City Research Online

Flourishing Fashion

Smith, R. & Yates, J. (2018). Flourishing Fashion. Fashion Studies, 1(1), 5.


Little research has been conducted into the relationship between fashion and psychology, even less on how individuals create wellbeing through appearance and clothing. In this study, the subjective experience of wearing an “outfit that makes you happy” was analyzed using interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA). Six participants, both male and female, were interviewed wearing an outfit that “made them happy.” The semi-structured interviews highlighted the importance of “intentionally managing identity.” Analysis found subordinate themes: shaping identity, coping strategies, and social identity. These were broken down into “knowing who I am,” “matching my outsides to my insides,” “creating my best self,” “managing moods,” “resilience,” “fashioning positive relationships,” and “shared values,” and linked to the concept of flourishing in positive psychology (PP). The results suggest that how the participants dress plays an active part in their wellbeing through expressing positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment (PERMA).

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0.

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