By: Lei’Lani J.

Graphic tees and ripped jeans. Flowy dresses. Silky and soft. Crunchy and crinkly. Bagy, flare or skintight. These are the types of textures, styles, and clothing that Generation Z likes to wear. Simple huh? Clothing does so much more than covering a body. It allows us to display our freedom of expression. Clothing can also positively or negatively affect mental health in teens.

Statistics show that those in the fashion industry are at least 25% more at risk of experiencing mental illness according to The International Conference on Addiction and Associated Disorders. Industry standards along with social media influencers can create unnecessary pressure in teens to keep up with the latest fashion trends. There is a perception with some teens that certain fashion trends will guarantee acceptance and happiness amongst peers or social media followers. 

However, not all statistics are negative. Fashion can also positively affect teen mental health. It can give us a sense of belonging, affiliation, and purpose. According to, choosing your own fashion style can be the first major decision from childhood to adolescence. It gives another way to convey emotions, art, and stories. Fashion can even bring awareness to environmental and social issues.

An important point to remember is that you can comfortably display fashion choices without experiencing anxiety, depression, or fear. Style yourself in what makes you look and feel good. Most importantly, recognize that you’re more than enough. The world is our stage, and our beautiful fashion expressions add to the colorful fabric of life.

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