Most of us know when you look good, you feel great too. Choosing well cut clothes that fit and flatter goes far deeper than the aesthetic; badly fitting clothes affect performance, confidence, morale and emotions too. Scientific research delves into the role of badly fitting clothes and how the brain processes fit.

Researchers at the School of Psychology at University of Hertfordshire discovered that

“The strong link between clothing and mood state suggests we should put on clothes that we associate with happiness, even when feeling low”.

Our association with wearing certain clothes for different occasions or purposes has a strong link in the brain to affect emotional states at will. 

Clothes associated with a low state of mind or mood, such as slouchy, loose fitting garments are commonly worn when in a state of depression or low self esteem. The research demonstrates that our brains can alter state and change emotions by wearing clothes associated with happiness and success.

Going beyond the role or sense of occasion signified by clothing, quality of fit has a tangible effect on state of mind. 

Clinical psychologist Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner is an expert on the “Psychology of dress” phenomenon, and author of the book  You Are What You Wear: What Your Clothes Reveal About You. 

Baumgarter looks at how psychology determines our clothing choices, but also how to use the power of clothing to overcome key psychological issues. Dressing in clothing too large or too small for your body may be the result of seeing your body differently than others, or a reflection of the way it once was. 

Wearing clothes which look great and fit well not only reflects how your body is now, but celebrates who you are and the roles you play in life. 

Badly fitting clothes project an image to others about your state of mind and state of self. Well fitting clothes help lift your mood, set the emotional scene for success, and project confidence and great performance to others around you.

Is it time to check how your clothes fit you, and to make sure you are making the most of your mindset for success? I would love to help you make sure you are showing yourself at, and feeling, your best. Do get in touch.

Lizzie Edwards is a Personal Stylist, Image Consultant and Executive Presence Coach in London, UK.