Dopamine Dressing, I tried it! Daily Mail editor tests feel-good fashions for a week


Have you ever woken up in the morning and needed a little pep in your step?

And to boost your mood, did you try putting on your brightest lipstick or your fanciest pair of heels that you’ve been saving for a special occasion?

You may not know it, but you were dopamine dressing, a term coined by the first certified fashion psychologist and author of Dress Your Best Life, Dawnn Karen.

It involves the act of putting on items that activates the release of the feel-good chemical responsible for, among other things, our ability to feel pleasure, satisfaction and motivation.

To explore this phenomenon, DailyMail.com’s US Style Director Pandora Amoratis trialed dopamine dressing for seven days. 

She raided her closet and tried on looks that are said to have mood-boosting powers, and seen on some of the world’s most fashion-forward celebrities, from donning rainbow brights and sequins to retro vests and bold prints. 

She also rated the dopamine surge that they brought her with a score out of five smiley faces.

If you’ve ever been curious about it, Pandora gives her verdict below.

For an extra touch of retro teenaged kitsch, I slipped on a pair of checkered Vans and finished with red heart-shaped sunglasses

As simple as it may seem, wearing uplifting colors (bright, warm shades like red, pink, orange and yellow) can be the fastest way to chase away any feelings of sadness

MONDAY: Rainbow brights 

As simple as it may seem, wearing uplifting colors (bright, warm shades like red, pink, orange and yellow) can be the fastest way to chase away any feelings of sadness.

A happy hue worn alone or combined with other primary and secondary colors can instantly create an electric effect.

On a rainy Monday in Los Angeles, I traded my go-to business casual separates in muted neutrals for structured pieces in eighties-inspired highlighter hues for a day at the office. 

The look provided me with an instant shot of style adrenaline, comparable to the energy jolt one gets from drinking a can of Red Bull

Jenna Dewan headed to Bravo wearing head-to-toe neon green

Hot pink Balenciaga looks were Kim Kardashian's go-to while taping SNL

 A happy hue worn alone or combined with other primary and secondary colors can instantly create an electric effect, as proven by Jenna Dewan and Kim Kardashian

I tried out a single-breasted neon green blazer over a yellow bralette with hot pink high-waisted pants, all by H&M.

And accessorized with Flor de Maria yellow high-heel sandals and an MCM blue leather handbag. 

The look provided me with an instant shot of style adrenaline, comparable to the energy jolt one gets from drinking a can of Red Bull.

While bright shades can trigger feel-good neurotransmitters, it’s said that getting out of your comfort zone when it comes to what you wear can also activate that craved dopamine release. With this look, I achieved both.

I felt confident, optimistic and was impossible to miss in this getup, and for this reason, I give rainbow brights five smiley faces.

They are a must on days when you need a pick-me-up.

I felt confident, optimistic and was impossible to miss in this getup, and for this reason, I give rainbow brights 5 smiley faces

I felt confident, optimistic and was impossible to miss in this getup, and for this reason, I give rainbow brights 5 smiley faces

TUESDAY: Sequins  

Sequins are synonymous with party wear and are traditionally reserved for the winter holiday season and galas.

But as we linger in the era of post-pandemic ‘revenge dressing,’ we’re no longer waiting for a special occasion (or suitor) to show up for a reason to sparkle and shine!

And since festive embellishment (i.e. sequins, feathers and rhinestones ) can help you feel a sense of enthusiasm, why not wear these titillating textural treats to do any ‘ordinary’ activity.

Truth be told, I don't mind being a little over-the-top at the office, but these pants were a bit much for an LA afternoon

For my after-work look, I traded my classic jumper for a black bandeau, zebra blazer and leather jacket

Festive embellishment can help you feel a sense of enthusiasm. These pants were a bit much for an LA afternoon but perfect for a night out

Vanessa Hudgens offset her tweed suit with a sequin tube top for a night out in Milan

Donning multiple embellished garments, German fashion influencer Leonie Hanne brought the party to Milan Fashion Week

As we linger in the era of post-pandemic ‘revenge dressing,’ we’re no longer waiting for a special occasion for a reason to sparkle and shine, à la Vanessa Hudgens and Leonie Hanne

To carry out the style challenge and embrace maximalist dressing, I reached for my favorite pair of wide-leg sequin pants by Resa.

Truth be told, I don’t mind being a little over-the-top at the office, but these pants were a bit much for an LA afternoon.

To offset the fabulousness of the mirror ball embellishment, I paired the bottoms with a casual knit sweater by Sanctuary in a muted brown hue.

For my after-work look, I traded my classic jumper for a black bandeau and zebra blazer, topped by a leather jacket. 

With the exception of feeling a little overdressed in the daytime, I give sequin fashions 3.5 smiley faces for their ability to take any look from meh to amazing.

