Cheer up with your get-up

Have you heard of ‘dopamine dressing’? This useful trend is all about dressing to improve your mood. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as sprinkling some colour into your wardrobe, or wearing shirts with happy slogans on to cheer you and the people around you up. But is it really that simple?



How colour helps

The power of colour psychology is hugely influential to fashion. Studies have shown that different coloured objects and clothing can have different effects on individuals. In one study, 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.

In a similar way, colour has been shown to impact how people view others wearing that colour:

  • 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.

Does it affect sports performance? 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.

So, colour can impact our mood in a negative or a positive way. So, what about when it comes to dressing for your own happiness?

Your own happiness

Most of it is down to what you personally link to happiness. Take colour connotations and cultural differences, for example. 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.

For example, if you associate the colour red with energy, then wearing a red going out dress for a night on the town will likely make you feel energised, or how about a men’s shirt worn oversized? 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.

Power-dressing shows another way clothing can influence. Some women feel more confident in trouser suits or skirt and jacket combos when surrounded by men who are donning a similar outfit in the form of a three-piece suit.

By taking the time to consider how garments make you feel, you’ll be able to put together a real power-outfit!


Clothes that are great for your shape

Nothing boosts your mood like looking and feeling great. 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.


Clearly, the look and feel of the clothes you wear can impact your mood. 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!

Amie Scott