If you haven’t heard of ‘dopamine dressing’ it’s the trend of wearing the right clothes to improve your mood. From injecting a splash of colour into your wardrobe to brighten up your day, to buying t-shirts with positive slogans on intended to make you and people around you smile. But, does it really work?
The psychology of colour
Colour has been found to have a great effect on how we think and act. Studies have shown that different coloured objects and clothing can have different effects on individuals.
During one research project, students were presented with a coloured participant number that was either red, green or black. Results showed that students who were given a red number scored a significant 20% lower than those who presented with a green or black number.
Colour can also make the wearer appear differently to those who see them too:
- Red — demonstrates power and a strong social status, as well as gives the wearer more confidence. It can indicate good health and financial stability, too.
- White — perceived to be the least arrogant colour and gives the impression that the wearer is optimistic.
- Black — gives the impression of self-assurance and intelligence.
Colour plays a part in sports performance too. Researchers have discovered that red can lead people to act with greater speed and force. And, studies showed that sports teams dressed in mostly black kits, were more likely to receive penalties.
Considering the research and findings, it’s clear to see that colour can affect our psyche and tweak our moods and actions both positively and negatively. So, what about when it comes to dressing for your own happiness?
Recognising what makes you happy
Of course, everyone is different and it’s down to what you associate with happiness.
An example of this in another context in colour connotations and culture. Like the colour red? In China, this hue is a symbolism of good luck, yet in Africa it’s associated with death. Interestingly, in the African nation of Nigeria, it has connections with aggression and vitality.
Recognise what you already associate each colour with. If you associate the colour yellow with being positive and happy for example, it’s likely that being around this colour will make you feel this way. This idea is supported by one experiment involving a coat. Here, participants were all handed the same white coat — the only difference was that some were told it was a painter’s coat, and others were told it was a doctor’s. When asked to complete tasks, results revealed that those who were told it was a doctor’s coat performed better. It’s likely that the connotations that they associated with a professional uniform were more positive and motivational than those associated with the painter’s coat.
And, think about power dressing. Some women feel more confident in trouser suits or skirt and jacket combos when surrounded by males who are donning a men’s shirt and suit. Others may feel just as confident in a maxi dress and heels, this again is down to personal opinions.
Spend time finding out which clothes are confidence and happiness boosters for you, then it’s likely that dressing in these garments will make you feel that way.
Dressing for your body shape
Another way to boost your mood is to wear what suits your body shape. What you’re wearing will not only highlight your best features, but also make you feel comfortable. Here are some tips for perfectly dressing your body shape:
- Pear-shaped — if you have a pear-shaped frame, you carry weight mostly in the lower areas of your body. You can elongate your legs with a straight or bootcut jean. Avoid high-waisted trousers though, as these can make you look shorter.
- Apple-shaped — this is where you carry weight around the middle. Bring focus to your legs with a straight-leg trouser and pair with heels.
- Petite — it can be hard to find clothes that don’t overpower you if you’re petite. High-waisted trousers and crop tops are good if you’re this size, as they can create the illusion that you’re taller and show off your small physique!
- Tall — if you want to extenuate your legs even further, you should go for a low-rise trouser with a skinny leg.
Taking all of this into consideration, it’s clear to see that the things that you wear do influence the way that you feel. Putting colours and shapes aside, the most important thing is that you’re comfortable in the clothes that you wear. This will ensure your confidence shines through — a guaranteed mood booster!