I’ve always been the type of person who uses fashion to boost my confidence. It doesn’t matter whether I’m going to a big event for work or just running errands, I’d still doll myself up. There’s just something about dressing up that makes me feel comfortable in my own skin.
Although ever since the quarantine started, I’ve been wearing nothing but my loose sleeveless shirts and cotton shorts every single day. It’s probably not a big deal for some. But for someone like me who used to deck out on the daily, it’s a huge change I had to face.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing bad about my pambahay outfits—they’re really comfortable. But seeing my unused going-out clothes in the closet just amplified the fact that a lot has been taken away from us by this pandemic.
So I decided to wear my best ’fits at home to retain some sense of normality. NGL, it felt really weird at first. My siblings gave me the once over even giving me odd looks—as if asking what is up with me. Though after doing it for three straight weeks, the act of dressing up, strangely, started to provide some relief. And it’s actually because dressing up at home has some science behind it.
Shapes our cognitive style
According to a 2015 study by researchers from Columbia University and California State University, the way we dress doesn’t only affect how we perceive ourselves or how others perceive us. It also affects our cognitive style and decision-making skills. Casual clothing can urge us to think “less abstractly and more concretely” while formal clothing encourages the mind to think and act on a higher level (a.k.a abstract thinking).
Improves our productivity
Researchers from the same study also found out that wearing clothes we are confident in can increase our morale and productivity. Casual outfits can help us with thought-focused tasks such as planning and organizing. On the other hand, formal clothes are known to make most people feel powerful. They can help us accomplish school or work activities.
Boosts our mood
The way we clothe ourselves also affects our overall mood. One study from the University of Queensland claimed that wearing ’fits that remind us of happy memories can generally cheer us up. For instance, putting on the sweater I bought on my first paycheck (or the maxi skirt that received a lot of compliments) can induce joy, nostalgia and a sense of fulfillment.
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