With the exception of feeling a little overdressed in the daytime, I give sequin fashions 3.5 smiley faces for their ability to take any look from meh to amazing.

With the exception of feeling a little overdressed in the daytime, I give sequin fashions 3.5 smiley faces for their ability to take any look from meh to amazing.

WEDNESDAY: Retro vests 

In a season of fashion comebacks, it’s no surprise that vests have been all the rage.

Reminiscent of preppy conformist grade school uniforms, knit vests have been spotted on the likes of some of the sexiest influencers including Harry Styles, Kendall Jenner, Alexa Chung and Bella Hadid.

High-end labels like Gucci, Chloé, and Brunello Cucinelli all have vests in their fall 2023 collections, but they’re available at some of our favorite fast fashion retailers. I got mine at H&M.

High-end labels like Gucci, Chloé, and Brunello Cucinelli all have vests in their fall 2023 collections, but they¿re available at some of our favorite fast fashion retailers. I got mine at H&M

High-end labels like Gucci, Chloé, and Brunello Cucinelli all have vests in their fall 2023 collections, but they’re available at some of our favorite fast fashion retailers. I got mine at H&M

Kendall Jenner looked effortlessly chic in a knit vest and jeans

From his elegant pearl necklaces to his knit vests, Harry Styles always has fun with fashion

Reminiscent of preppy conformist grade school uniforms, knit vests have been spotted on the likes of some of the sexiest influencers including Harry Styles and  Kendall Jenner

To give the basic look a modern day, working girl twist, I layered it over a button-down shirt and paired it with loose slacks that cinched at the waist.

While the piece did provide a touch of nostalgia, I felt more granny than grade school throwback, and it didn’t push the fashion envelope far enough to spark joy for me.

For that reason, I give the knit vest two smiley faces.

While the piece did provide a touch of nostalgia, I felt more granny than grade school throwback, and it didn't push the fashion envelope far enough to spark joy for me. For that reason, I give the knit vest two smiley faces

While the piece did provide a touch of nostalgia, I felt more granny than grade school throwback, and it didn’t push the fashion envelope far enough to spark joy for me. For that reason, I give the knit vest two smiley faces

THURSDAY: Bold prints 

Trends come and go but animal prints are forever chic.

From leopard to cheetah to snake and python, giving your look a lift with these wild skin treatments remains evergreen.

Archaic fashion guidelines suggest wearing one animal print at a time and keeping the rest of your look classic with clean lines and neutral shades.

But for the sake of dopamine dressing, I decided I’d dress to kill!

From leopard to cheetah to snake and python, giving your look a lift with these wild skin treatments remains evergreen.  I opted to go head-to-toe leopard, in similar (but not identical) prints. This bold look made me feel strong, stealthily stylish and sexy ¿ spot on (pun intended)

From leopard to cheetah to snake and python, giving your look a lift with these wild skin treatments remains evergreen.  I opted to go head-to-toe leopard, in similar (but not identical) prints. This bold look made me feel strong, stealthily stylish and sexy — spot on (pun intended)

As former Vogue Editor-In-Chief, Diana Vreeland, once said, ‘I never met a leopard print I didn’t like.’

I opted to go head-to-toe leopard, in similar (but not identical) prints, pairing a Never Fully Dressed wrap top with a Ganni silk skirt.

This bold look made me feel strong, stealthily stylish and sexy — spot on (pun intended)!

Call it animal instinct, I find safari prints are essential to my style happiness. I give it 4 smiley faces.

Call it animal instinct, I find safari prints are essential to my style happiness. I give it 4 smiley faces

Call it animal instinct, I find safari prints are essential to my style happiness. I give it 4 smiley faces

Friday: Textured bag 

They may have been collecting dust for several months, but post-pandemic handbags are anything but a forgotten accessory.

Think quilted satchels, woven leather clutches, shearling fur totes, puffy nylon and embossed crossbody bags all in a variety of shapes and silhouettes.

I’m a self-confessed shoe girl, but I can appreciate the importance of arm candy and its power to show off a gal’s fearless approach to fashion.

Case in point: the Bottega Veneta Mini Jodie.

Despite its hefty designer price-tag, the small leather purse ranks as one of the top 10 hottest bags this year.

Featuring the label’s signature Intrecciato woven design, it has become a symbol of highest status within the international fashion set.

