wear clothing you love and feel good in, your brain releases dopamine, which can lead to a range of positive emotions, including confidence, happiness, and a sense of empowerment. Whether it’s a well-tailored suit, a vibrant dress, or a cozy sweater, the clothes you wear can significantly impact your mood and overall well-being.
Yes, THAT Dopamine
Dopamine dressing is still an emerging concept. Fashion psychologists (yes, that’s a thing) began researching it in 2012. General interest in dopamine itself, however, has been high since it was first discovered in the human brain in 1957. Strategies for naturally boosting dopamine have been a topic of conversation ever since. You’ve likely heard a few.
Some classic tactics, aside from dressing, are quite beneficial. If you want to holistically embrace the science of dopamine in the drab winter months ahead, I’ll recap some of the most common recommendations:
- Exercise: Regular physical activity is a great way to increase dopamine levels.
- Eat a balanced diet: Include protein-rich foods, tyrosine (an amino acid precursor to dopamine), and foods rich in antioxidants.
- Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can negatively impact dopamine levels, so prioritize a good night’s rest.
- Listen to music: Enjoying your favorite tunes can stimulate the release of dopamine.
- Set and achieve goals: Accomplishing tasks, big or small, can trigger a dopamine release.
- Practice meditation or mindfulness: These activities can positively impact neurotransmitter levels.
- Sunlight exposure: Spending time outdoors in natural light can boost dopamine production.
- Socialize: Positive social interactions and bonding with others can increase dopamine levels.
- Learn something new: Engage in activities that challenge your mind and promote a sense of accomplishment.
- Laugh: Ah, the best medicine—laughter has been shown to increase dopamine production and promote a sense of well-being.
The Why: Benefits of Dopamine Dressing
Scientists have learned quite a bit about dopamine in a relatively short period of time, and there’s a wealth of evidence to convince us to take notice. Some of the upsides include:
- Motor control: Dopamine is essential for coordinating smooth and controlled movements. Its deficiency is linked to motor symptoms in conditions like Parkinson’s disease.
- Mood regulation: Dopamine influences mood and emotional responses. Imbalances in dopamine levels are associated with mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder.
- Focus and attention: Dopamine is involved in cognitive functions like attention, concentration, and problem-solving.
- Regulation of sleep and wakefulness: Dopamine helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle and is involved in wakefulness and alertness.
The How: Dopamine Dressing Hacks
The key to dopamine dressing is to be mindful of how your clothing choices make you feel. Pay attention to the connection between what you wear and your mood, and make choices that contribute to your overall well-being. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Variety: don’t limit yourself to your tried-and-true styles. Experiment with different pieces to discover surprising new favorites.
- Get creative: Mix and match to create looks that are uniquely yours. The more diverse your clothing choices, the more opportunities you have to experience the joy of dopamine dressing
- Celebrate Your Body: Focus on highlighting the parts of your body you love. Choose clothing that accentuates your favorite features and makes you feel confident.
- Rent: Yes, we’re biased, but c’mon…dopamine dressing is a heckuva lot easier with Armoire. I feel a dopamine spike every time FedEx pulls into my driveway with a new case of designer clothes. It’s hands-down the most affordable and efficient way to keep your wardrobe fresh and exciting. If an endless supply of high-end garments doesn’t put some pep in your step, I don’t know what will.
- Comfort is Key: Wear clothes that make you feel comfortable and at ease. When you feel physically comfortable in what you’re wearing, it can positively influence your mood.
- Understand color: Color psychology is a key component of dopamine dressing. Different colors can evoke various emotions and moods. For example, wearing bright and vibrant colors like red or yellow can stimulate feelings of energy and happiness, while cool and soothing colors like blue or green can promote calmness. Here are some common emotional associations with color, for reference:
- Red: Passion, love, anger, warmth
- Blue: Calmness, serenity, sadness
- Green: Nature, tranquility, growth
- Yellow: Happiness, energy, warmth
- Purple: Royalty, luxury, mystery
- Orange: Energy, enthusiasm, warmth
- Black: Elegance, mystery, power
- White: Purity, cleanliness, simplicity
- Pink: Romance, sweetness, innocence
- Brown: Earthiness, reliability, warmth
These associations can vary culturally and individually, but this should give you a general sense of how colors are often typically perceived emotionally. Do these descriptions align with how you feel when you wear these colors?
