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Dopamine Dressing: Our Antidote for Dreary Days

“Dopamine Dressing” is one of those trends you might have seen floating around Instagram and TikTok, but it can be tricky to tell exactly what this trend is all about.  Ultimately, the goal is to create a psychologically pleasant daily experience through getting dressed by choosing outfits that support a release of dopamine.  Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that emits signals for pleasure and reward.  When we engage in any kind of activity that releases dopamine, we’re increasing the pleasure and reward that is associated with that activity.  So, the psychology behind this trend is that by choosing these dopamine-signaling items from our wardrobes when we’re getting ready, we can increase sensations of pleasure and carry that joy through the day.

What’s important to note about this idea, though, is that one size does not fit all.  While some people might find pleasure or joy from dressing in bold, bright hues like yellow that might typically be associated with happiness, others can get the same feeling from dressing in all black.  Colors also have unique meanings and uses for customs in different cultures around the world that might affect feelings associated with them.  To make dopamine dressing work for you, you must first find out what colors, textures, and styles bring you the most pleasure.  And above all, don’t worry about how it might look to others, just focus on how you feel your best!

But before you toss on your trusty little black dress yet again, there is a case for giving brighter colors a chance.  Because we naturally desire originality, trying on a fresh color or pattern can create a new perspective that could enhance your mood.  Just switching things up can get people of a rut. (Notable for those of us who have been living life remotely for the past few years in the same four sweatsuits.)  And often, bright hues bring a new and pleasant sensory experience to getting dressed.

Ready to give dopamine dressing a go?  We’ve listed some of our favorite picks. And there is a variety of colors and patterns to match whichever styles make you feel happy and calm. Not sure where to start? Try mixing and matching what you already own and see which leaves you feeling the most confident and happy.  Remember, this trend is all about YOU and finding pleasure through fashion!

Our picks for Dopamine Dressing


LACAUSA Veda Halter
Take your style back to the 90’s with this super soft organic cotton halter.

Abacaxi Reversible Quilted Jacket
With fun zebra-inspired embroidery, aqua on one side and ocean blue on the other, you’re getting two looks in one and this piece can be worn as a top or jacket.

Lucy & Yak Sonny Sweater
Low impact dyes and organic cotton come together for the ultimate colorful spring sweater


Reformation Agean Dress
Made from materials sourced from sustainably managed forests, summon the summer waves with the Agean dress.

Abacaxi Eva Dress in Moon Bubbles
Made in Delhi, India from an original design by Abacaxi in 100% cotton

Ali Golden Knit Slip Dress
Ethically made in a women-owned factory in Peru, you’ll surely reach for this one-and-done dress again and again.


Big Bud Press Faded Grape Work Pants
Unisex & Available in sizes XXS-6X, feel great wearing these 100% cotton pants knowing they were made in a sweatshop free environment.

Reformation Benson Skirt
Lightweight and silky, this skirt has a perfect pattern to mix up your spring style!

Big Bud Press Candy Clouds Airbrush Western Pants
Totally unique pants with a stunning sky scene airbrushed by hand in LA on NAFTA certified twill.


Big Bud Press Tie Dye Bucket Hat
Designed, dyed, cut, and sewn in California. made from 100% cotton corduroy. Tie dyed by hand with non-toxic and low impact dyes.

Stella McCartney Star Shoulder Bag
Stella’s bag will have you shining like the star you are – especially if you score it secondhand!

Birdsong Pink Gingham Tencel Offcuts Hair Tie
Versatile hair tie, made with leftover Tencel fabric from our main collections.
Handmade in London for Living Wages by Fatheha, Malika and women supported by Stitches In Time community arts charity in East London. They receive £4 from each sale.

–Natalie LaBarbera

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