Do our Clothing Colors Affect our Moods?

Picture this: you wake up to your blaring phone alarm on a cold, and dark morning. You groggily open your eyes and make your way to your closet.  You pull out your favorite gray t-shirt, and pair it with your most comfy black sweats.You grudgingly get through the school day, your mood matching the grayscale colors of your ensemble. You collapse back into bed to repeat it all over again the next day. Have you ever wondered if your clothing color choices affect your mood for the day? Does the black color of your sweats make you feel lethargic, or do your white sneakers’ brightness liven up dark moods?   

Some studies claim that the color we pick out every morning can reflect our emotional state subconsciously throughout the day.

In a Vogue article, color therapy expert Constance Hart from the Conscious Colors organization says, “Color has an effect on our psyche, it’s always affecting us whether we are aware of it or not.” Similarly, in the novel, The Healing Power of Color, Betty Wood expressed that, “Color on its own and in the form of light continuously affects those more subtle senses and autonomous processes that ultimately play such a significant part in our lives.” We can definitely see that there is some scientific relationship with our clothing’s color palette and our minds.  

A couple weeks ago, I sent out a survey to BT students about color choices affecting attitudes and recorded the responses. There was about 72 responses overall. I asked if they gravitated towards a certain color when dressing every morning, if they wear a certain color during a particular mood, (happy or sad), and if they affect their day here at BT. Over 25 responses said they gravitated to black or darker colors daily. Over 11 responses stated they leaned towards lighter, or brighter colors. The remainder responded within a wide range, from the colors of the rainbow to mainly pastels, or that it didn’t matter what color. So, students reach for a variety of colors in the morning.

The second question was whether the students reached for a certain color during a particular mood, (referring to the opposite of the impact originally questioned, whether you associate a color with your original feeling). Approximately 11 students responded along the lines that their moods don’t affect what color they would wear. The remaining 61 named specific colors or a more concentrated range, for example, brighter colors for positive moods, neutral for serious moods, and muted/dark colors for morose. These questions signified that there is an existing correlation with our original mood to the colors we choose to wear. What about the other way around: the colors impacting the emotions?

The final question, whether they think colors affect their moods and school day, an astounding 30 responses stated that students do not think their clothing colors affect their mood for such reasons: the colors of the actual school have more of an impact than clothing, the actual style of their garments affect their state more, or that they just simply like a particular color. The most convincing of the sample is the opposite of the question; the colors we wear are based on your original feeling, instead of the other way around. About 19 responses said their clothing colors affected how they felt: if they wore lighter colors, they felt more professional or social; it depended on how they were doing academically. Dark colors made them feel more tired or self conscious. There were 23 responses that created a middle ground, stating one of the following: they never paid attention to this particular topic, the way the colors made them look influenced their choices, the temperature was a major factor, or that their social/physical environments impacted the way they felt more than their actual clothing.

Overall, the sample of students associated different colors of dress with how they felt in their day, like majority of the second question. There is definitely a correlation with wearing something that reflects how you feel. Approximately 26% of students agree or testify that your clothing color affects your mood without an original emotion. The lack of respondents signifies that students’ moods are either unaffected by their clothing colors, or, as previously expressed, the impact is subconscious. Though there is a wide middle ground on this issue, the question remains.


Author: Aerielle Rojas

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