Shakaila Forbes-Bell


I spoke with Charlie Culverhouse for Guap Fashion to unravel the reasoning behind consumers fascination with the past. 

“One of the reasons why it’s appealing to revisit past decades in fashion is due to the positive impact of nostalgia. Early research previously identified nostalgia as a negative experience due to its association with negative psychological states, but we now know that the reason why those in negative psychological states are more prone to nostalgic thinking is due to the psychological benefits of nostalgia.”
“After engaging in nostalgia-inducing activities, research has shown that people experience higher self-esteem, are more optimistic, feel less lonely and more socially connected, and, as a result, are more creative. This induced positivity fosters creativity, illustrating some of the reasons why fashion lovers, creatives, and fashion and accessories designers look back to go forward.” 
“Studies have shown that outlandish dressing carries a type of tension release dimension because these styles can trigger a form of escapism, helping you to step outside of the mundane daily routines that make up pandemic living.”
“Similarly, when you put more effort into your outfit and wear something that speaks to your personal tastes or holds sentimental value, you’re inadvertently engaging in ‘dopamine dressing’. It’s something we’ve all experienced. When we wear something out of the ordinary, something that we love and looks great on us, our confidence increases, and we feel happy.”

Discover the full article over on by GUAP’s Fashion

I spoke with Nicole Kliest for The Zoe Report on the move to using clothing as a tool to celebrate our bodies and the emotional impact of revealing clothing. 

“Afterpay is seeing items with cut-outs selling out over 34% earlier this year in the US,” she says. “It’s the modern day version of the Roaring Twenties aesthetic that many predicted we would experience as we move through the pandemic. At the start of COVID-19, we saw people using their clothes as a tool for comfort, this has now progressed to people using clothes as a way to celebrate their bodies.”
 “While research into the emotional impact of revealing clothing is limited, interestingly, survey data has revealed that those who spend time in the buff around others tend to be happier, more satisfied with their bodies and their lives overall,” Forbes-Bell says. “It all depends on your perspective. If you deem revealing clothing to be provocative and tied with objectification then the emotions conjured when wearing these clothes will likely be negative. However, if you consider the adoption of these styles to be a celebratory and expressive act, positive emotions will follow suit.”

Go ahead an read the full piece here

I was thrilled to speak with Naomi Racmay for Stylist Magazine on the psychology behind 00s trends.

“Studies have shown that people are likely to take a trip down memory lane when feeling low or times are hard, as nostalgia has been proven to improve mood, and self-esteem and even make you feel physically warmer. Nostalgia can be evoked when we wear clothes from former and fonder eras, allowing us to physically embody this warm and fuzzy feeling.” 
“The pandemic caused a shift in the way people viewed their clothes from “how does this make me look?” to “how does this make me feel?” As a result, we demanded more from our clothes to make us look and feel good, both physically and emotionally. Our style has become an easy tool to embody positive feelings like comfort and joy so it’s understandable that people would be drawn to clothes that remind them of a time when ‘life was good’.”

Please click here for the full article.

I spoke with earing pink can change depending on how you see yourself.

A study in Japan showed that only men with low self esteem felt worse after wearing pink. Our internal belief system has the power to override our natural reaction to certain colours.

Find the full piece here.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Alison McGill for Brides to discuss size inclusivity as it relates to wedding attire. As well as the importance of size inclusivity and what it means to me. 

“In the case of bridalwear, stores have to carry more sizes and styles of wedding and bridesmaids’ dresses in-store as samples. This is critical so anyone over a size 12 can try on purpose-designed pieces with their bodies and proportions in mind.”
“For a brand to be size-inclusive, it means that they have adopted ‘design thinking,’ which is a human-centered approach to fashion tackling problems like restrictive beauty standards geared towards size 12s and below. Size inclusivity in clothing options and in promotional images not only allows people to easily imagine themselves in a wedding gown, but it has also been proven to positively shape one’s self-perception.”
“Limited clothing size options might just seem like an inconvenience, but it can have a disastrous effect on body image. This kind of marginalization is easily internalized, causing people to consider their bodies unworthy—subsequently impacting their mental well-being and self-esteem. Growing up watching 90s and early 2000s runway shows made me feel othered as I certainly wasn’t seeing my body type reflected as the pinnacle of high fashion or beauty. This personal experience, plus my research as a fashion psychologist, has made me acutely aware of the positive psychological impact that media representation and size-inclusive offerings can bring.”

Please take a read of the full piece here and hear what other fabulous creatives have to say on the matter.

During The Sustainable Fashion Forum 2022 conference I joined the conversation about the psychology of fast fashion.

I spoke on what fashion psychology is, the science behind why we buy what we buy, and how fashion psychology can help shift consumer behavior towards sustainability. 

Take a watch below to discover all!