Most people love buying and trying on new clothes. There’s something about putting on a brand-new outfit that feels good. But not everyone enjoys wearing new clothes. In fact, some people have a phobia of wearing new clothes.
This phobia, known as vestiphobia, can be extremely debilitating. For sufferers, the thought of wearing new clothes is enough to trigger anxiety and panic. In severe cases, vestiphobia can lead to agoraphobia or the fear of leaving the safety of one’s home. If you suffer from vestiphobia, you may feel like you’re missing out on the fun of fashion.
But there are ways to cope with this phobia and learn to enjoy wearing new clothes again. With patience and support, you can overcome your fear and start enjoying the simple pleasures of life again.
What Is A Phobia?
A phobia is an intense and irrational fear of a specific object, situation, or activity. People with phobias often go to great lengths to avoid whatever it is that they’re afraid of. The most common phobias include fear of heights, fear of enclosed spaces, and fear of flying.
While most people experience some level of anxiety in these situations, someone with a phobia experiences overwhelming fear that can disrupt their daily life.
Phobias can be extremely debilitating, but there are treatment options available that can help people manage their fear and live normal, healthy lives.
The Phobia Of Wearing New Clothes: Vestiphobia
When most people think of phobias, they tend to think of commonly known ones like arachnophobia (the fear of spiders) or claustrophobia (the fear of enclosed spaces). However, there are many lesser-known phobias out there that can have just as debilitating effects on sufferers.
One of these is vestiphobia, the phobia of wearing new clothes.
For someone with vestiphobia, the idea of putting on a brand-new piece of clothing can be deeply anxiety-inducing. They may worry about the fabric being too stiff or scratchy, or feeling uncomfortable in the garment.
People with this phobia may avoid buying new clothes or may only wear clothes that they have already worn. The phobia may be triggered by the fear of wearing something that is not comfortable or by the fear of being judged by others.
In some cases, vestiphobia can be so severe that it prevents sufferers from leaving the house or taking part in everyday activities.
How Common Is The Phobia Of Wearing New Clothes?
Vestiphobia, or the phobia of wearing new clothes, is surprisingly common. For some people, the idea of donning a new garment is simply too daunting. The thought of putting on something that has never been worn before can trigger a full-blown panic attack.
Others may feel a more mild sense of anxiety. They may dread the feeling of new fabric against their skin or the process of having to figure out how to style a new piece of clothing. In some cases, vestiphobia may be linked to OCD or another anxiety disorder.
For most people, though, it is simply a case of feeling uncomfortable in unfamiliar territory.
10 Extremely Common Symptoms Of The Phobia Of Wearing New Clothes
Vestiphobia, or the phobia of wearing new clothes, can manifest in a variety of symptoms depending on the severity of the phobia (vestiphobia may cause shaking, hyperventilation, feelings of being trapped and out of control, or feeling breathless, dizzy, or nauseous). For some people, the mere thought of donning a never-been-worn garment can cause immense anxiety and panic.
Others may be able to put on the clothing without too much discomfort but then experience shaking, dizziness, nausea, or sweating once the outfit is on. Like all other phobias and allergies out there, people with vestiphobia may experience more than one symptom.
These symptoms vary from one day to the next. No matter how vestiphobia manifests itself, it can be a crippling phobia that makes getting dressed each day a challenge.
Despite the different symptoms that people with vestiphobia may experience, they all share a common fear: the fear of wearing new clothes.
If you are a sufferer of vestiphobia the symptoms might be part of your daily life:
- People with vestiphobia may feel an intense fear when they are forced to wear new clothes, even if the clothing is not uncomfortable.
- They may avoid buying new clothes whenever possible and may have a significant number of unused items in their wardrobe.
- People with vestiphobia often feel immense anxiety when they try on new clothes in a store, and may even experience a panic attack.
- They may feel self-conscious or embarrassed about their appearance when wearing new clothes and worry about what others will think of them.
- People with vestiphobia often have negative associations with new clothes, such as feeling that they are uncomfortable, impractical, or ugly.
