TREND TALK: Dopamine Dressing

Ok I know, what am I talking about? This is a trend that has surfaced post-pandemic and as you might have guessed from the obvious meaning of the word, it’s dressing to boost your mood. When I started to research this a bit more, I came across a wealth of features written since the beginning of the year on where this approach to fashion stems from. One of the best pieces was in Harper’s Bazaar (you can read the piece here) that quotes Maria Costantino, from the London College of Fashion that I think sums it up:

“Our bodies produce dopamine and our nervous system uses it to send messages between nerve cells. “It has many functions: it is involved in reward, motivation, memory, and attention. When dopamine is released in large amounts, it creates feelings of pleasure and reward which motivates us to repeat a specific behaviour.”

taken from “What is Dopamine Dressing?”, Harper’s Bazaar, 10 January 2022.

If this is the basis of a new, more positive way to approach our style, then why wouldn’t we give it a try? The promised effects will make us feel good? I was willing to give it a shot. Over the last few weeks, should you be so kind as to follow me on Instagram, then you will have noticed a shift in how I have been dressing. This has all been in the name of seeing if the theory of Dopamine Dressing actually does what it says on the tin. So how have I approached it? Firstly, I am a plain dresser – I love neutrals, black, denim, blazers and all of these combined. Without jumping into a rainbow head first, I started to add in bright elements to wear with my staples (you can read my previous post on that here) so that I didn’t give myself a shock. Taking the pieces I like to wear often, e.g. a blazer, instead of beige or khaki, I went for bright green. And yes, I liked it, and it made me feel cheery. In addition, my followers liked it too and I saw a big boost in my engagement thanks to the eye catching colour (there’s definitely something to be said for using bright colours to get some extra instagram love). I then filmed a reels with a bright pink cropped shirt from Primark that I really love, not only for the colour but the shape. This top instantly made me feel good. Maybe pink and green are my trigger happy colours!

By taking small steps into bright colours, I felt more confident in wearing them. It’s like a small experiment in change – you can’t do it all at once. After my week or so long test with colours, I made some notes on what works, in terms of pieces, and what colours seem to be practical especially in a summer when rain is almost guaranteed.

Footwear is the best place to start

Penneys new shoe range as part of high summer 2022, is full of fun colours to try!

Swap out your go to skin toned shoes, or black heels for something more colourful. Lilac is a great match for green (yep it is trust me) and these block heels from Warehouse will work for summer occasions and even your favourite denims.

Be Bold with prints

Prints this season are bright and fun, labels such as Love Stories, Rhode, CeliaB, Magali Pascal are champions of bright floral and geometric prints. If you don’t want to splurge, then Warehouse is a must look! If block colours are more to your liking, then H&M have plenty to choose from.

Click through the images below….

And some block colour suggestions…

Denim is the glue!

Ok not real glue, but it will bind the colours together (see my pink shirt and jeans above?). You can try out an array of tops with jeans to test out the shades and see if it’s a colour story you can build on. This is also a financially friendly way to try out a trend!

So, is this something you might try?

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