The psychology behind fashion.
You probably already know that style can make you feel better about yourself. And you probably also know that, we’ve got you covered when it comes to finding inspiration in the Klarna app. But some bigger questions still remain. How does the way we dress impact our mood? And what factors should we consider when curating our personal style?
For these answers and more, we sat down with the pioneer of the Fashion Psychology Field® and world-renowned “Dress Doctor,” Dawnn Karen.
Klarna: Hi Dawnn, tell us a little bit about yourself!
I’m Dawnn Karen, A.K.A "The Dress Doctor". After graduating from Columbia University, I became the Mother/Founder of the Fashion Psychology Field®. As the London Times' 'World's First Fashion Psychologist' and the New York Times' "The Dress Doctor", I am a signed author (Penguin and Hachette) of the Dress Your Best Life book (4 languages- Spanish, English, Czech and Russian), and one of the youngest professors and the first black female psychology professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology. I’m also an ex-model, which is what caused me to end up where I am today, really. The intersection of psychology and fashion.
Let’s start with the most basic question. Does the way we dress have a real impact on our psychology?
It absolutely can. Creating an alignment between the internal and the external, the attitude and the attire creates authenticity which creates and maintains confidence.
Right, and what type of effect do you think dressing up has on us?
Dressing up jolts our systems. We call it “mood enhancement dress”. I think [this year] we’ll also see people dressing up more for themselves as opposed to others. It’ll be more of a “how do I feel in this outfit” instead of a “how do I look” sort of question.
“The thing is, flexing your fashion, locking in your look, sashaying with style — whatever you want to call it, it’s good for you. And it’s been proven to affect your productivity, positivity, and more.”
So on that note, of dressing for ourselves, do you have any tips to feeling better about how we dress?
I’d say colour plays a huge role. Wearing colour is a form of communication, and it triggers emotions within us and others perceiving us. The colours you gravitate toward, and ultimately choose to wear, carry meanings much deeper than meet the eye.
And in terms of actual items, are there any staples you think everyone should have to help them find their own personal style?
I’d recommend finding a focal accessory. A focal accessory is an item that holds psychological value and may be worn repeatedly. For example, a lucky bracelet, a family heirloom, a religious accessory, or any accessory that makes the person feel grounded, calm, and confident. Confidence is key.