Every girl knows that one of the biggest perks of having a boyfriend is the ability to steal their big, comfortable clothing. From hoodies to sweatpants and all the in-between, wearing something that belongs to “our man” makes us feel almost as though we’re closer to them—especially when they’re not around. Turns out, stealing our boyfriend’s clothes is better than we thought. In fact, it’s actually good for your mental health.
According to a study released by the University of British Colombia, it’s proven that wearing your boyfriend’s clothing can actually boost your mood and attitude overall. The study was conducted with 96 heterosexual couples who were asked to participate. As the control element, men were asked to wear a new t-shirt for 24 hours without using any deodorant, cologne, or any other scent additives. After the shirts gained a certain person’s scent, they were frozen to keep that scent locked in for a longer period of time.
After they were frozen, women were asked to wear a shirt. Some women happened to be matched with shirts that were not their partner’s—so, a total stranger. As it turns out, everything has to do with scent. The women who wore their partner’s shirt with his scent experienced lower levels of cortisol in their brain—the hormone that contributes to stress. Therefore, the women who wore their boyfriend’s clothing were much more zen and relaxed.
However, women who were wearing a complete stranger’s shirt happened to experience a change in their cortisol levels, too—they peaked. So, basically, wearing a stranger’s clothing made them much more stressed than before. Strange, yet, interesting.
The study’s lead author, Marlise Hofer, said in a statement:
“Many people wear their partner’s shirt or sleep on their partner’s side of the bed when their partner is away, but may not realize why they engage in these behaviors. Our findings suggest that a partner’s scent alone, even without their physical presence, can be a powerful tool to help reduce stress.”
So, if you happen to be someone who enjoys wearing your partner’s clothing, and they tell you to stop—just tell them that you’re doing it to make you a more enjoyable girlfriend. The less stressed you are, the more you are able to enjoy life and, overall, be in a way better mood. Therefore, keep the hoodie (or the shirt, socks, pants, etc). It’s good for you!