Do Blog

Could your clothes make you happier?

People on our Wear Something Different programme are confirming that changing what they wear has an impact on how they feel.

June 19th 2018

Results from our Wear Something Different programme suggest that what you decide to put on in the morning can effect how you feel. Not only during that day, but at the end of a four week programme.

Developed with leading fashion psychologist, Karen Pine
Wear Something Different was developed with leading fashion psychologist Professor Karen Pine. Her research shows that clothes can boost your confidence, bolster your self-esteem or lift your mood. She’s even written a book about it: Mind What You Wear.

What we wanted to know is whether we could use her insights to help people to make that happen with a Do Something Different programme delivered to their phones. Wear Something Different was born, and two years on the results look as eye-catching as a new Nigerian football shirt.

What does Wear Something Different do?
The programme encourages you to try different combinations of your clothes. To be more adventurous. To experiment with new styles. Or to go back to old ones.

Over the course of 4 weeks, people are taken on a journey through their own wardrobe and are gently tempted outside of their comfort zones.

Usually dress casual for work? Add a few flashy touches and enjoy the sense of bravery. Normally wear grey socks? Try a colour and see how that makes you feel.

Step by step, the programme challenges you to mix things up, noticing reactions from others, but most importantly, checking in with how it makes you feel yourself.

How do we know the impact it has had?
Like all Do Something Different programmes, Wear Something Different includes questions at the start so we can tailor the programme for the individual. These questions also cover wellbeing and mental health measures. When people come back at the end of the programme, we ask the same questions so we can see what, if anything, has changed.

Did Wear Something Different make a difference?
Yes it certainly did. Of the people who have completed the exit questionnaire on the Wear Something Different programme so far:

  • 77.3% reported increased wellbeing scores

  • 81.8% reported reductions in stress

  • 72.7% reported reductions in anxiety

Some of the comments that came back were equally powerful:

“Overall I felt I took more care of myself and this was beneficial to uplift my mood” (VL)

“I started to wear things I had had hanging in my wardrobe waiting for some ‘special’ occasion. I have had many admiring comments, including one from a young woman who said ‘you look absolutely gorgeous’, who had liked my dress and asked where I got it from. This gave me a huge boost in confidence and made me feel kind of proud of myself for taking part in this project.” (MG)

“I wore items of clothing that had been sitting in the back of my wardrobe for a while. I found the do’s had a positive effect on the whole. Thanks, Do Something Different!” (SG)

Are your clothes making you happier?
Have a think tomorrow morning. Could you wear something different? Or wear it in a different way? Or a different combination? Give it a go and see how you feel…