How does dress code affect mental health? Keep on reading to find out. Mental health is something that not enough people are talking about. 

It’s not something you can see on someone and know they aren’t feeling well. However, there are small indicators when someone isn’t themselves or struggling. 

Moreover, most people who struggle with mental illness have isolated social circles and don’t have people to talk to about their problems or fears. 

When we look at the state of the world today, it’s no wonder many people suffer from anxiety and depression. 

As much as we hope everyone has a friend who will listen to them and lend an ear, this isn’t always the case. And it’s crucial to understand how dress code at work can negatively affect your mental health. 

Why Does Dress Code Have An Effect On Mental Health?

It’s not like going to work in a suit instantly makes someone depressed or anxious. 

However, when you couple this with the fact that many people work in fields that they don’t like, don’t get paid enough, and don’t feel like they have room to grow in their careers, it’s no wonder that people are feeling stressed and anxious. 

Most people deal with high-stress levels daily and don’t even realize it. If you’re feeling stressed out and anxious daily, it’s time to start looking at the things in your life that may be causing this. 

Knowing that your work environment and dress code significantly impact your mental health is essential.

How Does Dress Code Impact Mental Health?

  • When you have strict dress codes, you’re making it harder for people to express themselves. Many people have preferences regarding how they dress, so respect is important. 

People who may be wearing certain clothing due to cultural or religious significance should be allowed to do so at work.

It’s a way for them to express who they are, and if we take that away from them, it will impact their mental health. 

  • Demands that you follow a specific dress code can create a lot of anxiety for people – This is true because we humans naturally don’t like to be told what to do. Anxiety is a strong, overwhelming feeling many people are dealing with nowadays. 

When we start adding things to our lives that increase anxiety and make it harder to deal with daily, it’s a recipe for disaster. 

When you have strict dress codes, you’re making it more difficult for people to fit into this and feel comfortable.

  • Many people who are transgender or non-binary may have to adhere to a dress code at work or school that doesn’t fit with their identity. And this shakes many people’s mental health. 

Being sensitive to this is important, especially for people just coming out. It’s not only about having a strict dress code and enforcing it. It’s about being sensitive to everyone’s needs.

School dress codes can be especially harmful to those who don’t fit into the typical gender normative categories. 

  • Many schools across the country have strict rules when it comes to what girls may wear and what boys may wear. 

A lot of this comes from the fact that many people don’t want kids wearing “gaudy” clothing. However, these strict rules can hurt mental health. 

It can be very damaging when you tell kids they can’t wear what they want because they don’t fit a particular category.

  • There’s been a lot of debate over the years about whether or not school dress codes are racist. Many people have observed that black students are punished at school for wearing the same outfits that white students are allowed to wear. 

It’s important to remember that no matter what school you attend, you can’t force students to conform to a specific dress code. 

When you have a strict dress code and don’t allow students to dress how they want, you’re emphasizing racial divisions in a community. These rules aren’t applied to everyone, hurting students of color.

  • Self-consciousness is something that most people deal with to some degree in their lives. It’s normal to be self-conscious if you see a pimple on your face or if you’re trying something new and aren’t sure how people will react. 

However, when we’re in school and are being told that we aren’t allowed to wear certain types of clothing, it can make us feel even more self-conscious than we would otherwise. 

We shouldn’t make people feel like they have to hide away because they aren’t dressed properly. 

It’s important to have a few rules regarding what people wear, but it shouldn’t be so strict that everyone is self-conscious about what they’re wearing.

How To Deal With Mental health

Many people with mental health struggle to cope with everyday life and feel isolated and alone. If you suspect that someone you know has a mental illness, there are ways to help them cope:

  1. Make sure they have enough support – Includes friends and family members who can offer encouragement by listening to their problems without judgment.
  2. Help them find ways to manage the symptoms, such as taking medicine every day and exercising regularly to relieve stress.
  3. Encourage them to seek professional help if needed. You can try out seeking assistance from a Psychosocial Recovery Coach, who will work and walk with you through the entire journey.  


By now, you know the answer to the question, how does dress code affect mental health? Most of the time, people who design these dress codes do it because they think it makes them look more professional. 

However, it’s important to remember that an outfit does not improve your work. It’s important to remember that not everyone is the same, and not everyone feels comfortable dressing in a certain way. 

If you want your employees to be productive, they need to feel comfortable. They need to feel like they can express themselves and be themselves at work.