Dopamine Dressing: happiness through what we wear!

dopamine dressing streetstyle


If you are an assiduous follower of fashion trends and are always looking to find out which colors and textures are planned for the next collections, it is likely that you have come across an increasing number of vibrant colours. Color, lots of color. In all details and notes.

The search for positive thoughts and encouraging environments has been, more than ever, a necessity - especially after two years of the pandemic. This urgency was also transferred to fashion, in the way we feel and present ourselves to the world.

It's nothing new, but the clothes we wear (and the way we use them) are capable of completely transforming our mood and, consequently, raising our self-esteem and confidence! 

The feeling of happiness and well-being achieved through what we wear is due to the dopamine.

What is dopamine?

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter produced by our body, responsible for conducting information to various parts of the body. When released, it promotes sensations of pleasure and well-being that drive us to repeat a certain behavior. 

Dopamine performs essential functions in the central nervous system, such as: 

  • increases motivation;
  • improves memory, focus and concentration;
  • assists in the control and coordination of body movements;
  • promotes gut health.

It is produced in specific areas of the brain and is linked to the control of emotions. One of its great benefits is related to the feeling of pleasure and satisfaction that it causes when released. 

The simple fact that we perform a pleasurable activity - such as deciding what to wear each day, exercising, going shopping - is enough to increase dopamine levels.

Dopamine and Serotonin: What is the relationship between the two?

Both dopamine and serotonin are two neurotransmitters that contribute to the proper functioning of the body.

Despite the particularities of each, both are known as the “Happiness Hormones” and together they play a very important role in our mood and well-being.

A serotonin It is one of the most important neurotransmitters for our brain. It regulates not only our mood but also our sleep cycle, appetite, sex drive and memory.

In the face of a lack of serotonin in the body, the following may occur:

  • increased anxiety;
  • memory difficulties;
  • irritability;
  • sleep changes;
  • weight gain.

However, eating certain foods, adopting healthy lifestyle habits and sun exposure (recommended) represent some ways to increase serotonin levels in the body.

The amount of serotonin is directly interconnected with the amount of dopamine, and vice versa. When we are in the presence of high levels of serotonin, the amount of dopamine can decrease (impairing motivation). On the other hand, before low serotonin levels, dopamine may show high values, resulting in a greater demand for pleasurable activities.

Dopamine dressing: what is it?

The concept of dopamine dressing - or “dopamine dressing” - has traveled the “mouths of the world”. In fact, it's one of the biggest fashion trends this year.

A premise behind the concept dopamine dressing It's very simple: wearing something that makes you feel good will translate into much happier states of mind. 

The relationship between dopamine and fashion was first studied by the teacher Karen Pine, from the University of Hertfordshire, in 2012. Through some social experiments, he discovered that the participants' confidence grew when they bet on clothes of greater symbolic value. 


dopamine dressing streetstyle

Photography: Vogue

Many studies have been carried out in recent years with the aim of deepening the concept of dopamine dressing and the direct relationship between different states of mind and what we wear.

Carolyn Mair, behavioral psychologist and author of the famous book The Psychology of Fashion, argues that “when we feel good about what we wear, we tend to be more confident”.

The author also adds that “when we are confident, we are able to exert influence through our confidence. When we feel good, we are likely to be perceived as looking good too, as our posture, voice and other non-verbal aspects will be more positive.”

Who doesn't like to be praised? The internal satisfaction of receive a compliment - much like the act of praising - stimulates dopamine production, and has a powerful impact on how we feel. 

By dressing confidently, and because it is such a pleasurable act, we are not only enjoying an experience, but also spreading dopamine.

The concept of dopamine dressing and the predominance of more vibrant colors quickly became popular on social networks such as TikTok or Instagram, where it is possible to observe an explosion of color in the most varied slopes of streetstyle

Also in the most recent fashion weeks around the world, the presence of more striking color palettes in the most diverse collections is completely perceptible. even the Queen Elizabeth II has joined this trend, betting on more colorful coordinates!


rainha isabel roupas coloridas

Photography: Wall Street Journal

The influence of Color Psychology

O dopamine dressing and Color Psychology go hand in hand! 