Our 5 Favorite Brands for Dopamine Dressing
In reality, any brand can be your go-to for dopamine dressing. The only requirement is that you feel fantastic in what you’re wearing. The common belief is that bright colors and bold patterns provide the most benefit for the most people. For that reason, we’re showcasing a handful of brands that check those boxes. Each of the following labels are popular here at Armoire, based on member reviews (we wouldn’t dream of getting dressed without the help of our Armoire community!). So here they are, in alphabetical order:
Boden, founded by Johnnie Boden in 1991, has since become known for its distinctive and fun approach to fashion. It’s a British brand that specializes in high-quality, stylish, and often colorful clothing. In fact, Boden’s style is often characterized by its use of vibrant colors and eye-catching patterns.
Boden has a strong British heritage and is headquartered in London, England. This heritage is often reflected in their designs, which can have a timeless British style, with a modern twist.
Boden has a loyal customer base among Armoire members who appreciate its unique take on fashion, its commitment to quality, and its ability to deliver stylish and versatile clothing. Boden offers a wide range of clothing, including dresses, tops, trousers, knitwear, and outerwear.
Kahindo is a brand that exemplifies the essence of dopamine dressing. Founded by Kahindo Mateene, a NYC-based designer known for her bold prints and innovative designs, the brand embraces diversity, sustainability, and the power of self-expression. Born in Uganda, educated in Kenya, and having resided in Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Niger, Kahindo’s multicultural upbringing is reflected in the diversity and creativity of her pieces. This celebration of culture and individuality makes Kahindo’s designs perfect for those seeking to create a distinctive style that exudes confidence and joy.
Kahindo’s designs are crafted with an emphasis on quality and comfort. The brand offers a range of options, from casual wear to elegant evening attire. With their unique prints and patterns, Kahindo’s clothing is designed to make a statement.
Lilly Pulitzer is a renowned American fashion brand known for its bright, colorful, and vibrant resort wear. The brand gained popularity for its signature prints, which often include bold and tropical patterns including palm trees, flowers, animals, and fruits. These prints are a hallmark of Lilly Pulitzer’s design aesthetic.
Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau started designing colorful shifts in the 1950s to hide juice stains at her juice stand in Palm Beach. The brand quickly evolved into a resort wear label, offering a wide range of clothing suitable for vacations, beach outings, and brunching.
Lilly Pulitzer’s playful and colorful designs have made it a beloved brand at Armoire among those who appreciate a vibrant, optimistic aesthetic. The brand’s commitment to timeless style and its ability to capture the essence of a relaxed and stylish lifestyle have contributed to its enduring popularity.
Yumi Kim, founded by Kim Phan in 2004. is a contemporary women’s fashion brand known for its colorful and feminine clothing designs. It’s celebrated for its bold prints, vibrant colors, and playful silhouettes. The brand’s clothing often features floral patterns, animal prints, geometric designs, and other lively motifs that add a sense of whimsy to their pieces.
Yumi Kim’s vibrant approach to fashion has gained it a strong following among members who appreciate colorful and lively clothing. The brand’s designs are ideal for those looking to add a touch of fun and romance to their wardrobe.
One of the brand’s standout offerings is a wide range of dresses. Yumi Kim’s dresses come in various styles, including maxi dresses, wrap dresses, and floral dresses. In addition to dresses, Yumi Kim offers a selection of ready-to-wear clothing, including tops, skirts, and jumpsuits that maintain the brand’s lively and feminine style. Yumi Kim uses high-quality materials, such as silk and chiffon, which contribute to the comfort and durability of their clothing.
Zuri is the brainchild of two American women living in Kenya. They set out to design the perfect dress: wrinkle-proof, universally flattering, and appropriate for any occasion. The instantly iconic dress is crafted from bold, limited-run Dutch wax fabrics that are bright and whimsical.
Their signature dress is meant to be lived in. The clever cut can be styled in infinite ways—belted, open as a jacket, over skinny jeans, etc. It looks equally stylish with flats, wedge sandals, or tall boots.
Zuri is beloved by Armoire members for its ease of wear. The hard part is choosing just one of their playful prints. Although the dress is consistently structured, each print delivers on personality in its own distinct way.
Dopamine dressing is a powerful approach to fashion that taps into the psychological benefits of clothing. When you wear clothing that makes you feel confident and joyful, you can harness the feel-good effects of dopamine. The joy and confidence you experience through dopamine dressing can truly transform the way you view and interact with your clothing, making it a powerful tool for enhancing your overall well-being and self-expression. Try a piece from our collection of statement pieces and see how it brightens your day.