We all know what melancholy feels like, but could there be a connection between the feeling and the physical appearance of depression? Sounds like a stretch, we know, but stay with us for a moment. What does depression look like? Days spent in your pajamas, hair unwashed and forgotten, wrapped in whatever you found lying by your bed. Sound familiar, right? Often times in these cases, all you need is a simple step forward. And though it may not sound like much, putting on an outfit that makes you feel beautiful can be a reawakening. On its most basic level, clothing is a barrier between the wearer’s body and the outside world. Protected from the elements in various incarnations of material, the body transforms into a canvas. What we decide to put on before leaving the house articulates more than we might think. Numerous studies have identified a connection between fashion and psychology, highlighting the many ways in which clothing choices affect sense of self and the perception of those around you. We’re so used to thinking of fashion as merely ornamental, but it can be transformative.
Research at the University of Hertforshire has found a link between clothing and mood. They found that fashions that we associate with happiness will lift our mood even when we’re feeling depressed. The study also revealed that 96% of women believed that what they wear affects how confident they feel, and yet, at the same time they are ten times less likely to put on a dress when feeling depressed. There’s definitely something to be said for dressing happy.