Are Stylish Men Happier? How Trendy Menswear Affects Mood

Go outdoors. Take a vacation. Hit the gym. Breathe deeper.

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These are all common suggestions for men to relieve stress and improve their mood. But, has anyone ever told you that the key to happiness could be hanging in your closet? It might sound materialistic, but trendy men’s clothing does have the power to boost a man’s mood, according to various psychological studies.

When we think of mood boosters, it’s normal for us to stay away from the material things in life. Material possessions are tangible. There’s always a possibility that you could misplace them, break them, or lose interest in them. Thus, many argue that it’s a fleeting form of happiness.

There’s even a lifestyle movement known as Minimalism, started by Joshua Field Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, that focuses on decluttering material possessions in order to find a deeper, happier meaning to life.

While there’s some truth behind the simple life, there’s also truth behind the fact that money can buy you happiness. Or rather, money can buy you stylish men’s clothing, which can make you happier to some degree.

Just like balancing work and pleasure or vegetables and desserts, the same goes for balancing finances with fashion. Sometimes, a man just needs to shop for the latest styles of mens clothing online to put a grin on his face.

Here are ways you, too, can boost your mood by simply exploring your passion for men’s fashion.

Wear a happy color.

If you want to feel good about yourself, you can actually boost your mood by wearing men’s trendy clothing in a color that uplifts your spirit. This mood-boosting concept is referred to as dopamine dressing. It’s an easy way to start your day off right by wearing colors or patterns that remind you of something positive, like a childhood memory or vacation spot.

Carolyn Mair, a fashion psychologist at the London College of Fashion, explained to The Guardian that “if you believe that wearing a certain colour – it doesn’t need to be bright yellow, it could be black – lifts your mood … it’s a simultaneous wearing and believing that has been found to have significant results.”

Just as Mair explains, dopamine dressing isn’t strictly limited to what’s universally known as a “happy color.” It can also differ across cultures. For example, the color blue is associated as a masculine color in the U.S., but in China it’s actually a feminine color. Similarly, you might gravitate towards the black-and-white color combo because it reminds you of your wedding tuxedo.

So next time you’re feeling blue, perhaps it’s best to avoid anything denim, even if it’s your favorite pair of designer jeans for men.

Take a fashion risk.

There’s a reason most men already have a certain style they gravitate towards, even if it’s as simple as a plain t-shirt and slim-fit jeans. Your sense of style is what you’re most familiar with. It’s within your comfort zone, which is comfortable, and being comfortable means being content.

But, did you know you could be happier by trying on something new for size?

A study released by Do Something Different, in partnership with fashion psychologist Karen Pine, found that when people wore something different, it actually improved their overall mood.

The statistics revealed that 77% of participants felt an improved sense of well-being, 82% felt less stress, and 73% felt less anxiety.

In a way, this study also puts fashion clothes for men in perspective. This is how men’s fashion should be treated – with vivacity, curiosity and excitement.

You can test this out for yourself by shopping for men’s trendy clothing somewhere completely new, like Differio instead of Men’s Wearhouse. You could even swap your normcore cargo pants for a modern cargo kilt. As long as it’s out of your comfort zone, it’s A-OK.

Splurge on retail therapy (with self-control).

Retail therapy might sound like a scary mood-boosting concept that could go really, really wrong if you’re not careful. You might translate it as: maxing out your credit cards, momentarily loving your new purchases, and then crying in a corner on payment day.

We’re not trying to steer you into a shopping addiction by any means. However, every man does deserve to indulge and enjoy shopping for mens clothing online or in store when the occasion calls for it. It just takes a little more self-control for some guys to limit their cart to only two items of men’s trendy clothing instead of twenty.

Peggy Wynne, a therapist specializing in depression and substance abuse, actually gave the green light for splurging a little in retail therapy. She explained to TIME, “In small, manageable doses it can soothe the soul. Shopping isn’t a problem when it’s done in moderation, just like moderate use of alcohol.”

There’s a stigma around retail therapy, but shopping
for men’s trendy clothing with restraint shouldn’t be considered a setback. It
should be considered a happy reward. 

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