Could a mood-boosting outfit be just the little pick-me-up you need to help brighten your day? Absolutely! In fact, there are many ways that our choice in clothes influences how we feel. From fit, to memories, to colours and more, here are some tips for how to dress to improve your mood.
TURN TO COLOR PSYCHOLOGY FOR INSPIRATION.
Ever notice that many major restaurants have red logos? Researchers have been interested in the relationship between colour and emotion for decades, and the principles of color psychology (how colour influences perception) are often used in marketing and advertising. Just as we may unconsciously be influenced by the brand colours and advertisements, we can put together outfits based on colours that could help elevate our mood.
When looking for outfits that will help improve your mood, stick to colours that are known for having positive associations:
- Blue: The colour blue has widespread appeal because it is known for its calming properties. To help you feel peaceful and relaxed, a blue sweater or blouse could offer comfort. Keep the rest of your look neutral and comfortable.
- Green: Green is a popular colour in hospital settings and banking. It’s the colour of nature and, for many people, it represents safety and trust, too. Green dresses or skirts might help you to take on the day with confidence. Balance this colour out with a cream-coloured top.
- Pink: When you think of the colour pink, you might be reminded of youth and love. Pink dresses are a great way to bring a feminine touch to your look with this sweet colour.
- White: White is often associated with feelings of purity, innocence and happiness. When you wear a crisp white shirt or dress, you might be inspired by positive thoughts and fresh starts.
- Yellow: Yellow feels just like the sunshine–bright and filled with energy. Yellow dresses or tops can help you radiate the same joy and optimism, even if you didn’t wake up super happy in the morning.
CHOOSE COLOuRS AND CLOTHES THAT BRING BACK HAPPY MEMORIES.
Research has shown that people like certain colours better when they’ve had happy experiences with them. To help boost your mood, think about the colours that remind you of positive memories you’ve had throughout your life, and use them to inspire your outfit choices.
- Did your mom tuck you in at night with a purple blanket your grandmother knitted for you?
- Do you think of your first puppy’s sweet eyes whenever you wear blue dresses?
- Does red remind you of a special Valentine’s Day gift from your boyfriend?
- Do white dresses remind you of true love and wedding season?
Just as dressing in colours that remind you of happy things might help boost your mood, so can wearing a favourite outfit that’s tied to memorable occasions in your life. If you or someone you know has a “lucky jersey,” you’re familiar with the idea that people are more attached to clothing items in which they’ve experienced a positive memory.
- Did you get your dream job after wearing your favorite power suit?
- Was your first kiss with your now-boyfriend when you were wearing that flattering emerald dress you felt so confident in?
- Do great things always seem to happen whenever you wear your most comfortable pair of black boots?
- Has your signature signet ring been with you through all of the happiest times in your life?
A great way to pull yourself out of a not-so-great day is to put on an outfit that you were really happy in sometime in the past and savour the memories that you made in it.
FIND FABRICS THAT FIT WELL AND FEEL NICE.
When you’re not feeling your best, it isn’t always easy to pick out an outfit that you feel your most confident in. In fact, a study on women’s emotional states and clothing choices uncovered that women may tend to wear baggy clothing–and are much less likely to put on a favourite dress–when they are feeling depressed rather than when they are feeling happy.
It makes sense that people aren’t too excited to put on “happy” clothes if they’re not up to it, but having some outfit options that support a positive mood might make you more inclined to put them on–even if you’re having a bad day.
Here are some tips for building a wardrobe of clothes that you can wear with confidence no matter how you’re feeling:
- Add a few staple items to your closet that are tailored well and accentuate the parts of your body that you love about yourself.
- Look for fabrics that feel good against your skin and make you smile to touch them.
- Eliminate any items that remind you of sad times in your life (you really, truly don’t need them!).
- Find clothes that offer a little bit of give so that they can be enjoyed even if your body fluctuates a bit over time.
- Don’t lose sight of comfort when planning out your outfit–but remember that clothes in forgiving fabrics can still flatter your figure.
TAKE ON THE DAY WITH A SMILE.
Not every day is our best day ever (and that’s totally okay!)–but with a few small swaps to your outfit, you might be able to walk out the door in the morning with a happier mood and a smile on your face.