Expressing yourself through your outfit
Your self-expression can be shown through your outfit. Your handbag, clothing or shoes can show your personality through colour and style.
Choosing bright, bold colours and patterns to express yourself, known as dopamine dressing, is the new trend of 2022. But fashion is cyclical, so it’s not the first time this has come around.
Women in film and TV have inspired young people around the world through their childhood to embrace their individuality through their clothing and accessories – and there’s no such thing as too loud.
Here, we delve into the dopamine dressing that we have witnessed through TV and films from our childhood that remain influential in the world of fashion.
Cher Horowitz: Clueless
Clueless, despite being released in 1995, has left an impact on women today – and it’s not only from the unforgettable one-liners. The most iconic outfit of the chick flick is arguably her yellow plaid mini skirt and blazer – but main character Cher Horowitz had many other legendary fits, which we witnessed in the memorable scene of her computer picking her outfit.
When Cher isn’t carrying several shopping bags, she’s typically carrying baguette bags to complete her bold looks. And the icon is no stranger to colour clashing as she sports many looks of vivid colours, such as azure blue and fuchsia, as well as her exploration of patterns. And as we know, Cher is never afraid to speak up, so of course her outfits are a reflection of her personality. For young girls who grew up with this film, Cher’s dopamine dressing taught them the importance of clothing for self-expression. Plus, the chick flick is a classic film still loved today, so no doubt it will continue to inspire.
Phoebe Buffay: Friends
Friends may have initially graced our screens in 1994, but it is still one of the most-loved shows today. And with it being one of the most-watched shows on Netflix, its influence is here to stay. With diverse characters who we all know and love, how does the show incorporate dopamine dressing? Well, although the stylish 90s fashion is visible in each character, Phoebe Buffay is a true representation of dressing for self-expression.
Phoebe Buffay went above and beyond to match her outfits to her personality. Her quirkiness shone through her style, whether it was her furry orange coat, chunky necklaces, or oversized tote bags. Eccentric patterns were a common theme in Phoebe’s wardrobe which she often paired with colours that would be unexpectedly phenomenal. So, almost 30 years later, the dopamine dressing is still an inspiration for people to embrace their bold items and flaunt their uniqueness.
Elle Woods: Legally Blonde
As entertaining as Legally Blonde is, Elle Woods provided an example of the power of women and acted as an inspiration for many. Despite being a fictional character, she demonstrated that anything is possible with enough determination and influenced many women to become lawyers. And channelling your feminine side in a professional setting should be encouraged – and Elle’s fashion certainly embodied this.
Pink, pink, and more pink: the aspiring lawyer sported many looks, with the majority of them being various shades of pink. But, to make it even bolder, she added many accessories whether it be a sequinned belt, a beret, or women’s leather handbags in daring red shades for an unapologetically fabulous colour clash. And we can see Elle stand out in pink amongst the crowd of formal attire; she defies the norm, and feels good doing so – thus, a true dopamine dresser.
Jenna Rink: 13 Going on 30
30, flirty, and thriving Jennifer Garner in the 2004 film 13 Going on 30 had the inspiration of a fully-grown adult fused with an 80s teenager, so it’s to no surprise that her wardrobe had an array of bold but stunning items. From being a social outcast in her junior high school at 13, she transforms into an editor of a popular fashion magazine in Manhattan, where her dopamine dressing is soon unveiled.
The most memorable outfit for all is undoubtedly Jenna’s rainbow babydoll dress. If the dress wasn’t colourful enough, she paired it with a hot pink bag as a finishing touch. Not to mention, she wore this outfit for her dancing scene, so it goes to show that you will radiate confidence and joy from dressing bold. And accessories are necessary, whether it’s a beloved baguette bag to complete an outfit or experimenting with the unexpected as Jenna does by adding chopsticks into her hairstyle in an alternative scene. Either way, it’s revealed through her transformation that feeling your best comes from being your true self and dressing in accordance.
Buffy Summers: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The series first aired in 1997, but Buffy Summers is still recognised for her remarkable wardrobe in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She often mixed various styles, whether it be a grunge look, bright and colour-clashing outfits, or excessive accessories. But she did have the responsibility of protecting her town from vampires and demons, so it’s no surprise that she used her clothing to convey her personas.
Outside of her slaying days, Buffy could be seen sporting many colourful outfits. She was no stranger to pink, including one of her unforgettable outfits where she wore a pink jacket with a patterned royal blue skirt – again, a colour-clashing outfit that looks effortlessly stunning. Or, when she embraced her punk style, she showed her love for leather – whether it was her leather coats or the red leather trousers, which are known to be some of the many iconic items from her wardrobe. Buffy remains an inspiring dopamine dresser 25 years later by regularly switching up her clothing to portray her alternative styles.
So, while the original dopamine dressers have a varied style, they all have one thing in common: fearlessness. A glow of confidence and beauty is clear from embracing their true selves and is an inspiration to young women around the world to flaunt their uniqueness. Whatever your personality or style, be fearless and show the world – there’s no doubt you’ll look extraordinary.