A Guide to Dopamine Dressing

By Riley Seymour | Feb 1, 2024

A Guide to Dopamine Dressing

By Riley Seymour | Feb 1, 2024

One of the bigger trends to come out of last year and continue into the new year is dopamine dressing. What is it and why is it so popular? We'll dig in and with tips for doing it the Cozy Earth way.

What Is Dopamine?

Before we dive into dopamine dressing, we should probably explain where the name comes from. Dopamine is a kind of neurotransmitter that sends messages through your nervous system. It's credited with making you feel good. If you've ever heard of a runner's high, that's the hit of dopamine that your body makes naturally when you exercise. You can also feel the same high when you help someone else, eat an amazing dessert, or win a game.

What Is Dopamine Dressing?

Dopamine dressing is simply the act of wearing clothes that make you feel good, but there's a little more to it: dopamine dressing psychology.

While the trend has exploded in recent years, psychologists have been studying the idea since at least 2012, when an article was published about an experiment centering on a white lab coat. When a person was told that it was a doctor's coat and they put it on, their selective attention increased. When someone was told it was a painter's coat and they put it on, there was no change in their attention. The experiment showed that "clothes can influence the wearer's psychological processes."

Have you ever slipped on a new pair of pants and thought, "Wow! These feel so good that I could wear them every day?" (If you've tried our bamboo joggers, we think you'll answer yes!) That thought is triggered by dopamine. You experience pleasure when you wear those pants, and we all want to feel pleasure more often.

Woman wearing green waffle knit outfit

When you wear clothing that matches your personality or the person you aspire to become, your brain sends you signals that you're doing something right. If you want to be a world traveler, comfortable yet stylish travel clothes can do that for you. If you prefer to be a high-powered C-suite executive, put on the outfit to match, and you will literally feel more powerful.

The key to dopamine dressing is to know yourself. Who do you want to be? What makes you feel good? If you're not sure, try keeping a what-I-wore-today journal. It's exactly as it sounds; at the end of the day, write down what you wore and how it made you feel. Do it for a few weeks, and you'll get a sense of what outfits are your favorites and why. Then shop accordingly!

Don't forget to weed the clothes from your wardrobe that don't boost your mood. Our guide "What to Do with Old Clothes" can help you decide how to creatively repurpose them.

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