When talking about Who What Wear UK's inaugural Wellness Week with a fascinating friend of mine—that's Carolyn Mair, a psychologist who specialises in fashion and never fails to tell me something interesting—she brought up the idea of the lucky outfit. We've probably all held onto those items that feel special to us and have worked some mysterious magic in interviews or dates over the years, but what if you could make an outfit that fortuitous before it has even done any tangible good?
Well, that's Carolyn's current research obsession—just how can we empower our clothes and up our luck without waiting for it to happen? Keep reading to get the lowdown.
"We've all heard of the lucky outfit—the item of clothing that gets us what we wish for," Mair tells me. "But there's no such thing in a mystical sense. The 'luck' we have is a result of many factors, including our behaviour, in the specific situation. We then view the coincidence of wearing a specific item with a positive outcome and call the item 'lucky.'
"We can do this with any item, but more interestingly, we can turn any item into a lucky item and use its symbolic power to help us feel confident (or whatever we want to feel). When we wear an item of clothing that we believe has power, we can associate the power to influence our behaviour. Consider that jacket you wore when you got your job. Did it make you feel good at the time? If you can bring that symbolic meaning out next time you wear the jacket, it should help you feel that same way again."
Not only could you benefit from the confidence a "lucky" outfit will bring, but owning one could save you time and money. It might help you establish a daily uniform of sorts, and valuing or caring for your existing clothing more may curb a voracious buy-buy-buy appetite. So do you have a lucky outfit? Would you like one? It seems like a good idea to us.
Here are a few shoppable pieces that we have particularly strong feelings about.
It's primary red, and that's the shade that suits everyone.
To go with the coat, obviously.
The sassiest shoes on the high street.
A forever purchase.
Next up, our edit of the best winter coats.