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Can Fashion Promote Wellness?

It’s recently been argued by fashion writers that the wellness industry is overtaking the fashion industry. There is now more than ever, a focus upon comfortable clothing that allows for greater freedom of movement. High-end fashion retailers and designers have begun to turn their attention to creating sportswear and athleisure clothing. Items of clothing, such as leggings, which were previously considered a ‘lesser’ form of fashion have suddenly become the latest must-have trend and fashion item.

The fashion industry has been quick to try to monetize on the wellness culture and the very concept of wellness itself. From ‘fashionable’ athleisure clothing to footwear and even sports equipment, such as yoga mats, there is an increasing acceptance of clothing which is stretchy, comfortable and more importantly, wearable. Wellness itself has become latest fashion trend.

Can Clothing Promote Wellness?

Yet, are the fashionable, wellness-inspired fashion items really the ones which in fact promote wellness? After all, the concept of wellness is about far more than clothes.

However, what we wear does impact on how we feel and the way we see ourselves. If the aim of the wellness culture is to promote and encourage wellbeing of the whole self (both mind and body), then the question of fashion, or at least, the clothes which we choose to wear becomes more relevant.

The clothes we wear not only serve a functional purpose, but they also allow us to express ourselves. The associations we form with our clothing can evoke positive or negative emotions, which then impact our sense of self and wellbeing. A well-chosen outfit can help raise your self-esteem and feel more confident. Similarly, certain items may bring back happy memories and help to improve your mood, whilst another item may create a sense of security and safety at a time you feel insecure.

You may form associations between items of clothing and specific activities. For example, you may wear specific items when you engage in mindful practice. The simple fact of putting on those clothes can help to shift your mindset and mentally prepare you for the activity ahead. In this way, you could also use clothing to help invoke certain states of mind and attitudes.

An Invitation…

This week we invite you to create an outfit which invokes positive associations for you and which promotes your personal wellness.

Take some time to reflect on what wellness means to you and which types of clothing you find reflect this most accurately. Perhaps you want to create an outfit from athleisure-style clothing. Or perhaps your wellness outfit involves jeans and a hoodie. You may decide that a dress is your chosen outfit, or perhaps a formal suit. The key is to identify what works for you as an individual.

Allow yourself to be as creative as you can be. Try to let go of any preconceptions you may have about fashion or what looks good or should/shouldn’t be worn. Instead, be honest with yourself and find what feels good.

In the first instance, aim to create an outfit using clothes you already own. Try different combinations or even upcycle old clothes and give them a new lease of life. Alternatively, try to find new clothes in a local charity shop or even borrow or swap clothes with a friend or family member. If you’re feeling especially inspired, you could even make your own clothes.

We would really enjoy seeing the wide variety of outfits which emerge, so please share your thoughts, experiences and outfits with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Above all, enjoy devoting this time to yourself and to wearing your new outfit.

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