"Many women would recognise the happy feelings they get from buying the ‘perfect’ dress or wearing an outfit that they know they look amazing in. Could there be a real link between this euphoric state and mental health? In other words, does fashion have the power to enhance your mood and your outlook?"
There is a growing interest in the answers to these and more questions among fashion psychologists, and in the month where the eyes of the world focus on mental health, (10 October), I have been focusing on carrying out a study to see if clothing choices can indeed elevate our mental well-being and if yes, how.
My research will build on the knowledge that women of colour are twice as likely to be diagnosed with mental illness than their white counterparts yet access to treatment doesn’t match this worrying trend. Another consideration is that women aged over 40 often have additional hurdles when it comes to accessing support, due to societal expectations and the reality that mental illness has in some instances been tied to the onset of menopause. For this reason, the research is specifically focused on women who identify as hailing from the African diaspora.
I will be leading a talk on this topic as part of Costume Institute of the African Diaspora at London College of Fashion on 27 October 2017 at 6.30pm. Click here to find out more and to purchase £3 tickets.
If you identify as a woman of colour andwould like your voice heard click here to access the anonymous survey.