Your Jeans Are Making You Depressed, Says Science
I can finally feel justified in my hatred of wearing jeans. Apparently, their ill-fitting nature and ability to shrink 17 to 20 sizes after a thorough wash and dry isn't the only thing denim has going against it. A new study shows that blue jeans actually might be making you legitimately depressed.
Dr. Karen Pine is a psychologist who studies the link between what we wear and how those choices affect us all psychologically. Pine's most recent studies show that blue jeans are associated with sadness and the struggle that we all feel time and time again to find that perfectly fitting pair of jeans (something that's often impossible to come across, speaking from personal experience).
"Jeans don’t look great on everyone. They are often poorly cut and badly fitting. They can signal the wearer hasn’t bothered with their appearance. People who are depressed often lose interest in how they look and don’t wish to stand out, so the correlation between depression and wearing jeans is understandable. Most importantly, this research suggests it is possible to dress for happiness, but it might mean ditching the jeans," Pine said.
According to Pine's research, jeans make us sad and we put jeans on when we are sad. Basically, jeans are just a general sad zone, and only reflect and perpetuate a woman's negative state of mind. This makes sense to me, since trying on jeans usually leaves me frustrated and wanting to drown my sorrows in some sort of fudge-covered sundae.
Just the other day I tried on seven or eight pairs of distressed boyfriend jeans only to leave empty handed and, well, just pretty darn sad. And while it seems a bit far-fetched to imagine that denim pants are bringing sadness to every woman who wears them (I highly doubt that Olivia Palermo slips into a pair of jeans and feels anything but fabulous), it's true that those super skinny styles can trigger panic in the fitting room.
In her interview, Pine talked about how she encourages dressing with your body shape in mind, always paying attention to fit. She says that many women wear things that don't flatter their body shape, and how that's not helpful for anyone's state of mind.
"The trouble is," she said, "most people are habitual and get stuck in a wardrobe rut without realising the shapes that suited them in their 20s don't look so good on them a couple of decades on. They haven't reassessed themselves or their new body shape, and just look plain wrong."
The woman is a professional, with multiple degrees and research under her (well-fitting) belt, and the best advice she has to give us about how to rock our wardrobe is the same thing I heard Clinton and Stacy say for years on What Not To Wear? Okay so maybe let's not get too caught up in this whole "sad pants" phenomenon, guys.
A good rule of thumb, I think, is to stick to what makes you feel best. End of story. And while I have dreams of wearing distressed boyfriend jeans with my Valentino Rockstuds (I don't own those either), at the end of the day, I want to feel my best and, for me, that does mean dressing for the body that I have (a body that does not accommodate boyfriend jeans). But that's just me. So, while Dr. Pine certainly has a point, let's not read too far into things here, guys. Jeans are still just jeans.