fashion Subscriber Exclusive

'Dopamine Dressing is how I curate my wardrobe. Here are my 8 favourite pieces.'

Welcome to the Nothing To Wear Edit where each week we curate the best of whatever we spoke about on the podcast. Listen to the full episode here.


Picture this: Your wardrobe is a curated collection of mood-enhancing ensembles, carefully selected to elicit smiles and an internal fireworks display of feel-good moments. No, that classic "jeans and a dressy top" combo is not just about clothes, but crafting a mood or an experience. 

Welcome to the world of "dopamine dressing", which essentially encourages the idea that what we wear can influence our brain's chemical responses, particularly dopamine release. For context, dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward, and dressing in a way that makes you feel good can stimulate its production. This theory emphasises the psychological impact of clothing choices on mood and self-perception.

Look at your outfit and think, is she all cosy because she needs a cuddle? Is her all-black fit and combat boots signalling she's up against it? Or is she wearing a sexy dress because she wants to illicit a sexy time? All could be true. 

But if I'm trying to channel "happy", these are my go-to's…

Monochrome looks.

Target Midi Flare Slip Skirt, $32.

Image: Target.

Wearing tonal outfits pushes a sense of modern elevation and is excellent for work as there's little decision fatigue involved.

Bright colours.

Seafolly Wonderland Twist Front One Piece - Fuchsia Rose, $199.95.

Image: Instagram @jessicavanderleahy.

Vibrant hues like yellow or red can evoke positive emotions.

Comfortable Fabrics.

Boody Unisex Crew Neck Sweater, $89.95.

Image: Boody.

Soft, cosy materials can provide a sense of comfort and ease.

Favourite Outfit.

Blanca Lazlo Skirt in Black, $245.

Image: Instagram @jessicavanderleahy.

Wearing something you love boosts self-esteem and happiness. Also, when you make something your favourite on rotation, every time you wear it, you get extra joy at the cost-per-wear factor.

Performance wear.

Nike Pro Womens Dri-FIT Swoosh Medium Support Asymmetrical Sports Bra, $59.99.

Image: Instagram @jessicavanderleahy.

Properly fitting gym attire and pro-athlete-looking fits always enhance my confidence when working out.

Sentimental pieces.

Bonds Chesty 100 Singlet, $22.99.

Image: Bonds.

I feel like my inner kid in a Bonds Chesty singlet because it's something with personal significance, and these can evoke positive memories.

Accessories you love.

Flash Jewellery Dylan Dome Earrings, $339.00.

Image: Instagram @jessicavanderleahy.

"Costume design isn't about selling clothes; it's about telling a story." Sex and the City stylist Patricia Field said that, and I can't agree more. Jewellery, scarves, or hats can make you and any outfit feel stylish and help you tell your own unique story.

Expressive prints.

Venroy Printed Swim Short, $120. 

Image: Venroy.

Fun patterns or designs can add an element of playfulness and joy. Also, pro tip: if you want to feel relaxed, don't play it safe and go for the boy's fit.

At Mamamia, we independently curate and write about products we rave about in our group chats and think you should know about too. If you purchase a product we have recommended, we may earn a small commission.

Featured Image: Instagram @jessicavanderleahy.

Calling all internet users! Take our survey now and go in the running to win a $50 gift voucher!
Unlock unlimited access to the best content for women