Psychologists have confirmed that clothing and our emotions are intrinsically linked. I experienced this first hand when a vintage Nirvana tee stopped me in my tracks in the months following the sudden loss of a dear family friend. I smiled, remembering all the times he shouted “play Nirvana” over the top of whatever pop song was playing at the time. I put the tee down, buying something more on trend, which I now don’t even remember. But I still remember that vintage Nirvana t-shirt, and how it made me feel.
Now, with a wardrobe full of clothes from current and past trends, I still feel the absence of that old t-shirt. At the time, I didn’t acknowledge the emotional connection I had to this piece of clothing. Or why sentimental style is so important.
We can sometimes get swept up in impulse purchasing and trend-chasing, caving to societal pressures and our own insecurities. Trends make us feel relevant, but do they always make us feel good? They might initially, but certainly not when compared to or brought in place of something with sentimental value.
For me, it’s a vintage band tee. For you, it might be a pair of blue jeans or plaid jacket which reminds you of your grandfather. Or a chunky cable knit sweater just like the one your mum used to wear. The point is, clothes that make you happy are more important than trend-driven purchases.
Proving that we are likely to experience positive feelings when wearing items associated with positive events or memories. So while it is tempting to dress head to toe in the latest trends, you may want to consider making some more sentimental fashion choices.
Studies have shown that consumers are 55 percent more likely to buy from a brand which uses emotive advertising or establishes an emotional connection. The top themes used to build connections and drive purchases are; promoting individuality, achieving a better life, improving confidence and feelings of belonging.
A dress like the one you wore on your first date with your fiancé five years ago might make your heart flutter. Or a pair of denim shorts might take you back to your first festival with your bestie. So, if you see something that reminds you of a happy memory or gives you some feeling of comfort, buy it.
If you feel an emotional connection to an item of clothing, you are not only likely to feel better when wearing it, but you are also likely to wear it more often.
This is similar to clothes which you associate with negative emotions. If a particular item makes you think of a traumatic event or unpleasant memory, get rid off it. And try not to buy something similar.
Clothing has such an enormous impact on our emotions. This is why we should try to make purchasing decisions based on how we feel. Not what we think we should be wearing.
I threw away the brand new shirt I wore to my friend’s funeral, and I still wish I’d brought that damn Nirvana tee.
But, it’s just fashion, right?
Written by Kaitlyn Wilson.