Mental Health and Fashion | An Interview With Claire Jacklin

Keeping a stiff upper lip has been a traditional British mantra for years. With more people struggling, raising awareness has never been more important. Personal stylist Claire Jacklin is doing her part to help with removing the stigma around mental health. 

After sharing her experiences with her audience, Claire was touched by the response. Now helping others, Claire has launched a stylish t-shirt collection with a cause. 

Why mental health and fashion?

Worth £33 billion, the fashion industry is no joke. And within such a fast, competitive industry, how many are feeling stressed and pressured? One high profile tragic case is accessories designer Kate Spade’s 2018 suicide. Leaving behind a devastated family, a booming business, legions of celebrity clients, it resonated within the community. Yet still, views around mental health within the fashion sector seldom speak about.

As part of combating this, we spoke to Claire, finding out her motivations and inspiration behind her designs. Plus, do our wardrobes really make a difference to our well-being?

Discussing Mental Health and Fashion with Claire Jacklin

First, who is Claire? Cardiff based, Claire, spends her days offering services such as personal shopping, colour consultations and piecing your wardrobe together. As a personal stylist, it’s in the job description to boost clients confidence. What’s a personal stylist’s favourite happy outfit?

“At the moment.” Pauses Claire “I love a slogan tee or a sweatshirt! When it comes to sparking joy with fashion, I’m all for sparkles and colour. The psychology of colour and how it affects mood is fascinating.”

mental health and fashion
Claire During her Day Job as a Personal Stylist

How should we be using our wardrobes to boost our happiness?

We’re all under pressure to look Insta-ready on cue, wearing the latest designer label. How do we make ourselves happy with what we wear? Claire ponders the question and answers simply- there is no short answer. “There are a few things you can do. Starting with wearing clothes that represent you. Choosing colours that make you look fresh and well. Knowing the right fabrics that work around your body lines and outfits that make you feel good.”

“First, remember that YOU are what matters here. If you feel good, that’s most important.”

Plus, fashion is growing conscious. As the industry combats environmental issues, more and more sustainable brands are popping up. Often with a hefty price tag. What are the options for saving the world, one dress at a time, but on a budget? “I know the pressure of keeping up with the latest brands, styles and seasons- it’s not manageable.” Admits Claire “Instead, try charity shops! eBay and style swaps are all green and cost-effective” 

“Sustainable fashion doesn’t have to cost the Earth.”

mental health and fashion
Lots of people feel pressure to buy ‘New’

Mental Health and fashion… should we be expressing ourselves?

Whether it’s remembering the fingerless gloves and Buffalo boots during your Gothic phase when you were 16, or wearing a hint of leopard print in your corporate outfits. Fashion and clothing can be the perfect way to tell the world how you’re feeling. What does it actually mean to have an individual style? “It means.. being true to yourself, expressing yourself visually.” As a personal stylist, this is somewhat Claire’s specialist area.

“Not slipping into a crowd, but standing out. Being creative and unique.” Claire adds; “Also, someone’s got to set the trends, you can be inspiring others and that’s pretty awesome!”

Claire’s Latest Project is Getting People Talking

As a one-woman business, Claire’s got a lot on her plate. Taking on clients, family and home life, and a new do-good project. Putting her fashion design degree into action, Claire has launched a unisex t-shirt range. Using the hashtag #ItsOKNotToBe, mental health and fashion can be combined! Simple, straight-talking slogan with one mission.  Available for men, women and children, Claire’s aware that mental health doesn’t discriminate.

Mental health and fashion campaign, claire's t shirt design
Claire’s t-shirt design, available in a range of colours and sizes

Most of our customers are mum’s, aunties and grandmas to young people. Starting the conversation could be difficult- what’s the best way to reach out? “Any way you can, text, email, a chat,” Advises Claire, who’s done her research over the past few months. 

“Childline have an amazing new facility, where children or teenagers can get confidential help, via their phone or laptop.”

“Letting young people know there’s help at hand is important, just reach out however you can, that’s comfortable for you.”

For a limited time, Claire’s t-shirt range is available to buy on her website. 

Follow our stories from a female founder series

Finally, female founders come from all walks of life. No matter what industry or skills you’re interested in, there’s always a successful woman to be inspired by. Plus, here’s some more inspiring content from female businesswomen: