How Do We Dress Happy?

How do we form a personal style that makes us feel better when getting dressed? Not just on up days but the Not Days as well.

Audrey Hepburn once said: “Happy girls are the prettiest.”

There is a certain glow that comes when we feel excited and joyful. Let’s not lie, though- people, places, and things can be the worst. In general, life is full of ish! Throw in the way our hormones play with us monthly, and there are definitely days or even weeks that aren’t happy-filled.

However, with each piece of clothing we pull out of the closet, we have the power to make our day a little brighter and our hearts a little lighter. It’s time to turn every outfit into a personal celebration of what makes us happiest. Creating a solid wardrobe is not just about covering our bodies because we have to, or having certain pieces, or even “x” amount of clothes.

Let’s Start With  Dopamine Dressing:

We’ve chatted before about how dopamine dressing is all about choosing outfits that make feel like the you-est YOU possible. It’s like having a magic pill in your closet that instantly lifts your mood, turning even the dreariest of days into a runway of cheerfulness- with no icky side effects. So, if you’re feeling low, here are three tips that can be your mood-boosting ally, making your heart a little lighter. As a bonus, you’ll smile to yourself ever time you get a glimpse of your reflection!

Wearing: Dress (Free People, Exact), Tights (Collina Strada), Boots (Sam Edelman, Similar), Hair Bows (Amazon, Exact), Shirt (ASOS), Collar (Etsy)

1. Dress Happy: Embrace Color Therapy

First, and I personally am inclined to believe, the easiest is COLOUR.

Ella Fitzgerald once said, “Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there’s love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”

What does that have to do with style? Think of it like KonMari-ing your style. Fill your wardrobe with colours that spark joy. Maybe it’s a sunny yellow sweater that helps calm your seasonal depression. Maybe it’s a bright blue scarf to help you see the sky through the clouds.

Practical Application:

Take a moment to look at your clothes and accessories and pull out your five favourite items. What color runs through all of them? Teal, magenta, black? For me, it’s absolutely pink! OR Take a look at what kind of color ties them together. Warm earth tones or cool winter hues? My wardrobe is full of jewel tones. Look back at your closet: are there any outliers that you haven’t worn in a year? It may be time to let those go.

Knowing the colours or even the colour family that helps you feel calmer and happier is the easiest way to dress happy. When shopping, keep these shades in mind to build a wardrobe full of clothes that lift you up, not make everything worse as you fling them on “the chair”. 

2. Dress Happy: Textures That Tickle Your Fancy

Next up, textures! The feel of your clothes can be a tactile game-change for your mood. Imagine the softness of cashmere or the playful swish of silk. These aren’t just fabrics; they can make or break a mood-lifting ensemble. Remember, happiness is in the details. Have you ever been in a store, touched a fabric, and had an instant recoil? I have- many times. Then, I feel the urgent need to wash my hands to be rid of the ick.

Practical Application: 

Take a moment to look at those five favourite pieces again. Touch them, rub them on your face, across your arm. How do they feel? Is there a common denominator? Are the top picks silky or cotton, stretchy or stiff? My top fabrics are taffeta (I LOVE the swish sound!), silk (it just feels cool and refreshing), and jacquard/brocade (the heaviness makes it feel comforting and luxe). Take notes of faves and hates! Next time you are shopping refer to it when making a buy or not buy decision!

3. Dress Happy: Dress For YOU, Not The Views

Look, there are a lot of societal expectations placed on us when getting dressed. Is it modest enough yet sexy enough? Is it stylish enough yet personal enough? Drop the Ish is all about letting go of the s*** society puts on us and being true to ourselves. #3 is bigger than your closet. What makes you happy? What are you passionate about? My answer to those questions is always senior dogs, Star Wars, and fashion (in that order). Are you super into LOTR, or maybe rom-coms are your vibe? Is partying with Barbie your dream, or maybe creating with your DnD party is where it’s at? There is absolutely NO reason why you can’t include those passions in your wardrobe to dress happy. After all, that’s why it’s called personal style!

Practical Application: 

Just reading that, something popped into your brain cells that you love. How do you wear it, though? Time to bring on the Google! Though I love senior dogs, it’s not always practical or safe to include Baby Bill as part of my look– no matter how cute he is. Star Wars, on the other hand, is super easy to add to my closet! (Btw, check out this post on how to Style Your Inner Nerd.) Adding something outside of fashion that you love doesn’t have to be cheesy or in your face. The leather purse I’m wearing may be Star Wars, but it’s subtle and wearable. Here are some search prompts to find what you love in a form you can wear:

  • (Insert Fandom) leather purse 
  • (Color) sweatshirt (Insert Fandom)
  • (Insert Fandom) inspired earrings

My favourite way to add pieces like this is on Etsy, the ruling queen of niche fashion. For instance, I found the super cool Star Wars Lego earrings from this look from Your Weird Aunt Shop (which is all I want to be in life)! When looking for pieces on Etsy, I use this search to start: (Insert Fandom) women’s (fashion, accessories, etc.). 

“Dress happy” isn’t just a phrase; it’s an opportunity to not only express ourselves but comfort ourselves when we are down. Personal style is about creating a wardrobe that’s not just about trends but about how it makes you feel. As we curate our closets, remember that every item is an opportunity to brighten our lives. Let’s add the colours, textures, prints, and weird accessories that make us smile in our very souls. 

How would your style change if you embraced what you love vs what society says is ok?
What would you add or even take away from your closet? 
cursive signature for kait elizabeth


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