Dress, Don’t Suppress: How Fashion Betters Mental Health
It’s not rare for women to experience mental health issues. About one in five struggles with depression, anxiety, phobias and others. What are the reasons and how can fashion help with these conditions? Read the article.
Women and Mental Health Issues
It’s not an uncommon sight on the city streets. Women who apparently don’t care at all about what they are wearing. Their clothes wrinkled and badly matched, hair disheveled or not properly cut and died.
We may often be bemused by their looks, wondering how a person can be so disinterested in their own image. But we must not be too quick to judge. Because there may be much more to it.
This look may be a sign of mental health issues.
About one in five women deals with depression, anxiety and other – even suicidal attempts. What are some of the reasons? Demanding social norms, trauma, unrealistic standards set by the media and social networks, as well as sexual abuse even.
A lot of women suffer silently but when they’ve seemingly lost their femininity this may be a signal they can hardly bear it anymore.
And clothes may not only indicate a problem but at least partially help with it, too.
Fashion has an undeniable influence on our mental state. Garments can improve our mood, boost our confidence or help us get into character. Designers and wearers may deliberately choose cuts, colours, and patterns that enhance the mood. The industry also becomes more vocal about these types of disorders.
Let’s explore this relationship further.
The Power of Clothes to Enhance Our Mood
Probably everybody is familiar with this feeling. You choose your clothes for the day and look in the mirror. If you like what you see, you feel like you can conquer the world.
Why is that?
We connect clothes to specific roles. For example, if we want to feel confident and strong, we will choose what gives us this feeling. By wearing a specific piece of garment, we “get into character”, so to say. We also know what impression we will leave on others. This is another boost.
However, we must not betray our style.
If we choose clothes that are not “us”, this will make us feel anxious and embarrassed. We will think about them the whole day. This will worsen our condition.
But such a change may have a positive effect, too.
We may use clothes to convince ourselves that we are something we feel are not. For example, if you are uncomfortable in your new managerial role, putting on clothes fit for a leader may get you in the mood you need to succeed.
And it’s not just the result of our choices.
The process of choosing clothes can also help women with their emotional struggles. Intrusive thoughts can often be chased away by concentrating (even unconsciously) on dressing rituals. Attention is diverted from painful memories or worries to finding the perfect garments, accessories, and shoes for the coming occasion.
And that’s not all there’s to it.
There’s a feeling that you are in control. You are making choices for yourself. This is empowering and betters mental health.
But can clothes also be designed with our well-being in mind?
Creating Clothes for Better Mental Health
Designers can definitely implement ideas of bettering mental conditions when working on their collections. This can be done by fabric and colour choices. Also fits, cuts, prints etc.
Colour is the most obvious mood enhancer.
Everybody knows that it affects mood in different ways. Yellow is optimistic and happy; it elevates our mood. Red and black give a feeling of power and control. They may also be sexy. Blue soothes and so on.
So, designers may consider these effects when creating garments.
But it’s also about fit.
Soft and roomy clothes sometimes give a much needed and soothing feeling of coziness. Slim fits that sculpt the body may make a lady feel sexy and confident.
And it’s not just the pieces that are seen.
Underwear that’s sexy is empowering. The comfort of a quality pair of socks or bras and bikinis can evoke a sense of calmness. And this leads us to fabrics.
Natural fabrics like silk, cotton and wool give a pleasant and soothing feeling. On the other hand, synthetic fibers allow for creating intricate garments that help women stand out which is a powerful confidence boost.
Let’s not forget prints, too.
Even sweatshirts or t-shirts with simple positive slogans can help create a better mood. But on a deeper level animal prints, for example, give a sense of rebelliousness and freedom. Wearing bold patterns you can own also helps self-belief.
However, is this all fashion industry can do for mental health?
The Fashion Industry and Mental Health Awareness
The fashion business becomes seriously involved in mental health awareness. It’s not only through clothes designed to bring happiness or improve confidence. Conversations around these types of illnesses are more common in it now.
Supermodels talk openly about their own struggles. And they don’t do it only on their own social media channels. Big brands create platforms for this to happen, as well. This is an important step for a business that projects sometimes devastatingly impossible to match glamorous lifestyle and beauty standards.
There are brands that dedicate collections to the cause, too.
Lines are created specifically to create awareness around this sensitive but sadly common topic. They include reassuring messages and supportive prints. There are even entire brands created to fight stigma and help women overcome this difficult and frightening situation.
And companies deserve praise for donating their profits to charities fighting the problem.
We, at D2Line, too have dedicated ourselves to help women return to femininity.
We do it by crafting clothes that make them feel and look good. Timeless pieces that will help them be noticed and appreciated. Confidence boosts in every situation.
But this is not all we do. We look for inspiring women to tell their stories and instill self-belief in struggling ladies. We try to raise awareness about the fact that it’s okay not to feel okay. Women must not be ashamed by what’s going on inside their hearts and minds. And they must not encapsulate these feelings and thoughts, too.
These are just some of the ways fashion can help with mental struggles.
But bear in mind that clothes themselves are not a remedy. They are a powerful way to overcome intrusive thoughts, negative feelings, or illness. But if you experience mental health issues, you should look inside you, talk about the problem or seek professional help.
You were not created to suffer. You are here to feel good. You are here to enjoy life.
Sometimes this last thing may seem impossible.
But when you return to it, you feel reborn.
So, please, fight and return to femininity!