Meditation is often regarded as an extension of wellness, but so is fashion. Believe it or not, mediation and fashion overlap. It’s 2022 and it’s time to use fashion as a tool to calm the mind, and enhance your wellbeing. You think it’s far-fetched? I know, I had my reservations as well, so let me walk you through it.
People meditate for different reasons. Some use it to deal with anxious thoughts or to de-stress, others use it to enhance self-awareness. The goal, however, is to tap into the subconscious, to slow down in a bid to decrease stress. So, have you ever thought about how clothing affects our mind? How what you wear could directly or indirectly affect your mood? Being creative with your wardrobe, whether through color, simply being present, or dressing up for no reason has proven to have similar effects on the brain.
“Enclothed Cognition” is a phenomenon which looks at how clothing impacts how we think, and how what we choose to cover our bodies with may affect our thoughts. Clothes are impact us and society in many ways and are now seen as an extension of oneself, they tap into your subconscious, informing your brain of what behaviors and traits it needs to possess. So with that in mind, let’s dive into the five different ways fashion can serve as your meditative tool in 2022.
1 | CLEAN YOUR CLOSET
It’s time to let get go of your hoarding habits. Cleaning your closet is meditative – it helps clear the mind, while letting go of things that no longer serve a purpose. Leave the pieces that make you feel good. That dress that no longer fits? Get rid of it. The energy of the past may trigger unwanted emotions.
2 | DRESS UP
Dress up for no reason, ‘cause why not? Fashion is meant to be a tool of self-expression, fun too. It can instantly elevate your mood and reduce stress. Fashion psychology is real. Fashion psychologists have paired science with fashion to create therapeutic tools. Working from home? Dress the part. Get out of your PJs or sweats, because clothing impacts your psychology. If you’re working in your PJs you are subconsciously undervaluing your day. As a result, you are most likely going to be less productive.
3 | COLORS MATTERS
Color therapy also works through clothing. Which color makes you feel better? What works with your mood today? The Science of People highlights how different colors send different signals to the brain. For example blue is for loyalty, stability and tranquility. Red is for passion and intensity. Yellow is for happiness and optimism. Green is for healing, success and hope, while black is for power and professionalism. Feeling happy? Wear green. Feeling like a boss babe? Go for black.
4 | YOUR CLOSET NEEDS YOU TO BE PRESENT
Don’t rush to pick an outfit. Don’t have time? Prepare your clothes the night before. This will reduce your stress levels. Enjoy your closet and enjoy getting dressed. Your brain resonates with verbalized gratitude. As odd as this may sound, verbalizing gratitude for the things you have in your closet can set the tone for the day ahead. Dressing up shouldn’t be stressful, and if it is, you may want to consider the first point — purging your closet!
5 | MINDFULNESS: QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Walking around in quality clothing is bound to boost your confidence. Investing in well made clothes that serve a purpose and fit your style is imperative. Do you really need 10 t-shirts in different colors because they’re cheap? No. They often fall apart after a couple of washes anyway. Next time you venture out to shop, think about the items you need, as opposed to want. Ask yourself if the piece you’re trying on fits you well, how long it will last, and if it can be paired with items that already exist in your closet.
Saif Hidayah is a law graduate currently based in Amman, Jordan. He is the founder of Ilna Collective, a digital journal and fashion consultancy firm. Ilna Collective launched in 2020, when Saif was able to incorporate his specialization in human rights law to give MENA creatives a platform to freely express their art, represent their work and consult on matters pertaining to the business of fashion.