You Are What You Wear: Can Comfort Clothes Help You Relieve Stress?

By Krista


Last Updated: May 12, 2022

Do you ever notice how when you’re stressed or feeling out of sorts, putting on comfort clothes can help you feel that much better? 

Maybe you get home from work, and the first thing you do is throw off those uncomfortable work clothes and throw on sweatpants and a loose top. And it just feels so good!

Why is this the case? Do comfort clothes actually help reduce the stress in your life? Or do we just love ‘em because they feel soft and cozy in the moment? What does the science say about it all?


Can Clothes Reduce Anxiety?

“You can have anything in life if you dress for it.” — Edith Head

Comfy clothes are familiar and soothing in many ways. In fact, psychology experts state that during the height of a panic attack, loosening and removing clothing, along with slowing your breathing, can help to counteract it. 

Tight and restrictive clothing has the ability to increase body temperature, sending some individuals into a panic. Thus, wearing comfort clothes can help with this!

Alternatively, there is some evidence showing how compression clothing can also help reduce anxiety and stress. In many ways, experts attribute this phenomenon to the “soft hug” that compression clothing can provide.

And clothes don’t only help lower stress and anxiety in more than a few ways. There’s even more to the story.

Related Article: 7 Easy Ways to Stop Anxiety & Chronic Stress From Ruining Your Life


The Link Between Clothing Choices and Emotional States

Research has shown that when someone feels sad or depressed, they are more likely to wear baggy clothes out in public. In many ways, this could be interpreted as the person trying to find comfort, as well as potentially trying to hide their body due to insecurities. 

Then, there’s the fact that we’ve all felt it: When you get dressed up, you feel great and confident, at least much more when compared to wearing your PJs. In many ways, studies have shown how people give thought to their clothing in relation to their emotional state or how they want to feel.


Relation of Clothing to Physical and Mental Health

When you feel good, you’re further more likely to do things that further this “goodness” feeling, as well as help your future self. For instance, if you feel great in that new workout wear you bought, you might feel more motivated to move your body.

On top of this, colors drastically impact our mood, helping us feel calm, happy, excited, or sad. But you have tons of control over this! So, let’s dive into how you can actually dress to relieve stress.


What Can I Wear to Relieve Stress?

Situational context offers a magical way to trick your brain in all kinds of situations. And part of this context is what you wear!

With that in mind, if you feel stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed, try this:


1. Wear comfort clothes.

Put on that baggy sweater or loose pants that you love to lounge around in at home.


2. Put on something that makes you feel confident.

Yes, like your favorite jeans.


3. Wear green or blue.

These colors have been proven to help lower cortisol levels, helping you relax.


4. Reduce your wardrobe down to a few essential items.

It’s suggested that having fewer choices (including when it comes to your clothing) can substantially reduce stress and anxiety throughout our day-to-day.


5. Choose comfortable fabrics.

Unfortunately, many clothing brands produce clothes that are made in less-than-ideal fabrics and textures. Sometimes, this can lead to itchiness and way too much attention focused on what we’re wearing. Thus, opt for soft fabrics that don’t irritate your skin. 


6. Wear the appropriate attire to a given event.

This can be tricky, and if you’re having a tough time deeming what is appropriate, ask a friend! Or do some serious research about the event. Is it semi-formal? What is expected? This can help quell some anxiety and make you feel more comfortable with your attendance. 

Related Article: How to Benefit From Color Psychology: Influence Your Emotions & Behavior



So, Go Ahead! Throw On Some Comfort Clothes!

After a stressful day, comfy clothes might just be what you need. They give you immediate relief and can help you wind down after a particularly tough day. Try it out (or should we say put them on!). You’ll feel that much better that you did.

Read Next: Try These 7 Daily Anxiety-Reduction Techniques to Help You Worry Less

Photo by Andreas Fickl


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