Why Dressing Up Makes Us Feel Good


There’s nothing better than waking up on the first day of the school year and putting on your new clothes. Doesn’t it seem like having new looks somehow clears your mind and gets it ready for the new year? When I was younger my mother used to always take my sister and me shopping before school started. She’d let us pick out five or so “outfits” to stretch out for the whole semester. It was always so exciting. We’d get this pair of jeans and pair it with that belt and shirt. We were so fly.

Now I when I go shopping for new clothes I don’t necessarily think about or buy specific “outfits” anymore. But the feeling of wearing new clothes, the satisfaction of trying them on in the store then putting them on at home is powerful. You rip off those tags and trash that receipt because you’re like, nah, I’m definitely not taking this bad boy back. You love how new the garments feel against your skin. You Instagram a picture of yourself, hashtag yaaaas, and you think about the first time you’ll get to wear your new shit.

Dressing up makes us feel good because it makes is feel like we can do anything. No matter how messy my room got in college when I pulled an all nighter, and no matter how many days had past since I last showered while I finished said paper, the day I had to turn it in I would always make sure my look was on point. I was done with the paper and felt positively about it, but for some reason looking good when I turned it in was as much a part of finishing the paper as actually finishing the paper.

That’s because when you look good, you feel good. And then you’re fabulous.

Every morning we throw clothes on just to get us through the day. Most of us get dressed because we have to, maybe not because we want to. But when you style yourself because you want to make a great impression, because you want to look good or because you want to get a second date, you’re turning yourself into the perfect picture of who you think you are. You’re telling the world, “In an ideal situation, this is who I am.”

We spend all this time selecting the perfect filter for our selfies on Instagram and crunching over the best representation of ourselves to anoint as our profile pic. But the reality is that every morning when we get dressed we’re putting on a brand new filter. We crop ourselves anew.

Fashion means telling a story about yourself and connecting with other people through the theater of clothes. That’s why people love Halloween. They pull out those broomsticks and put on those corsets, and they gather those wigs and get those masks together. I love the spirit of it all, the sense that “everyone” is doing it and so should you.

When people say that fashion doesn’t matter, that they don’t care about fashion or otherwise put any effort into what they wear, I want to ask them what do they do for a big job interview, a promising first date or a night out on the weekend? Somehow, getting dressed up, working a look, sharing yourself through fashion means knowing you can do it, getting a clean slate every single day. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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