How does the colour of our clothing affect our moods?
Colour is a tool that we use not only for self-expression, but to communicate who we are to others. When we get dressed each morning, even if subconsciously, we're telling ourselves who we aim to be on that day and how we hope to feel, with colour as a vital component in this.
For centuries, theorists have attempted to understand the meaning attached to various hues. History, rules, and laws have both forbid and required people to wear specific palettes and colours throughout the years. Colour psychology, in fact, is both fascinating and incredibly controversial as well as being varied across different cultures. There are always recurring themes when it comes to different shades, but context and the individual’s feelings are ultimately key to understanding its meaning.
Finding your own colour palette starts by looking at your existing wardrobe and noting what emotions come up with each colour. The specific meanings accepted by colour therapy and psychology may not be true for everyone, but they are a great starting point when trying to understand who you want to be when you dress up in the morning.
Red is often a contradictory colour. Some cultures use it to signify prosperity, while in others, the colour alludes to danger, anger and aggressivity.
Because of the fiery characteristics of this hue, you can wear shades of this colour when on a first date or when you’re hoping to fight for a cause you’re passionate about. Any occasion where you’d want to stand out.
Orange is often associated with energy and enthusiasm, and it can bring about happiness. Wear orange when you want to feel extroverted and social, like when going out in a group of people you’re not totally comfortable with such as a work outing.
We associate the colour with the sun, brightening our lives, warming our skin, and giving us energy through the all-important vitamin D. Yellow is the perfect colour to wear when and if you truly want to embrace joy as it is hard to feel sad when surrounded by this glowing shade.
Green can provide a sense of calm and safety and has also long symbolised fertility and luck. Wear green when you’re hoping to feel grounded or renewed, and because it can be a very approachable colour, try wearing it on social occasions.
Wearing blue communicates loyalty and stability and it can help us and those around us to feel calm. Wear it when you need to feel confident, it’s a comforting colour in stressful situations and it eases anxieties.
Purple has a long history with royalty and wealth because it was expensive to produce, as it was made out of a rare seashell only found in Lebanon. Today, the colour is more often associated with mystery and imagination so, it would be perfect to wear it when you want to feel unique.
Pink represents softness and compassion and while today, it is associated with the feminine side, it used to be a ‘stronger’ colour, worn only by men in the early 20th century. Because this colour is a mix of red and white, pink can connect with both masculine and feminine energies, despite gender stereotypes.
Brown is always associated with nature and the earth, which means it feels solid. You can wear this colour when you need stillness or a moment to slow down.
Black’s absorption of all colours can be seen as a power move and invokes boldness. Wear black when you want to feel subtly strong as it doesn’t scream assertion like red, yet it can easily intimidate others.
Another tone that has contradictory meanings, this colour can be associated with innocence or purity in many western cultures, while it often symbolises death in some eastern traditions. Wear white to feel uplifted, as it brings a feeling of newness to your everyday life.
Research shows that colours can greatly affect our moods and the way other people respond to us. Amazingly, colours can even change our heart rate, blood pressure and respiration, as researchers Keith Jacobs and Frank Hustmyer discovered in 1974. With that in mind, there’s two ways you can pick the colour palette for your clothing: you can pick the colour based on the mood you are already in, or you can pick the colour based on the mood you WANT to be in.
[Information sourced on thegoodtrade.com and scienceofpeople.com
Featured image by Andrej Lišakov on Unsplash
Photo 1 by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
Photo 2 by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash
Photo 3 by Yuliia Barabash on Unsplash]