How Fashion Effects Mood | Creating a Happy Wardrobe

I don’t know about all of you, but something seems to cheer up my day when I put on a vibrant outfit. I have my...
How Fashion Effects Mood | Creating a Happy Wardrobe

I don’t know about all of you, but something seems to cheer up my day when I put on a vibrant outfit. I have my go-to staples that are comfortable, bright, and happy, which inject a little fun into my day. Even putting effort into creating an outfit can uplift my mood. Clothing not only affects how others perceive us, it affects our thoughts and mood as well. 

I’m very excited to share with you several studies that show our mood can be affected depending on what we wear. And vice versa - how we feel upon waking can affect our choice of outfit and subsequent moods. In this blog, I’m going to share the power of fashion and how what we wear effects our mood in terms of shape, style, and color, along with how we can utilize this information to create a happy wardrobe!

Shape and Style

From the University of Hertfordshire in Britain in 2012, Professor Karen Pine from the psychology department conducted a study where she found that 57 percent of women admitted to wearing a baggy top when depressed, compared to a 2 percent wearing one when feeling happy. More than half of the 100 women interviewed turned to their trusty denim jeans on a blue day.

When women were happy, 62 percent would put on a favorite dress, compared to 6 percent when sad. Also when women were happy they tended to wear flattering, tailored clothing in bright fabrics.

Research by senior marketing lecturer Dr. Alastair Tombs of the University of Queensland's business school further backs up the strong link between women's emotions and their clothes. By interviewing women, Dr Tombs found that outfit choices are made to match mood and as a form of self expression. They are also used to control or cover up emotions. Even memories tied to certain garments can evoke good or bad emotions. For example, if someone compliments your outfit, often people will remember that compliment and how it made them feel when putting on the garment again. 

Furthermore, as a woman, our bodies change very frequently, and we may even have a “big” wardrobe” and a “small” wardrobe. Not being in your “small wardrobe” is another aspect of shape in fashion that can affect your mood. 


The role of colors in nature are strongly linked to the emotions that we draw from them, and that link carries over to fashion as well. Professor Pine gives the following example: the color blue is almost always associated with blue skies, which is a positive thing. Evolutionarily, it also means there are no storms to come. This is why it reminds us of stability and calm.

Red, on the other hand, is often the color we choose because we want — subconsciously or consciously — to stand out and to demonstrate our power and courage with a bright, exciting color that is impossible to ignore. For example, prominent politicians and public speakers are often seen wearing a red tie, which has been coined “the power tie”. Psychologically, red is also commonly associated with blood and danger, meaning that if we wear red we are a force to be reckoned with. Think Tiger Woods on the last day of a golf championship. 

Like style and shape, color is important to convey emotions but also to mask them. Take the color black, for example. Sports teams wearing black are often deemed more aggressive than those wearing colors. Black can also be used as a defense mechanism. Think Goths and how they mask their emotions by wearing black. 

How We Can Build a Happy Wardrobe

We can alter our mood by making an effort to choose clothing that we associate with happiness, and that will give us confidence. 

One way to make changes for a happier wardrobe is for women to focus on shopping for outfits that emphasize the body parts they love. Emphasize your assets and play down features you dislike. Wear clothes that fit beautifully and feel physically good, such as cashmere, cotton or wool silk blends. 

Assess your wardrobe twice annually – once per season. Take out anything you associate with bad feelings or you just don’t wear. Donate clothes that no longer fit – let someone else enjoy them. It's important to let go of clothes we associate with bad times or feelings.

Try to avoid item shopping. Instead focus on outfit shopping so that you have clothes that coordinate. Also when shopping, don't buy clothing that is "out of your comfort zone" – the chances are you won't wear it, or will feel self-conscious if you do.

Have an arsenal of statement, happy accessories, so that when styling an outfit, you have pieces to make an outfit shine. This can be a necklace, special top, pair of pants or even heels.

Learn which colors and cuts flatter you, as well as how that color makes you feel. For example, when choosing colors, maybe wear blue on a date because it offers an image of calm and stability — a quality many of us seek in a long-term partner. Equally, by wearing calming colors we will feel calmer ourselves.

Comment below if you’d like me to do more videos on building your wardrobe. Subscribe to my channel and click the bell to get notified when I upload new videos every Friday. Thanks for watching and have a great day!

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