Fashion + Mental Health 2020

How Does Fashion Make You Feel?

Mental hygiene is crucial

Mental health is something that most of us never learn to focus on and take care of. Our lives are more stressful than ever due to often demanding working environment and difficult relationships. Finally, the stress we are facing every day has made us notice the need for mental hygiene. 

For each of us, mental hygiene means a different thing. For someone, it might be meditation or yoga while for others it’s re-watching the favourite series or going out with friends. No matter what way we decide to use while dealing with stress, we must not forget to try our best to find the mental balance.

Only in the UK, every fourth person experiences a mental health problem every year. What is more, the risk of experiencing any mental discomfort is more likely to occur when people work in the creative industry.

Brands are taking action

The fashion business might be as stressful as any other industry; for those who are part of the working teams in the head offices, those working on the shop floor but also for consumers. It is no secret that making sure your employees are happy leads to an improved working environment, better results and eventually higher profit for the company.

Fortunately, many fashion brands have realised that and made changes to provide the best care in terms of mental health and well-being to their staff members. Brands such as H&M, Kate Spade and Farfetch have taken a step forward in launching workshops and programs for their employees to increase the awareness of mental healthcare. 

“It is so important that we keep working to remove the stigma around mental health and get people talking,” said Miles Lucas, country HR manager at H&M UK and Ireland. 

The acknowledgement of mental support and help for the employees in such a creative field as fashion is crucial because of the quick pace of the industry. In the fashion world, you are often told that you have to be the best to make it. Otherwise, you are not able to succeed in such a competitive environment. Such a demanding working area can make many of those who are part of it feel miserable.

What does fashion mean to consumers?

Fashion is considered to be an art, lifestyle, life purpose but most importantly fun. It definitely should not be the cause of our stress or any kind of discomfort. However, these days we might feel a bit lost and divided.

We are aware of the sustainability movement and the commitment to save the environment. But on the other hand, there is constant pressure on us to make us feel like we have to keep buying more. Consumer lifestyle is very difficult to overcome, especially in a world where almost everything seems possible and accessible. 

For the younger generation, it might be difficult to conquer the need for keeping up with always-changing fashion trends. Especially teenagers can often feel anxious when it comes to fashion because they want to be fashionable and popular. They even might worry about a bad response from their friends and classmates on their outfits, because at such vulnerable time as puberty surely is, appearance seems to be everything. 

We have a skewed view of ourselves

For decades fashion and beauty industries have had a negative influence on the way we see ourselves. Their advertising and promotion have affected the acceptance of our bodies and often pointed out people’s insecurities. Things such as acne, size fluctuation or cellulite became taboo; something which is necessary to get rid of.

It’s no surprise that eating disorders have reached terrifying numbers during the last few years. Almost each of us either knows someone who has experienced an eating disorder or is going through it. There is no doubt that the fashion industry is at least partly responsible for men and women desperately trying to change their appearance to the point when they get to the deadly circle of depression and starvation.

Nothing is just black or white

However, I truly believe that the same way the fashion might be harmful to our mental health, it can also be beneficial for boosting our confidence. Let’s forget about negatives for now. Fashion is a great way to express ourselves, show off our style or an attitude. 

The way we dress can represent our culture, our taste of music or the community we belong to. It does not matter whether we choose the comfort of jeans with sneakers or figure-hugging dress with heels; feeling good thanks to garments we wear has a great influence on the way we feel. That naturally has an impact on our behaviour and approach to other people in both private and work life.

Simply, the better we feel, the better we are. That is something fashion can help with. Our outfit can truly serve us as an armour. Just think about how many times your favourite t-shirt helped you feel more relaxed and simply happier.

You are perfect the way you are

Last but not least, my own experience is that no matter what you are fighting against every day, whether you are not satisfied with your body type, bigger thighs or you think you are too skinny, just hold on. One day you will realise that you are perfect exactly the way you are. Never forget that you do not have to wear baggy clothes to hide your insecurities.

Do your old jeans give you anxiety because you cannot fit in them anymore? Change it! Sell them or use them for creating a completely new garment. Buy new ones which fit properly and make you feel good. Clothes that fit you, no matter what size you are wearing, actually have the power to boost your confidence.

Naturally, each of us is different so never think you have to wear something just because it is trendy at the moment. Wear whatever you want, whatever makes you feel comfortable and happy. Because after all, that is what fashion truly is about.

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