Not only the way we dress has an influence on our mood. The colors we use can also “speak for us” and are often the mirror of our personality and what we want to communicate. 

The Psychology of Colors is based on our brain's ability to identify a color and turn it into a feeling🇧🇷 All colors have a meaning, however, each one of them awakens a certain emotion in us. Something that is very personal and subjective. 

There is no universal rule that defines the colors that should be used because, if for some there is a specific attraction for certain colors, for others the preference may fall on other completely foreign shades. 

Even so, unconsciously, when we dress, we do it according to the emotions we are feeling on that particular day or moment. 

In times of greater despondency or sadness, we tend to direct our choice towards clothes in colder and more muted colors. On the contrary, when we wake up naturally happy and in a good mood, the brightest and most vibrant colors are, most of the time, the first choice.

Symbology of Colors

As a rule, the cold colors (such as blue or purple) are associated with calm and lightness, while hot colors (like yellow or red) transmit more joyful and dynamic energies. Know the meaning of some colors. 

Red: Because it is a warm color, it is associated with passion. Transmits confidence and sensuality.

Rosa: Despite being a variant of red, it is a super feminine color, associated with romanticism and delicacy.

Yellow: A naturally energetic and stimulating color, used to stimulate positive and optimistic energies.

Blue: It represents calm, confidence and security.

Orange: If you are looking to convey a message of enthusiasm, energy and motivation, orange is the right shade! 

Green: It symbolizes hope and youth, and is a color known to have a calming and stress-relieving effect.

Although the perception of color is very personal and varies from culture to culture, there is no doubt that the color of the clothes we wear affects our mood and the way we face everyday life.

How to adhere to dopamine dressing?

There are no specific requirements to follow to join this trend. This is definitely the fun part! 

As recommended Shakaila Forbes-Bell, fashion psychologist and creator of the platform Fashion is Psychology, a good starting point to start incorporating this trend into your style, you need to “look at your wardrobe and identify the pieces that remind you of a particularly happy or rewarding moment in your life. Then see how you can use these items in a new and improved way. That way, you are experiencing the psychological benefits of dopamine.”

Thus, opting for pieces that convey some emotional connection or symbolic meaning may be enough to increase your dopamine levels and, from there, achieve the well-being you are looking for!

However, according to color psychology, warmer tones - such as yellow, red, orange or green - have the ability to provide us with happier moods and consequently bring that happiness to the world around us!

imagens streetstyle dopamine dressing

Photography: Vogue

If you've never tried wearing garments in more vibrant colors, join the dopamine dressing it can be an excellent opportunity to understand how this trend can influence your well-being, while stepping out of your comfort zone. 

Use and abuse different textures and prints, whether in clothing or accessories. 

A trend for everyone… and for everyone!

Whoever thinks that the dopamine dressing is directed only to the younger layers! This trend adapts to all ages, genders, physical conditions and cultures.

There are those who argue that from a certain age (+40 years), the color palette to be used should follow more sober and monochromatic lines. However, it is nothing more than an unfounded theory!

Especially in winter, colder and darker tones can change our appearance, making it look dull and tired. The choice of lighter and more vibrant tones, in most cases, improves the appearance of the skin and, consequently, gives it a younger and healthier look. 

Not only sequins, strong colors and risky prints are made dopamine dressing🇧🇷 This is a perfectly versatile trend that is easily adaptable to all types of style, so anyone who prefers a more minimalist style can - and should - join!

If you have a preference for garments that are more simple and minimalist, take the opportunity to opt for pieces with more cheerful and fun tones that, at the same time, manage to convey simplicity and elegance.


Join the trend of dopamine dressing it's simpler than you might think. The secret is to give wings to creativity! Wear clothes that give you confidence and allow you to face everyday life with a positive mindset. 

Wear what you like, the way you prefer and, above all… have fun doing it!

leave a comment

Please note that comments need to be approved before they can be displayed.