Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
pink shirt jeans butt back pockets levis teal wall
pink shirt jeans butt back pockets levis teal wall
Molly Longest / Her Campus
Style > Fashion

MENTAL HEALTH: How Personal Style Can Help Your Mental Health

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SDSU chapter.

Many view college as a time to reinvent themselves. Whether you’re coming from a background where you felt suppressed or simply want a change of self to match the change of scenery, college can seem like the perfect time to try out a new style. Unfortunately, college is also the time when a lot of people see declines in their mental health. Poor housing situations, changes in structure, problems with food, and a variety of other hardships plague students all across the nation. So, I suggest rather than trying to reinvent yourself, find yourself instead.

Growing up with a variety of mental health problems, I have found that, while it cannot cure anything, finding my own personal style has aided me immensely in getting through the smaller trials of everyday life.

Here are just some of the ways I have found that embracing my style has helped my mental health:

  1. I have a reason to get out of bed. It may seem silly, but thinking about finding an outfit every morning is exciting. If I plan out what outfit feels like “me” the night before, I have even more of a reason to get up. When I have an especially difficult day, I use outfit planning to cheer myself up. My favorite color is pink, so whenever I have a hard day, I make sure to wear pink the next day. It helps me get out of any slump I’m in and bring some positivity to the new day.
  2. It helps me make friends. By putting what I feel on the inside on the outside, I find I attract people I want to make connections with. Besides, who doesn’t like to be complimented on their outfit every once in a while? By putting on clothes and accessories that feel like “me,” I feel like any compliments on my appearance are truly for me, not just an aesthetic I picked out.
  3. I feel more motivation to put work in throughout the day. I have found that the amount of effort I put into my appearance corresponds to the amount of effort I put into classes and other activities. When my appearance reflects who I feel I am, I also feel more healthy pressure to outwardly be the best version of myself. In my experience, this results in higher levels of participation and thus getting more out of my day. 
  4. I feel happier! Fashion is a game of aesthetics. By wearing the clothes that I look the look and feel of, I surround myself with things that make me happy every second of the day. Just that small reminder of what I love, whether it be colors, patterns, textures, pictures, etc., can brighten up my day when something is going wrong.
  5. It might sound cheesy, but it does make you feel like the main character. When you dress in a way that represents who you are, you essentially give yourself a costume. Then, when something frustrating happens in a class, you start to doubt yourself, or you just have a hard day, you can remind yourself that it is only a hurdle to get through to get to the end of the story. If you told me clothing could do that for you years ago I might have scoffed, but being able to strut around campus in my favorite clothes after a rough class has shown me that it is 100% real.

Remember that it takes time to cultivate personal style and it is difficult to put together a wardrobe that feels like you. But, any small thing you can do to make your outside appearance feel like you on the inside is a worthwhile exploration into what makes you feel good!



Stephanie is a first year theatre performance major at SDSU. She has a love for all things feminism, performance, and writing.