Fashion is a form of self-expression but what more does it say about you? We often use fashion to express our likes, dislikes, sexuality and personality. Simultaneously, clothing can offer an insight into one's current mental state, financial situation and situation in life.
We sometimes choose to retreat into isolation when we feel unhappy, to take the time to rethink things and/or take a break. When alone, our self-image can begin to deteriorate. Making us lose confidence in ourselves and making it harder to wear our favourite, let alone our day-to-day clothes.
"Dressing up can take extra effort, but it also feels good...one study has shown that women who are depressed or sad are more likely to wear baggy tops, jeans and a sweatshirt or jumper. Women who are happy or positive are more likely to wear a favorite dress, jewelry, and jeans." - Good Therapy
While taking it easy and not worrying about what you're wearing can be a good thing, allowing yourself time to just be yourself without worrying about people's expectations.
Wearing nice clothes can help you feel more positive about yourself. Knowing what looks good on you and knowing that you like it can really help you when you're feeling down.
Additionally, donning clothes that you enjoy can lead to new experiences and help you find others with interests like yours. Reaching out and speaking to people is extremely important for mental health. For instance, you could wear merchandise from a franchise you love or an online creator you appreciate, which will draw the attention of people with similar interests and provide you with something to talk about.
Chasing trends can be pricey; is it worth it?
Historically, fashion was a luxury and a way to reflect social hierarchy. In the past, you could be restricted from accessing certain colours of cloth. In Britain, Egypt, Persia and Rome, purple was associated with royalty. In fact, Queen Elizabeth I forbade anyone except close members of the royal family to wear it. Meanwhile in Ancient China, (depending on which dynasty it was) black, yellow or red robes were worn exclusively by members of the royal court.
Fashion today has become much more accessible to the wider public. People are mostly free to enjoy wearing whatever they want, mixing and matching different articles of clothing to form their own sense of style. But like many things, fashion has its own trends.
Clothes come in and out of fashion often. What was popular years ago could be popular now. As such, it isn't uncommon for people to experience FOMO (or the fear of missing out), which may push people to seek out and chase trends.
Trends are spread through social media and online platforms that allow people to share their lives with others. With the notion of being seen in mind, people are more likely to share the more glamorous parts of their lives with others. When looking at trends, think about whether you'd be happy and comfortable with wearing those clothes.
"Girls experiencing depression tend to use social networking sites at a greater rate while, for boys, anxiety was a trigger for greater social media use. This shows that increased use of social media can lead to higher stress rates caused by FOMO." - verywellmind
Don't blow your budget
Despite the modern age providing access to different shades and clothing styles, fashion can still be expensive and exclusive to a certain demographic. The rise of Supreme is a great example of this, where brands become a trend, which influences people to line up for hours, waiting to get their hands on pricey clothing. We even see this behaviour present itself outside of fashion with Apple products.
"Many consumers who buy luxury goods are not in a financial position to be able to afford luxury goods; one way to explain this is that many consumers do not act rationally, or in a way that is in their best financial interest."
"In some cases, low self-esteem can be a factor that influences whether or not a consumer purchases luxury goods, especially if they can not easily afford the cost of luxury items. For some consumers, a luxury good can go a long way in increasing self-esteem or providing a sense of belonging." - Investopedia
When buying clothes out of budget, take a moment to think about whether you really need them. Will the money you want to spend affect your other obligations or responsibilities? Will this make you happier in the long term?
Be responsible and be happy
In conclusion, fashion can empower you to feel more confident in yourself. You don't have to look far to gain a sense of belonging, you can start by sharing your interests through your clothes. Chasing trends can be exhausting so it's important to consider what trends suit you and which ones don't. It's okay to catch a break from time to time. Be reasonable with what and why your purchase clothes.