- They may feel anxious about the idea of having to wear something new for an important event or occasion.
- They may feel nervous or restless when wearing new clothes and may find it difficult to relax or enjoy themselves.
- People with vestiphobia may become irritable or defensive when questioned about their reluctance to wear new clothes.
- They may feel a sense of relief when they are finally able to take off a newly worn outfit.
- They may have difficulty sleeping or concentrating after wearing new clothes, due to the stress and anxiety they experienced while wearing them.
10 Causes Of The Phobia Of Wearing New Clothes
There are a number of different causes of the phobia of wearing new clothes, also known as vestiphobia. Genetics can play a role in the development of this phobia, as some people may be predisposed to developing mental illnesses.
In addition, the environment may also be a factor, as people who grow up in chaotic or abusive households may be more likely to develop phobias.
Vestiphobia can also be inherited, as some people may be born with a predisposition for developing phobias. This means that they are more likely to develop a phobia if they are exposed to certain triggering events or situations.
However, it is also possible for people to develop this phobia without any prior family history.
- One potential cause of vestiphobia could be a traumatic experience involving new clothing. For example, if someone was forced to wear a new outfit for their first day of school and felt embarrassed or uncomfortable, that individual may develop a phobia of wearing new clothes later in life.
- Another possible cause of vestiphobia could be a fear of not being able to match or coordinate the clothing correctly. For some people, picking out an outfit can be a daunting task, so the thought of having to wear something new may be too much for them to handle.
- Fear of negative reactions from others can lead to developing a phobia of wearing new clothes. For example, if someone is self-conscious about their appearance and know that they will receive criticism from others when they wear something new, that person may avoid putting on new clothes altogether.
- The fear of not being able to “pull off” the look of the clothing can also give rise to vestiphobia. For some people, it’s hard to feel confident in themselves when they’re not sure how they will look in a new outfit. This can lead to anxiety and avoidance behaviors when it comes time to try on new clothes.
- Some people may avoid wearing new clothes because they are afraid of feeling uncomfortable. This could be due to the fact that the clothing is too tight, too loose, or just doesn’t feel “right.” Oftentimes, this discomfort can lead to feelings of anxiety and stress, which only serve to aggravate the phobia further.
- Another potential cause of vestiphobia could be related to a fear of making mistakes when it comes to clothing choices. For some people, choosing the wrong outfit can have disastrous consequences (i.e. looking like a fool in public). This fear may cause some individuals to avoid trying on new clothes altogether, out of fear that they won’t make the right decision.
- The phobia of wearing new clothes can be due to a fear of getting dirty or stained while wearing them. For example, if someone is planning on going out for an important event and has to wear a brand-new dress or suit, they may become overwhelmed with anxiety at the thought of potentially getting it dirty or ruined before the big day arrives.
- People may also avoid wearing new clothes because they are afraid of looking different than everyone else. When we step outside our comfort zone and try on something new, we often stick out like a sore thumb amongst those who have opted for more traditional attire choices. This can lead to feelings of self-consciousness and insecurity for those who struggle with vestiphobia.
- One may develop a phobia of wearing new clothes because they are afraid that the clothing will not fit properly or look good on them once it is worn. This can often lead to feelings of disappointment and embarrassment if the clothing does not turn out as expected – which can, unfortunately, happen quite often when it comes to buying items off the rack without trying them on first!
- Finally, someone might develop vestiphobia simply because they don’t enjoy shopping for clothes and would instead stick with what they know instead of taking the risk with something new. This aversion towards trying on new items could easily lead to a full-blown phobia of wearing new clothes in cases where the individual never really gives it a chance in the first place!
Coping With Phobia Of Wearing New Clothes
People who suffer from vestiphobia, or the phobia of wearing new clothes, often find themselves feeling anxious and uneasy when they have to put on something that they haven’t worn before.
