Psychological impact of comfortable clothes
Clothes began as mere objects. As ways to cover ourselves, protect our ‘modesty’, or keep us warm. They were never about style.
But things have taken a dramatic turn since then. Clothes are now used to make a statement. They are a form of self-expression. Clothes define one’s mood and form a narrative of our life through the fashion choices we make.
Workplaces encourage formal wear since they are believed to have a very tangible impact on one’s psychological state. It can define a productive or an unproductive day. This is referred to as “enclothed recognition” by researchers at Northwestern University in the US.
"Wearing a formal outfit to work makes us feel productive. Wearing a pair of sneakers and a jersey energizes us to go for a run! Wearing bright colors could uplift our mood."
COMFORT or STYLE?
But how often have we focused on how comfortable we feel in these clothes?
The very instant you wear a piece of cloth; your sensory nerves are on fire. They are actively trying to gauge the softness of the fabric, its feel on your skin, its smell, and so on. According to a case study published by the Journal of Sensory Studies, people preferred comfort just as much as style. 66 per cent of the people were reported to have paid lots of importance to the material of cloth they purchase. This was because it gave them a sense of calm.
But do comfort and style go together? Oversized tees, hoodies, baggy pants, and worn-out jeans are rarely seen to make a statement. Comfortable clothing is seen as a code for “a lazy look”. But this is not really the case.
Why comfortable clothes make sense? Comfortable clothes are powerful enough to elicit a physiological response. The amygdala of the brain stores memories attributed to mental comfort and relaxation. We usually associate these memories with positive feelings. When we wear comfortable clothes, the amygdala triggers our “comfort memory”, immediately calming down our mind and body.
Feeling comfortable in your clothes allows you to listen to what your body needs without any distraction.
CHIC YET COMFORTABLE?
How do you look chic, yet feel comfortable?
There is no good or bad when it comes to clothes. Fashion is timeless, one simply just needs to find their style – something that’s personal to them
Old isn’t gold always. Know when your clothes’ lifetime has come to an end. Is it incredibly worn out? Is it torn in multiple places? Upcycle or recycle or restyle the piece of clothing or pass them on if wearable.
Play around with fabrics. Find different materials - natural fabrics like khadi, linen, hemp and cotton are fabulous on your body - to style
It is not only about the fit! It isn’t essential to wear skinny or tight dresses to look good. Comfortable clothes work just fine. Accessorizing loose clothes with a belt or tying them up at the waist are easy ways to balance out style and comfort.
Follow us for more exciting content and be sure to shop at Slowthreads, where comfort and fashion go hand-in-hand!
- written by Sukanya Sriraman