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Women choose outfits based on how clothes make them feel while men care more about what others think

'Our choice of clothing is an expression of self-care'

Sarah Young
Wednesday 27 March 2019 13:11 GMT
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Women’s outfit choices are based on their personal emotions while men tend to choose outfits according to how other people view them, new research finds.

A global study of 12,000 people has revealed that women choose the clothes they wear depending on how they make them feel.

The data showed that women in the UK decide what to wear based on feelings of confidence (58 per cent), happiness (40 per cent) and empowerment (16 per cent).

Meanwhile, British men are more likely to be base their outfit choices according to how their peers, particularly in the workplace, view them.

The research, conducted by fabric care brand Comfort, found that 19 per cent of men use clothes to feel “more professional” in the workplace, compared to just eight per cent of women.

In addition, it found that men are more likely to ask for a promotion because of how their outfit made them feel (six per cent) compared to women (four per cent).

The study also looked into the impact that clothes can have on a person’s mental well-being, revealing that outfit choices tend to encourage people to try new things and can even help reduce stress.

It revealed that two-thirds (64 per cent) of Brits believe that how they dress can make them feel better about themselves and boost their mood. Similarly, more than a third (35 per cent) of people in the UK said they believed a day or situation had gone better because of the clothes they were wearing.

This, the participants said, was because their outfit choice at the time made them more relaxed (42 per cent) and confident (40 per cent).

Millennials were found to be the age group whose moods were most affected by their clothes, with the study revealing that 17 per cent have asked friends to delete a photo from social media because their outfit wasn’t right.

Similarly, 14 per cent admitted to not attending a party or social occasion because they didn’t have the right clothes.

The study forms the basis of a paper entitled Long Live Clothes, created by Comfort in collaboration with Hertfordshire University fashion psychologist, Professor Karen Pine, which hopes to highlight the links between the clothes we wear and positive mental wellbeing.

Professor Pine says: “The white paper argues that our choice of clothing is an expression of self-care at its most rudimentary, since what we wear is intrinsic to how we feel on a daily basis.

“It provides compelling evidence for a link between a person’s clothing and their mental state. The sensory aspects of clothes, how they look, feel and smell, can have a positive impact upon an individual’s emotions.”

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Fernanda Tubini-Roberts, Comfort marketing manager, adds: “Our research shows that there is a very real opportunity to boost your wellbeing through your clothes, whether that’s the sensorial feeling of certain fabrics against your skin or the use of colour or a statement garment.

“Clothes serve you way beyond face value and ultimately can improve your overall positive state of mind."

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