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The Artless Way

Dopamine Dressing Is The New Sartorial Normal

Dopamine Dressing Is The New Sartorial Normal

Are you seeing a frenzy of eye-blinding hues with people engaging with hues and shapes like never before? Blame it on the post-pandemic dopamine dressing. 

As the pandemic hit and all the world’s doors shut until further notice, we seek refuge in not just comfort food but also comfort clothing. Loungewear became a messiah for the e-retail fashion sites as sales for it skyrocketed amidst the lockdown since going out seemed like a distant dream. All types of fashion forecasts predicted that the post-lockdown would be an era of sweatpants and heels, it’ll be like your gym came out of the sweaty indoors to the great outdoors and outdoors it came but it only lasted for a hot second. For as soon as fashionistas re-entered the glittery halls of retail flagships, the sweatpants started coming off (in a non-sexual way) and the need to be clad in the outfit of your dreams slithered in again.

This was termed Dopamine Dressing as fashion has been the eternal up-lifter of spirits, it once again came to the rescue of our pandemic-stricken generation in the form of plastic jewelry, tie-dye, eye-blinding neons, and whatnot.


Source: Metro

Dopamine dressing is basically draping yourself in whatever makes you feel good quite literally. The result of this? A flurry of trends that we thought we had seen the end of. From kid core with frat boy-inspired rainbow-colored accessories to the grand return of Y2K fashion that was like a burst of confetti with the 90s inspired silhouettes, dopamine dressing has people dressing like the world is about to come to an end (maybe, it almost did). Let me put it this way, if the pandemic gave people PTSD, then dopamine dressing is our generation’s therapy. And boy, did it reflect on the runway.

The recent SS'22 runway collections had everyone from YSL to Balmain toying with hues in a way never before, whether it was unexpected color blocking with YSL’s loud-hued gloves with understated dresses or Balmain going all out with a chain-looped golden top. 

Saint Laurent's SS'22 
Source: WWD


Balmain's chain-looped golden top. 
Source: Vogue

Diving deep into dopamine dressing we find that it is directly associated with the dense sensory input that arises out of the bright colors (and/or textures) of clothes that make you feel on top of the world. So, dopamine dressing functions on good ol’ color psychology that banks on the euphoric associations your brain has made with certain hues and shades. So, while it’s reigning high as a trend, the fact that the clothes we don influence the way we think has been proved by research done by students from Columbia University. So, dopamine dressing can have varying definitions for varied individuals as sweatpants can be the go-to for someone while a shouting loud psychedelic printed corset might be the poison for others. Consider it a free get-out-of-(fashion)jail-card and you might as well sin now.