The Psychology of Colourful Clothes
Let's look at how colourful clothes can help you stay positive
Keeping positive in lockdown, as spring has yet to make an appearance (and we just went through the longest January on record, right?), can feel like a mammoth task but did you know colour actually is a fighting tactic? Yes, colourful clothes can be a tool to help you even want to get out of bed on a dark morning!
No, we’re not crazy. So many of you lovely ladies have mentioned how colour can lift your mood and you’re not alone. Even Vogue picked up on this, with a blog post entitled: “Can Wearing Bright Colors Improve Your Mood?” (Their conclusion was yes, wearing bright colourful clothes helps transform attitudes, moods, and, basically, life.)
To go all scientific for a minute, it turns out that each colour can affect the brain, causing it to release different hormones (if you want to dig deeper into it, this article explains it concisely). Interior designers have been working on this for years - think how often a bedroom is a gentle blue and rarely bold red. Blue lowers the heart beat, red picks it up.
But does this have a bearing on what we wear? Can picking some bright clothes really make a difference? Let’s have a look at the psychology behind each colour and see what we can find.
[Disclaimer: these reactions are generalities. Everyone is a delightfully unique human being and how we react to colour will also vary! Plus our experiences of colour can deeply impact how we view them, whether culturally or life events.]
Warm and Cool Colours for Colourful Clothes
Let’s go back to the two groups to start with: warm and cool. The warm colours - red, orange, and yellow - generally evoke emotions, as you’d expect, on the warmer side of things. The cool colours - blue and green - lean more towards calmness.
Warm Colours | I'm dreaming of sunshine...
Red - Red is an action colour. Just the sight of it can cause the heart to start racing. Whilst it can be used to warn of danger, it can also invite passion and action. Want to get a bit of ‘go get ‘em’ mentality infused into your day? Maybe grabbing a red top or some bright red lipstick is a good action call for yourself.
Orange - Orange, a mixture of red and yellow, is energetic. Two strong colours colliding to create a colour that is enthusiastic and exciting. Don’t forget the feeling of warmth either, perhaps aided by memories of pumpkin spice lattes and carving pumpkins. Need to get some oomph into your day? Why not grab an orange scarf - warmth in colour and action?
Yellow - Ah, the colour of the sunshine we’re all desperately craving (or daffodils with their heady scent and reminder that spring has arrived). As you’ve probably guessed it, yellow is happiness and optimism. Definitely a good reason to wear that mustard yellow sweatshirt.
Cool Colours | Floating on a sea of tranquility...
Moving into cooler colours, let’s show that for a mood-pick up, comfy colourful clothes can work even there.
Blue - Unless you’re currently watching the waves bashing a seawall, imagine the tranquil sea of a sunny beach day. Yes, blue is tranquility and calmness, a great colour to be wearing if you’re heading into a stressful situation or just want a bit of calm in your day.
Green - Optimism and bulb tips poking through bare soil, green is the embodiment of the spring we’re so desperate for. People can shy away from green but it really is a great upbeat colour (or calming, again, depending on which shade you go for).
Not-in-either-camp Colours | A world of technicolour...
Now let's deal with the hazy colours, the ones not quite warm or cool but each with their unique flavour.
Purple - Purple is a bit of a cross over, a mix of the tranquility of blue and the energy of red. We love it for that reason - it’s calming but colourful and looks amazing on most of us, thanks to the cool and warm undertones.
Teal - We like teal here at Euphoria and no wonder with its clash of blue calmness and green optimism. It’s spring and the seaside all rolled into one! It also has some lovely warm undertones in it, thanks to a drop of yellow, meaning you can express calmness, optimism, and happiness in one item of clothing.
Pink - We may also have a thing for pink. Again, it’s one of those gorgeous mixes, this time of red passion, white, and either yellow happiness or blue calmness. But depending on your shade, you’ve got the delicate sign of hope to the crazy fuchsia, not quite as aggressive as red, but still very much a passionate colour - definitely a versatile colour to wear.
There you go, an overview of why the colours we wear really do affect us and how we can use that to help boost our mood.
If you want some fun colour combinations, check out our page full of outfit ideas, including what colours look amazing paired together. Be colourful and have fun finding your range of positive clothes!