Psychological Effects of Fashion – Breaking Cultural and Societal Norms

What you wear including your undergarments effects your mood and sense of self. Although lingerie contributes to massive sex appeal, scientific studies show that enticing undies also has a positive effect mood. Researchers found that male rats are conditioned to find female rats in tiny jackets more appealing. What if there is no partner? Can you wear nice undies alone? This is an example of what the psychological effects of fashion can do.

Psychological Effects of Fashion 

DRAMATIC PHOTO - Headshot of red-headed girl with flaming flying red hair
High Fashion Model

However, many lingerie-wearers love their sexy undies, clearly for the sake of luxury, where there are no male admirers around. In the 2015 movie “Sleeping with Other People,” Alison Brie’s single character ragged that she would gladly “spend a month’s rent on a luxurious lingerie set to simply challenge her inner alter ego.” This is one of the psychological effects of fashion. 

Psychology of Lingerie  

Unlike in the past, wearing flattering underwear is no longer something to flatter your partner. In fact, nowadays, women are empowering themselves and are prancing around whenever they want to get a lift of emotions. However, not everyone experiences intimate garments in the same way. To each is own.

Anecdotal Findings

Even though there is limited research on the effects of wearing lingerie, anecdotal findings are shining a light on the mental health boosts it delivers. Moreover, nice lingerie doesn’t have to be super sexy or over the top anymore. It still can pack a punch in terms of its empowerment and confidence.

Does Lingerie Boosts Self-Confidence?

Danielle Forshee and other experts break down the possible reasons. First, wearing nice lingerie boosts confidence and self-esteem, even if no one see it. Feeling confident makes you “appear more physically attractive because you stand, walk, speak, and gesticulate differently” (Carolyn Mair, a Behavioral psychologist).

Femininity Liberates

Wearing lingerie evokes feelings of femininity, sexual liberation, and power. The researchers also show that wearing nice undies or sexy lingerie has a positive effect on our emotional state. Therefore, wearing lingerie is not always about enticing a partner. It’s about breaking cultural and societal norms.

Shakaila Forbes-Bell – Fashion Psychologist


According to Shakaila, “outfits are bound by cultural and societal norms…Lingerie sets, on the other hand, do not have to conform to such norms because they are for our eyes only.” She reminds us that the traits and feelings associated with certain clothing not only affect how others perceive us, but also effects how we perceive our self and how we behave in different attire. Apparel can set the vibe of the occasion. 

Undies Induce Confidence, Strength, and Attraction

These concepts are the same across the female spectrum and apply to all shapes and sizes as well. Intimate garments are not a magic pill, but they do induce confidence, strength, and attractiveness. They also provide a sense of freedom.

Psychological Effects of Freedom of Expression

A 2006 research article on lingerie consumption and feminine identity shows that women consider underwear as a powerful, affirming and challenging identity shift the boring, mundane to the exciting and daring. In a sense they express their true identity.

Dissing Conformity

Undergarments is a way to escape, and it provides opportunity to express inner desires and instincts, free from judgments and interference from others. What we wear is bound by cultural and social norms and there is no way to express your true style. Undergarments gives you a chance to break the molds of conformity.


Shakaila, founder of Fashion Is Psychology, emphasizes that when you wear lingerie, to appeal someone or wear it for self-expression, you do not have to conform to societal or cultural norms. This freedom is extremely therapeutic. You experience a true reflection of your creativity and personal tastes.

Overriding Inhibitions

Now I know why one of my Anaheim friends had panty parties, that I never attended because of my upbringing and childhood inhibitions regarding body image. This was my missed opportunity. In retrospect, respecting your body, regardless of size is, all about self-care.

Intimate Undergarments is a Form of Self-Care

According to the licensed therapist, Saniyyah Mayo, buying quality underwear or lingerie is a form of self-care because it boosts morale. Matters not what size or shape you are. The person feels good mentally when wearing it. Self-care sparks joy.

Sparks Joy

When you buy your lingerie, you buy it for YOU. Anything that you do that sparks joy and makes you feel good is self-care in its purest form. Whether the garments are sexy or are just an upgrade in quality, you are giving yourself some love.

Treat Yourself

Self- Awareness

In a psychological sense, making a conscious effort to feel and look good, whether it’s getting a foot massage or pedicure, buying make-up, or event a subscription to your favorite magazine (Smithsonian, Nat Geo), you are delivering a dose of self-care to YOU. You matter. Basic needs come first, though. 

Basic Needs First

However, your basic needs such as food, shelter, and social support must come first. If a person is not mentally healthy, it takes more than underwear to boost morale and confidence. When you buy lingerie, you trigger the brain’s reward system. However, these happy feelings may be short-lived. So, keep a healthy mindset and don’t overdo. The latest research supports the theory of how garment purchases promote long-term effects and leads to favorable outcome.

Psychology of Purchases To Promote Good Outcomes

“When we invest in a trip or event, our reward center is triggered longer. In turn, we can think back on that experience and get all the good feelings again and again” (Katie Morton of Ask Kati Anything
podcast). Self-care is also about things that don’t cost money such as:

  • Drinking adequate amounts water
  • Making time for loved ones
  • Setting and upholding boundaries
  • Standing up for ourselves at work

Psychological Effects of Fashion


Do not feel embarrassed or intimidated to buy yourself a cheeky outfit outside of the norm. It will be an enjoyable escape route. Go ahead and role-play as a protagonist of your (life) play. Wearing a high-quality under garment creates a sense of power and control. It’s all about validation.

Internal Validation

We no longer live in a world where we need external validation for the way we dress, speak, or think. Them there days are long gone. Nowadays, people, women, in particular, do not depend on what others say or think about them. The tables have turned 360 degrees. Internal validation is the new norm. It rocks????

Back in the day, we always wore our best “Fruit of the Looms” or “Hanes” because we were programmed by mum’s “What ifs”-What if I had an accident?” “What if I have to undress for a spontaneous occasion?” OMG! We were prepared just in case. Being prepared for the unknown is a viable way of taking control.

Final Wrap Up

You have just completed a mini course in wearing nice undergarments (lol). When you hone into what types of garments increase your self-confidence, they release your power and control. And guess what? You are tapping into inner strength, internal validation, and self-empowerment, no matter what. External validation is no longer important.

Thank You

Time to wind down on this amazing, lit journey about treating and pampering yourself for the sake of self-awareness and self-validation. Intimate underwear is a great way to enhance your self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth. With no further ado, I invite you to share this blog post with both your guy and girlfriends. And I’d like to hear about some of your stories regarding your lingerie-wearing experiences. Leave your comments in the space provided below. Always happy assist you.

Thanks You

Rachele, Founder 



2 thoughts on “Psychological Effects of Fashion – Breaking Cultural and Societal Norms”

  1. I want to offer my sincere gratitude for the insightful and comprehensive information you’ve provided here on the psychological impact of fashion. This is actually a very significant post that needs to be read. Regarding the manner in which we dress, we need to exercise extreme caution. Maintaining a positive mental attitude is of critical significance to the quality of our lives. Keep publishing like this. This is most certainly discussed.

    • Pasindu,

      I am appreciative that you took time out of your busy schedule to read and comment to my blog post. I am learning so much about how what we wear can either be a positive or negative fashion statement. In fact, feeling comfortable in our clothes is known to boost confidence and self-esteem. As you stated, a positive mental attitude does go a long way.

      Your encouragement is much appreciated.



Leave a Comment