Wearing your boyfriend’s t-shirt or hoody is good for your mental health [Getty]
Girlfriends always want to steal their partner’s hoodies and once it’s in their hands there’s no chance of them getting it back.
While boyfriends may complain about the sudden disappearance of their favourite jumper, it turns out that wearing, or simply sniffing, your partner’s clothes could make you happier.
The smell of a loved one has been proved to have an excellent calming effect and, as a result, lowers stress levels.
According to a study conducted by the University of British Columbia, which tested 96 women, those who smelled their partner’s scent were proved to feel calmer.
Women felt calmer after smelling their boyfriend’s scent [Getty]
The scent of a partner doesn’t have the same effect on men [Getty]
The study recruited 96 opposite-sex couples and men were given a clean t-shirt to wear for 24 hours – these t-shirts were then frozen to preserve the scent.
The women were randomly assigned to smell a top that was either unworn or had been worn by a partner or a stranger and were not told which one they had been given.
Later on the female participants underwent a stress test that involved a mock job interview and a mental health task, while also answering questions about their stress levels and being tested for their cortisol levels.
The researchers found that women who had smelled their partner’s shirt felt less stressed both before and after the stress test, with lower cortisol levels found in many of the women.
Women showed lower levels of cortisol after smelling their partner’s t-shirt[Getty]
However, women who had smelled a stranger’s scent had higher levels of cortisol throughout the stress test.
Authors of the study explained: “From a young age, humans fear strangers, especially strange males, so it is possible that a strange male scent triggers the ‘fight or flight’ response that leads to elevated cortisol. This could happen without us being fully aware of it.”
Meanwhile, psychotherapist and psychologist Peter Klein explained why the effects aren’t quite the same when the tables are turned.
He told the Guardian: “You often hear of a woman wearing a partner’s T-shirt, but you rarely hear of a man wearing his girlfriend’s T-shirt!
“Research suggests women have a better developed sense of smell and men are more visually stimulated, so men would be more likely to experience stress reduction through seeing their partner’s clothing.”