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International Journal of Costume and Fashion - Vol. 20 , No. 2

[ Article ]
International Journal of Costume and Fashion - Vol. 20, No. 2, pp.1-10
Abbreviation: IJCF
ISSN: 2233-9051 (Print) 2288-7490 (Online)
Print publication date 31 Dec 2020
Received 24 May 2020 Revised 21 Jun 2020 Accepted 07 Jun 2020

Understanding the Fashion Therapy (FT) Experience through the Cognitive Behavioral Perspective on Body Image
Sae Eun Lee ; Yuri Lee ; Jeong-Ju Yoo
Doctoral Research Associate, Department of Clothing and Textiles, Human-Tech Convergence Program, Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea
Professor, Department of Textiles, Merchandising, and Fashion Design, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea
Associate Professor, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, Baylor University, Waco, USA

Correspondence to :

Funding Information ▼

Citation Lee, S. E., Lee, Y., & Yoo, J.- J. (2020). Understanding the fashion therapy (FT) experience through the cognitive behavioral perspective on body image. International Journal of Costume and Fashion, 20(2), 1-10.


The overall goal of this study is to identify the experience of fashion therapy through the cognitive behavioral perspective on body image. Specific research goals include: 1) determining the outcome of FT among five women who suffer from mental distress and 2) interpreting the outcomes that emerged in this study. Five South Korean women between 20 – 45 years old with mental distress were recruited to participate in a five-week FT program. The specific topics addressed by FT included cosmetics, makeup, accessories, manicures, hairstyle changes, and proper posture. FT provided significant gains for the participants across multiple measures of their presented target complaints. FT demonstrated two main themes, in which 1) body image perception changes positively influenced the following: assessment of body shape and form; building a positive self-concept; boosting self-confidence, and maintaining a well-groomed appearance, as well as 2) body image attitude changes, which positively influenced body satisfaction and self-expression. Ultimately, this study can serve as an intervention tool to alleviate mental distress, particularly concerning body image.

Keywords: Fashion therapy, Cognitive behavioral Therapy, Body image, Appearance, Mental distress, Fashion


This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT)(NRF-2014S1A5A2A03065756).

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