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The Little Things

Reflections on happiness beautifully designed in a coffee table book.
Mar 29, 2021
By Oliver Charles

more than just a simple sweater

Just as eating healthy, feeling rested, and taking a daily walk can improve happiness, so do our clothes. This connection is called enclothed cognition, which boils down to how the symbolic meaning of clothes paired with the physical experience of wearing them impacts how we feel (report).

“physical experience” translates:  
  •  We feel good wearing authentic, great fitting, comfortable clothes.
“symbolic meaning” translates:
  • Nostalgic clothes… bottom drawer filled with old t-shirts.
  • Occupational uniforms… work clothes that showcase position or purpose.
  • Personal uniforms… styles you love because they look and feel good.

The connection between physical experience, symbolic meaning, and feeling good goes beyond clothes.

Similarly to how authentic, great fitting, comfortable clothes help us feel good so does reflecting on little things in life that bring us joy.

In the same way wearing bright colors provokes happiness so does hearing a story about happiness.

In this regard, the psychology of enclothed cognition is similar to the psychology of empathy. Both enclothed cognition and empathy describe our feelings when we identify with something personal such as a story or a style.

The psychology of feeling good is a shared human experience, yet the reasons why we feel good are deeply personal. As a brand building products that not only look good but feel good, we've been exploring what feeling good means to different people.

In an effort to understand, we’ve asked 53 people questions about physical experience, such as, “when are you happiest?” and "what do you miss most about being a kid?". We’ve also asked questions that explore symbolic meaning, such as, “what little things in your life bring you the most joy?”.

We've taken all the interviews and designed a coffee table book called The Little Things, a collection of the thoughts, ideas, and memories that make us collectively feel good. In reading the many reflections on happiness recorded in the book, we hope you’ll reconnect with experiences in your own life that bring you joy.

Who's in the book?

If you believe that every good wardrobe starts with owning less and owning better, consider buying yourself an OLIVER CHARLES sweater.
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