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How the Color of Clothes Affect Your Mood + How to Dress Happy

Every so often, it’s good to check in with your mental health. And due to today’s climate, it’s more important than ever to be aware of what consumes your mind. If you’ve noticed that you’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed (a few days in a row) it might be time to look for simple ways to shift your outlook on life, for the better. 

From your self-care routine to what you put in your body, we all strive to practice mindfulness in every part of our lives. But did you know what we put on top of our bodies can impact our psyche as well? 

The Psychology and Therapy of Color

Clothing has always been a form of self-expression, just look at the impact the fashion industry has had on the world. But clothing and color can also be used as a therapeutic practice to instill positive emotions and help boost your mood. 

Color therapy (or chromotherapy) is a holistic remedy that uses color and light to treat physical or mental health issues by balancing the body’s energy centers. From treating people with disabilities to those struggling with a mental illness, color therapy has been used in many forms in combating an array of ailments. 

While color therapy can be used in the form of aromatherapy, meditation, color puncture, and more it dates back to being used in the Ayurvedic healing practice of holistic health. 

Ayurveda and the 3 Doshas

Ayurveda is an ancient medicinal system—over 5000 years old to be exact—and the practice revolves around the theory of creating balance in the body so it can function optimally. A large part of the Ayurvedic practice is creating balance through diet, herbal treatment, and yoga however wearing specific colored clothing can also bring balance or imbalance to practitioners based on your dosha. 

In Ayurveda, there are three different doshas made up of different energies (air, ether water, earth, and fire) and each has unique characteristics and intensities that colors can amplify. The three doshas combine in a unique way to make up a person but for the purpose of this post, we will speak to them separately.

Kapha

The first dosha is made of water and earth and is known as kapha. The kapha dosha’s heaviness lends structure, solidity, and cohesiveness to all things. The dosha is energized by warm and bold colors plus lavish colors best harmonize with this dosha. 

Pitta

Consisting of the elements fire and water, pitta is warmer than vata and has a natural inclination to warmth and aggression. Pitta doshas represent the energy of transformation as they are closely aligned with the fire element. They prefer cold, pale and mild colors as intense bold colors will overload the fire that is Pitta. 

Vata

Consisting of the elements air and ether, the dosha vata is linked to creativity and flexibility. Vata prefers warm and energetic colors but the colors should be soft to not overstimulate the vata’s colder nature. 

Color Guide: What Colors Should You Wear & Why

Outside of the Ayurvedic practice, many behavioral specialists believe that colors can have universal impacts on our cognitive function and moods. Studies show that there are similar reactions from different people when it comes to observing different colors. 

Below are some universal colors and their meaning.

Blue 

Trustworthy, wise, tranquil

Red

Confident, sexy, aggressive

Purple 

Sophistication, luxury, creativity

Orange 

Energetic, positive, successful

Yellow

Inspirational, intelligent 

Green

Renewal, nature, and energy

Grey 

Neutral, conservative

Black 

Strength, seriousness, power

White

Goodness, innocence, purity

As you can see different colors can send different signals to both others and yourself around who you are and what you want. Learn how to use color therapy to increase your chances of getting that promotion at work or cultivating your mental health! 

What Colors to Wear to the Office: Red, Orange + Blue

 If you’re breaking the glass ceiling opt for a color that says success like orange or red to exude confidence. If you want to come off as wise or experienced wear blue to be seen as trustworthy and balanced. 

If you’re unsure what color to wear, start by selecting colored business attire that exudes the vibe of the environment or job role you desire.

What Colors to Wear in Moderation: Grey, Black + White

By opting for colors like black, white, or grey as accents, you can tone down your bolder colors and come off as more subtle. 

If you’d like to be perceived as sophisticated yet grounded you might opt for combining colors like purple and grey. Grey alone can be perceived as conservative or emotionless. However, some might use the color to ensure others are focusing on what they have to say or the situation they are in. 

What Colors to Wear on a Date: Red, Purple + Yellow

The best colors to wear on a date come down to the traits you want to display or the way you want to feel. If you’re interested in coming across as sexy or elegant opt for colors like red or purple. If you want to appear smart or successful, then you should wear colors like yellow or orange. 

If you want to exude an emotion or simply give yourself a personal pick me up try wearing colors that encourage you to love what’s under. Rocking your favorite color or expression through the color of underwear or a bra can help you exude confidence wherever you go! 

Whether you are using color therapy to express yourself or balance your dosha, be mindful of how what you wear can impact your mental health. When possible lean into colors that boost your mood and bring tranquility to the volatile world we are all in. Start slowly by incorporating different colors into your loungewear or underwear to see how color therapy can impact you! 

Sources: Europlan | Banyan Botanicals | Everyday Health | College Fashion | Bourn Creative | Color Wheel | Power of Positivity