Why "Ugly" Trends Make You Feel Prettier

Lauren Eggertsen

Have you ever thought to yourself, why am I so addicted to the way I feel when I put something new on? Why does wearing a killer outfit put me in a joyous mood a majority of the time? Well we have good news—you are not alone, and before you enter the dark debate of whether you are superficial and shallow or not, rest assured that it has been psychologically proven that clothes affect your overall mood—and that's a fact. Scientists call this notion "enclothed cognition" which the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology says “involves the co-occurrence of two independent factors — the symbolic meaning of the clothes and the physical experience of wearing them.”

In relation to this "ugly trend" phenomenon that is taking the world of fashion by storm, you have to look beyond the outward appearance of the items within each trend's aesthetic and analyse what it is that motivates you to wear each, and how you feel while doing so. Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner, in an article titled "You Are What You Wear: What Your Clothes Reveal About You," said that "we can learn to see our clothes as a link between our internal and external selves. Only by fully understanding this connection can we begin to improve our whole person."

It may be hard to believe that clothing can have such a strong impact on the way we think, act, and feel, but after tons of experimentation and research, psychologists have proven that intentionally choosing your wardrobe might just be the first step to a happier life. Another respected psychologist, Adam D. Galinsky, a professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, said something else that got our wheels turning—"Clothes invade the body and brain, putting the wearer into a different psychological state." Here, we aim to dissect what it is about "ugly" trends that can make a girl feel not so ugly at all, according to psychology. Why is it that wearing a dramatically deconstructed top and chunky boots can make us feel more confidant and, in essence, more beautiful than a little black dress and pearls ever could? Go on to find out exactly why that is in addition to shopping our favourite "ugly" trends for 2017.

1. Clothes help us to be seen in the light that we wish to be.

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Collage Vintage

In an article titled Fashion Psychology: What your clothes say about you, the question of why clothing matters is answered. “Clothes have developed from a practical asset to a social marker: they affect the way we see ourselves. They help us to be seen in the light that we wish to be, and also exude our personalities and social status.” If you wish to be seen in a light that proclaims knowledge of the fashion industry, good taste, and admirable confidence, then "ugly" trends are a great choice for you. These sorts of trends openly require level of confidence, intuitiveness when it comes to what is trending, and a general It-factor that fashion girls crave. As we previously learned from Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner, you are able to improve your whole person as soon as you embrace the effect your clothing choices have on your internal and external selves.

2. We adopt the true characteristics of our clothing. 

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Collage Vintage 

In her book, Mind What You Wear: The Psychology of FashionProfessor Karen J. Pine of the University of Hertfordshire explains that “when we put on a piece of clothing we cannot help but adopt some of the characteristics associated with it, even if we are unaware of it.” While at first you may be thinking wait aren't we talking about "ugly" trends here? So I'm going to be adopting "ugly" characteristics? No, not at all. If you think about it, these trends are ones that the fashion industry coined for the brave style gurus at heart meaning that the inherent characteristics of these trends are forwardness and confidence. Choosing to wear them will have you walking taller, and well, feeling prettier. 

3. Setting higher expectations for ourselves will drive greater performance. 

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Collage Vintage

There is this theory in psychology called The Pygmalion Effect, created via a study performed by Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson, that essentially states "Greater expectations drive greater performance." In an article revealing the main psychological effects that affect how our brains tick, the theory is further explained—"The applications for the Pygmalion Effect can have benefits for both personal development and leadership. Individually, you can challenge yourself with more difficult goals and tasks in an effort to rise to meet the challenge.” In other words, when you choose trends that are more laborious to pull off and wear them successfully (i.e. rise to meet the challenge), you will feel like you are capable of absolutely anything and won't be nearly as timid to approach those once unapproachable trends. Again, you'll walk taller, feel prettier, and all that jazz. 

Keep scrolling to shop "ugly" trends we are loving for 2017:

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