Wearing these joyous colours will make you feel happier

Posted by for Fashion

It’s time to start supercharging your wardrobe with mood-enhancing pieces that feel as good as they look. 

Sparking joy can be as effortless as taking the first sip of your morning latte, a Lizzo anthem played on full blast, or your group chat lighting up with memes that make you laugh so hard it’s impossible to drink the aforementioned latte. But on other days, especially if you’re experiencing lethargy, anxiety or burnout, that feel-good glow can be a little harder to come by. 

Practising a simple visualisation exercise or bursting into song can transform your mood from tense and anxious to hopeful and happy. But it’s also possible to hack your wardrobe to boost your mood.

We all have individual pieces that lift our spirits on difficult days – a ruffled shirt that never fails to make you smile, or a sleek suit that imbues you with confidence even in moments of self-doubt. Yet there’s another sartorial happiness hack that works for everyone: colour.

“There’s a lot of evidence surrounding the psychology of colour,” says Shirley O’Donoghue, Principal of holistic centre Lucis College. “If you are lethargic and demotivated, uplifting colours such as orange, red and yellow would be good. If you are anxious, [turn to] calming and soothing colours [such as] green, blue and purples.”

For O’Donoghue, who lectures on colour for the Federation of Holistic Therapists, harnessing the power of colour can have a strong positive effect on your mood. You can even combine colours to supercharge your mindset, she adds. “For a greater impact and balance you can use complementary colours – for example [combining] orange and blue, red and green, or purple and yellow.”

Many of us might choose to wear yellow, orange and red when we want to raise our mood, as they’re associated with sunshine, holidays and feel-good memories. But pink can also be an incredible colour to wear when you need an extra boost. 

In particular, Baker-Miller pink – a purplish shade reminiscent of Instagram-approved millennial pink – was found to have a marked effect on human emotions after extensive research. During the 60s and 70s, Alexander Schauss of the American Institute for Biosocial Research concluded that this calming shade reduced aggression, lowered the heart rate and induced a sense of calm. 

Such is the influence of this colour that it has gone on to be used correctional facilities worldwide to promote calm. If you’re starting to feel a bit cabin fever-y while stuck indoors, this soothing shade could provide an instant tonic to reduce feelings of anxiety and leave you feeling serene and focused. 

Ready to embrace dressing for happiness? Whether you’re looking for a mood-boosting knit to throw over your stay-at-home uniform, or a statement shirt that’s as soothing as it is stylish, these pieces capture the spirit of colour therapy.

  • Lucy & Yak Pink Pinafore Dress

    Good-mood fuel for your wardrobe, this pink overall dress is the perfect piece to both restore your sense of calm and promote happiness. Best of all, it’s effortlessly easy to slip on when you’re feeling low-energy. 

    Style simply over a classic white T-shirt and sneakers for a look that you can put together in seconds. 

    Shop Lucy & Yak Ripley Pini dress, £50

  • H&M

    Bold, uplifting and playful, tomato red is a quick way to boost your mood. This vibrant colour is made for going all-out, so add embellished hair clips, layered gold chain necklaces or statement earrings to create a look that fills you with joy.

    Shop H&M cotton crepe dress, £24.99

  • Topshop Green Floral Shirt

    Reknowned for its calming properties, green is the perfect shade to wear when you want to feel soothed and reduce anxiety. Channel Billie Eilish’s experimental style in this boxy oversized shirt that’s certain to stand out on your daily Zoom meeting. 

    Shop green floral print shirt by Topshop Boutique, £79

  • Baum und Pferdgarten Cardigan in Yellow

    Knitted from a mood-boosting shade of sunshine yellow wool, this cardi is the perfect choice to throw on when you want to supercharge your day. For even greater impact, wear with a complementary shade of purple: button it over over a lilac maxi dress or wear with a violet T-shirt and straight-leg jeans for a sunny yet polished look. 

    Shop Baum und Pferdgarten wool-blend cardigan at My Theresa, £189

  • Equipment Cashmere Crew Neck in Orange

    Feeling unmotivated? Recharge with a vibrant shade of coral orange. Consider this luxe cashmere crew neck sweater your ultra-snug armour against lethargy and low moods.

    Shop Equipment cashmere crew neck sweater, £285

  • Zara Denim Jacket in Lilac

    Self-soothe with an ultra-calming shade of purple. This oversized denim jacket can be layered over snug knitwear for an outfit that makes you feel pulled-together yet serene when working from home, or worn with white jeans for a directional daytime look. 

    Shop Zara oversized denim jacket, £29.99

Images: courtesy of brands.

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