If you want to lift your mood, decrease stress and re-connect with your creativity, then I would thoroughly recommend it.
Dopamine dressing is the trend of wearing bright colours and fun clothes in order to lift your mood. I have since taken this concept a step further with Dopamine Dress Up. Plenty of us get a real buzz from wearing a bit of fancy dress to a festival, parties or at Halloween so why does it have to just be on special occasions? Why not bring that buzz into your life on a daily basis?
I chose to start dressing as a vampire at home after going through a difficult time last year. I was watching True Blood and thought, why not? I’m bored with always being human. I want to feel like a sexy vampire. Just look at our history of vampire pin-ups: Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, the Twilight films, the list goes on. It seems there is nothing sexier than a dead person with fangs so, what better way is there to engage my inner vamp queen than to dress like one? Obviously, I don’t have the patience to suck blood, far too much mess. All I want is to lose my inhibitions and feel empowered.
Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk on power posing went viral as she recommended adopting a Wonder Woman pose for anyone looking for an instant dose of self-empowerment. For those dying moments before a job interview, a public speech or any time you might doubt yourself or feel intimidated, a simple hand on your Wonder Woman hips can command a rush of assertive confidence. Personally, I say why not take it a step further and dress like Wonder Woman too? Maybe not for an interview or public speech, that would be a little silly, but in the privacy of your own home, what better way is there to prepare yourself to face the world?
Once I’ve had my dinner any given Thursday night, I’ll have whacked on my fangs and plonked myself in front of EastEnders. Not before though, as you don’t want your fangs falling into your Biryani. If I don’t have house chores then I dress as a mermaid. There’s something weirdly liberating watching the telly in a fish tale. I’ve even made up my own costume, the Vamp Maid; half vampire, half dead mermaid (I was killed by plastic). I can honestly say I’ve never felt so empowered even if the look is more a bloated whale with fangs than temptress of the ocean.
If full dress up makes you feel uncomfortable, start off small with a witches hat, silly moustache or fake teeth and build up from there. I’m so at ease with it now and last week I found myself in Costcutter still with the fangs in place. No one even batted an eyelid when my mate went to Aldi as Freddie Mercury. Everyone is too busy on their phones to notice. Do it! Be ridiculous!
You can dress as anything. My partner was originally very sceptical but now he has joined in and occasionally dresses as Mary Poppins when we watch TV together. You can dress as anything but I would suggest a costume that is easy to breathe in as there’s nothing worse than asphyxiating yourself with a polyester mask before you’ve finished a Netflix binge.
Stephen Joseph writes in his book Authentic that if we tap into our inner childlike curiosity this will help us align more with our true authentic selves. I’m not saying that my real self is a vampire but dressing up allows my brain to play and be creative. Curiosity has been widely recognised and cultivated as being an essential ingredient for good leadership, successful team-building and personal mental health so dressing up at home could help you out at work too.
When life sometimes just gets a bit too much, just put on a costume and I promise that you will immediately feel better. It’s also a great way to avoid confrontation with whoever you live with too, as it’s hard to take someone seriously when they are dressed as a Power Ranger. Give it a go.