I'm a self-confessed shoe girl, but I can appreciate the importance of arm candy and its power to show off a gal's fearless approach to fashion

I’m a self-confessed shoe girl, but I can appreciate the importance of arm candy and its power to show off a gal’s fearless approach to fashion

Unlike the Mini Jodie, this puffer style crossbody held all my necessities and doubled as a headrest in the middle of a hectic day

Unlike the Mini Jodie, this puffer style crossbody held all my necessities and doubled as a headrest in the middle of a hectic day

Hailey Bieber carried her essentials in the Bottega Veneta Mini Jodie featuring the label's signature Intrecciato woven design

Victoria Beckham was spotted outside The Mark Hotel in New York City wearing a red dress, matching Manolo Blahniks,  and a chain-strap Bottega Veneta bag

They may have been collecting dust for several months, but post-pandemic handbags are anything but a forgotten accessory, with Bottega Veneta’s textured styles being a symbol of highest status within the international fashion set

I’m more drawn to the cloud-like shape of the Lanvin ‘Sugar Bag’ that I purchased at a fraction of its retail price from italist.com.

To let my black shoulder bag take center stage, I paired it with blue jeans, a graphic vintage tee and a tan blazer.

Unlike the Mini Jodie, this puffer style crossbody held all my necessities and doubled as a headrest in the middle of a hectic day.

But I only felt excited when the goldtone chainlink shoulder strap was actually on my shoulder. 

I give a textured bag one happy face.

I only felt excited when the goldtone chainlink shoulder strap was actually on my shoulder. I give a textured bag one happy face

I only felt excited when the goldtone chainlink shoulder strap was actually on my shoulder. I give a textured bag one happy face

Saturday: Fun fashions

With the world upended and the future unclear, nostalgia has been a way for people to self-soothe during the churning world events of the past few years, and it has affected our collective desire for feel-good, fun fast fashion.

Many of us found comfort in young-at-heart styles that reminded us of happier times or were throwbacks to our youth.

And the trend continues to remain strong with the resurgence of so many ’80s and ’90s fashions.

It’s been proven that psychological and emotional associations are often tied to memories, and I have very fond ones of visiting Disney World with my family as a child.

With the world upended and the future unclear, nostalgia has been a way for people to self-soothe during the churning world events of the past few years, and it has affected our collective desire for feel-good, fun fast fashion

With the world upended and the future unclear, nostalgia has been a way for people to self-soothe during the churning world events of the past few years, and it has affected our collective desire for feel-good, fun fast fashion

While attending the 'Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery' photocall, Janelle Monae brought a Thom Browne bag in the shape of a dog

While attending the ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ photocall, Janelle Monae brought a Thom Browne bag in the shape of a dog

So for weekend errands, I threw on an authentic vintage Mickey Mouse sweatshirt purchased from the park many years ago, paired it with jeans then topped it with a blue leather jacket.

For an extra touch of retro teenaged kitsch, I slipped on a pair of checkered Vans and finished with red heart-shaped sunglasses.

There’s nothing like a beloved cartoon character to bring out the kid in you. And for this reason, on a scale of 1 to 5 happy faces, I give nostalgic fashions 4.

If you don’t have a Mickey Mouse jumper, try light-hearted looks like a retro tie-dye pattern, a laugh-out-loud graphic top or a dog-shaped handbag à la Janelle Monae to do the trick!

There's nothing like a beloved cartoon character to bring out the kid in you. And for this reason, on a scale of one to five happy faces, I give nostalgic fashions four

There’s nothing like a beloved cartoon character to bring out the kid in you. And for this reason, on a scale of one to five happy faces, I give nostalgic fashions four

Sunday: Luxurious Pajamas 

The right pajamas are key to a good night’s sleep. 

Styles are often made of soft fabric, such as flannel or lightweight cotton to keep you cool and comfy while you catch those zzz’s.

But with more people working remotely, designers have extended their sleepwear offerings to include luxurious loungewear for the bedroom and beyond.

After a week of rain in Los Angeles, I noticed the bad weather was having a negative effect on my emotions. 

To boost my spirits I slipped into a pair of pajamas by Johnny Was.

For a quick pick-me-up I slipped into a pair of pajamas by Johnny Was. My short-sleeve silk set features a Royal Crane and floral motif in a striking color palette of red, black and white

For a quick pick-me-up I slipped into a pair of pajamas by Johnny Was. My short-sleeve silk set features a Royal Crane and floral motif in a striking color palette of red, black and white

The California-based brand is known for its bohemian aesthetic with an emphasis on playful prints inspired by world cultures, nature, and the arts.

My short-sleeve silk set features a Royal Crane and floral motif in a striking color palette of red, black and white.  

And unlike my worn-out T-shirt and sweats, I would happily take these glamorous and girly p-jammies for a spin outside. 

I give dreamy sleepwear 4.5 smiley faces for making me feel fabulous on the couch and curing the Sunday blues.

And unlike my worn-out T-shirt and sweats, I would happily take these jammies for a spin outside. I give luxe pajamas 4.5 smiley faces

And unlike my worn-out T-shirt and sweats, I would happily take these jammies for a spin outside. I give luxe pajamas 4.5 smiley faces

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