This can be a challenge in today’s fast-paced fashion world, where new styles are constantly debuting and it can be hard to keep up. If you suffer from vestiphobia, there are a few things you can do to help ease your anxiety and make getting dressed in the morning a little bit easier.
Here are a few tips:
- Wear clothing that you feel comfortable in: This is easier said than done for many people with vestiphobia, but it’s important to try and wear clothing that makes you feel good about yourself. If you’re comfortable in your clothes, you’re less likely to feel anxious about wearing them.
- Start slow: If the thought of wearing new clothes is too daunting, start slow by just wearing them around the house. Get used to the feel of them before you venture out in public.
- Try exposure therapy: If you’re really struggling to overcome your fear, exposure therapy may be an option. This involves gradually exposing yourself to the thing you’re afraid of, in this case, new clothing. With exposure therapy, you’ll slowly get used to the feeling of wearing new clothes and your fear will lessen over time.
Vestiphobia can be a difficult phobia to cope with, but there are ways to make it manageable. By following these tips, you can start to feel better about wearing new clothes and enjoying your life again.
Treatments For The Phobia Of Wearing New Clothes
There are a few different methods that can be used to help someone overcome their fear of wearing new clothes. However, the most important step is for the person to be willing to seek help and to work on overcoming the fear. some of the treatments that might be effective include:
1. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
If you suffer from vestiphobia, you may feel anxious or stressed when you put on new clothing. You may also avoid wearing new clothes altogether. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a type of therapy that can help you to cope with vestiphobia.
MBSR involves learning to be more aware of your thoughts and emotions.
It also involves learning to Accept them without judgment. This can help you to feel more in control of your anxiety. MBSR is usually provided in group settings but can also be done individually.
If you’re interested in trying MBSR, talk to your doctor or a therapist who specializes in this type of therapy.
Meditation is a great way to help calm the mind and body. It can be used to help focus on the present moment and let go of worrying thoughts about the future. For people with vestiphobia, meditation can be used to help ease the fear of wearing new clothes.
By focusing on the present moment and letting go of worries about what might happen, people with vestiphobia can start to feel more relaxed about wearing new clothes. In addition, meditation can also help to improve mood and reduce anxiety.
This can be helpful in dealing with the phobia on a day-to-day basis.
- Start by finding a comfortable position. Sit with your back straight and your eyes closed. Take a few deep breaths and allow your body to relax.
- Focus on your breath. As you breathe in and out, mentally repeat the words “in” and “out.” If your mind begins to wander, simply refocus on your breath.
- Visualize yourself wearing the new clothing. See yourself feeling confident and stylish in the outfit. Allow yourself to feel the fabric against your skin and notice how good it feels to wear something new.
By taking the time to meditate before you try on new clothes, you can help to ease your anxiety and make the experience much more enjoyable. Give it a try next time you’re feeling vestiphobic!
For anyone who suffers from vestiphobia, the phobia of wearing new clothes, even the simplest everyday tasks can be daunting. But there is hope! Exposure therapy is a type of treatment that can help people overcome their fears by slowly exposing them to the things they’re afraid of.
In the case of vestiphobia, this might mean starting with wearing something new around the house for a short period of time. Once you’re comfortable with that, you will move on to wearing your new outfit in public places where there aren’t many people around.
With each exposure, you should feel your anxiety level decrease until you no longer feel afraid of wearing new clothes. This therapy allows vestiphobia sufferers to learn that their fear is unfounded and that they can lead normal, happy lives wearing whatever they want!
If you suffer from vestiphobia, the phobia of wearing new clothes, yoga can help! Here are a few positions to get you started:
- Warrior I: This pose helps to ground you and provides a sense of stability. It can also help to increase confidence.
- Child’s Pose: This is a resting pose that can help to calm the nervous system. It’s also great for relieving stress and tension.
- Cobra Pose: This pose helps to open the chest and lungs, promoting deep breathing. It can also help to increase energy and vitality.
Yoga can be a great way to overcome vestiphobia by helping to ground you, calm your nervous system, and increase your confidence. Give it a try today!
5. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a type of therapy that can be very helpful for people who suffer from vestiphobia, the phobia of wearing new clothes.
This phobia can cause significant anxiety and distress, but CBT can help people understand and change their thought patterns in order to better cope with their phobia. Some of the techniques that may be used in CBT for vestiphobia include:
- Identifying and challenging negative thoughts and beliefs about wearing new clothes
- Expanding one’s comfort zone by slowly exposing oneself to new clothing items and situations
- Practicing relaxation and anxiety-reducing techniques such as deep breathing and visualization
- Working with a therapist to identify and change unhelpful thinking patterns
6. Cutting Back On Caffeine
If you suffer from vestiphobia or the phobia of wearing new clothes, you may find that reducing your caffeine intake can help you to feel more in control.
Caffeine is a known trigger for anxiety and can cause your body to go into “flight or fight” mode.
This can make it difficult to relax and feel comfortable in new clothing. But when you gradually reduce the amount of caffeine you consume, you may find that your anxiety levels start to decrease as well.
This can help you to overcome your phobia and start enjoying wearing new clothes again. So if you’re struggling with vestiphobia, it’s worth trying to cut back on caffeine and see if it makes a difference for you.
What Should You Do If You Experience Anxiety When Trying On New Clothes In A Store?
If you experience anxiety when trying on new clothes in a store, there are a few things you can do to make the process easier. First, try to find a store that is comfortable for you and that has a good return policy. That way, if you end up not liking the clothes or they don’t fit, you can quickly return them.
You can also try to take things slowly when trying on new clothes. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to buy something right away.
Instead, take your time and try on different items until you find something that you like. And finally, remember to breathe! Taking a deep breath can help to calm your nerves and make the process less daunting.
If you experience anxiety when trying on new clothes in a store, here are a few things you can do:
- Try to take deep breaths and relax your muscles. This will help to calm your nerves and make the process less daunting.
- Take your time when trying on new clothes. There’s no need to rush, so take your time and enjoy the experience.
- If you’re feeling really anxious, it might be best to leave the store and come back another time. There’s no need to force yourself to do something that’s making you feel uncomfortable.
Make The Process Of Buying New Clothes Less Daunting And More Enjoyable
So you’ve finally decided to take the plunge and buy some new clothes. But now that you’re standing in front of the racks of clothing, you suddenly feel a sense of dread. You start to hyperventilate and your heart races.
What’s going on? You may be experiencing a phobia of wearing new clothes.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many people experience anxiety when shopping for new clothes. The good news is that there are ways to make the process less daunting and more enjoyable. Here are a few tips:
- Start small. If the thought of buying a whole new wardrobe is overwhelming, start with just a few key pieces. A new coat or pair of jeans can go a long way in freshening up your look.
- Shop with a friend. Having a friend along can help take the pressure off and make shopping more fun. Plus, they can offer honest feedback on what looks good on you.
- Take your time. Don’t feel like you have to make a purchase right away. If you see something you like, try it on and see how it feels. If it doesn’t work out, no problem! There are plenty of other options out there.
With these tips in mind, shopping for new clothes doesn’t have to be so scary after all. So go ahead and give it a try!
So, there you have it! A phobia of wearing new clothes is a very real thing and it can be quite debilitating for sufferers. If you know someone who experiences this phobia, be understanding and patient with them. Help them to find clothing that they feel comfortable in and make sure they know that you’re there for them if they need to talk. Thank you for reading!
Abramowitz, J. S., Deacon, B. J., & H., W. S. P. (2019). Exposure therapy for anxiety: Principles and practice. The Guilford Press.
Bacsi, K. (2022, July 27). Weird Phobias. The Recovery Village Drug and Alcohol Rehab. https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/mental-health/phobias/weird-phobias/
Study links phobias to genetic personality traits. (2007b, November 14). The Johns Hopkins News-Letter. https://www.jhunewsletter.com/article/2007/11/study-links-phobias-to-genetic-personality-traits-89453/