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Colors and Mood: How the Colors You Wear Affect You


The colors we choose to surround ourselves affect us more than we think. As a society, we associate colors with so many different things – they have meanings beyond simple visual stimulation. Some studies even suggest that we feel colors more than we see them.

You probably know that interior designers use color to create different moods in different rooms – to inspire, energize, or calm. Why not apply that concept to your clothes? Channel some of the power of color into your outfits and see what happens.

Here’s a rundown of all the most popular colors, what they signify, and how you can use them to your advantage in your outfits.

* Red

Want to get someone’s attention? Red is your color! The color red empowers and draws attention toward the wearer. It’s also strongly associated with romance and passion, making it a perfect date-night color. But be careful – it’s also been said that red stimulates the appetite and makes us hungry for junk food, so wear with caution if you’re trying to eat healthier.

Red clothes and accessories
Product information: Earrings – Anthropologie, Dress – TopShop, Mirror – Marc by Marc Jacobs, Tank –, Nail polish – NARS at, Shorts –

* Orange

Like red, orange draws attention and energy, but unlike intense red, it’s a little more soothing. While orange is a difficult color for some skin tones to pull off, if you have the coloring to work it, orange will help put you in a positive, energetic mood.

Orange clothing and accessories

Product information: Shutter shades Р; Jeans, Earrings, and Necklace РTopShop; Thong РTilly’s; Handbag РH&M

* Yellow

Sunny shades of yellow are the perfect thing to cheer you up on a bad day, so if you’re feeling down, wearing yellow could help perk you back up. Yellow is also associated with intelligence and inspiration, so wearing something yellow on the day of your big final exam might help you come up with some extra answers.

Yellow clothing and accessories

Product information: Sunflower Earrings – Modcloth, Moccasins – TopShop, Dress – Arden B., Necklace – TopShop, Tank –, Clutch – J. Crew

* Green

Shades of green are calm and soothing, as well as associated with nature and the outdoors. That’s why green is one of spring’s most popular shades. Green is also refreshing and has been found to reduce stress in those who look at it. If you’re feeling really overwhelmed during finals week, add green to your outfit and you might feel more relaxed.

Green clothing and accessories
Product information: Scarf – dELiA*s, Panties – Charlotte Russe, Handbag – Lorelei ‘Sloan’ at Avelle, Earrings – Charlotte Russe, Sneakers – Wet Seal, Top – Forever 21

* Blue

Blue is a color that can be both peaceful and calming as well as cold and standoffish. If you’re feeling really stressed out, the color blue can help you feel more relaxed. If you’re sad, however, you might want to steer away – the color blue can subconsciously make you feel more “blue.” Studies also show that blue can make you more creative, so if you want to channel some genius for your art project, wearing blue might be able to help. It can’t hurt, right?

Blue clothing and accessories

Product information: Jacket – Wet Seal, Scarf – H&M, Strapless Dress – TopShop, Shoes – TopShop, Earrings – Forever 21, Colorblock Dress – Forever 21

* Purple

Regal and sophisticated, purple is associated with creativity and luxury. Like red, purple is a very stimulating color which can boost your energy level when you see it. It’s also a color that’s sometimes associated with spirituality and intuition, so if you’re having trouble making a decision, paint your nails lavender and see what comes to you.

Purple clothing and accessories

Product information: Nail Polish – Forever 21, Eyeshadow – Chanel, Skirt – Forever 21, Handbag – Kooba ‘Natasha’ at Avelle, Headband – Forever 21, Colorblock Dress – Forever 21

* Pink

Of course we all know pink as the true girly-girl’s favorite color, but it’s also associated with romance and happiness. Pink is very calming, so don’t wear it if you need tons of energy. Because of its romance association, pink is a good choice for a date. You can also wear it anytime you’re a little bummed out for a boost. Of course, if you personally hate pink, then (obviously) this won’t work for you.

Pink clothes and accessories

Product information: Top Bag – Hermes Birkin (I couldn’t resist!), Bikini – Victoria’s Secret, Top – H&M, Bottom Bag – Kooba ‘Ryder’ at Avelle, Hair Bow – TopShop, Sunglasses –, Heels – Nine West ‘Rocha’ at

* White

Missing summer on a cold spring day? Wear white! It reflects light and reminds us of sunnier days. It’s also associated with peace, innocence, simplicity, and cleanliness, although in Japan, white carnations mean death – who knew? Wear white when you want to bring out any other colors you’re wearing – it enlivens anything you pair with it.

White clothing and white accessories

Product information: Belts – TopShop, Bag – Balenciaga ‘Giant Brief Tote’ at Avelle, Tank Top – Barbara Hulanicki at TopShop, Bracelets – TopShop, Sneakers – H&M

* Black

If you’re going for a promotion at work or interviewing for a new job, you might want to wear black – it signifies power, seriousness, authority, and responsibility, all qualities your boss is likely looking for. Outside the office, black is also a color that will give you some rocker-chick edge. If you’re shy but want to feel like a badass one day, some black studded ankle boots should do the trick!

Black clothing and black accessories

Product information: Earrings – Forever 21, Tank – Charlotte Russe, Cocktail Ring – H&M, Nail Polish – Chanel, Handbag – Forever 21, Shorts –

These are just some ideas for new ways to think about color in your wardrobe – obviously they aren’t steadfast guidelines that you should plan your outfits around every day.

What do the colors above mean to you? Does your mood affect the colors you wear? What do you think about colors and mood? Leave a comment and let us all know your thoughts.

Posted on on May 5, 2009 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , , , ,

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39 Responses to “Colors and Mood: How the Colors You Wear Affect You”

  1. 1
    May 5th, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    huh, very interesting post.
    I’ll be sure to wear yellow on my exam days now :P

  2. 2
    May 5th, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    great post, but I can’t find the green earrings on the website :(

  3. 3
    May 5th, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    I totally own a knockoff of that pink bag. I call it my Rory Gilmore bag n_n.

    I really liked this post.

    I feel a lot prettier when I wear red and when I wear a black and white ensemble I feel like I can totally kick ass at class and at presentations. I don’t normally wear yellow, but I’m going to give it a try during finals week.

  4. 4
    May 5th, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    Totally going to be picking out something yellow-esque on my big exam days. :]

  5. 5
    May 6th, 2009 at 1:06 am

    I love the pink top from H&M. It’s so cute!

    Good point about red stimulating appetite, and to add to it, I think I read somewhere that this is why a lot of fast food restaurants have a lot of red–to get the customers to eat more, eat faster, and leave faster.

  6. 6
    May 6th, 2009 at 3:55 am

    AWESOME! Totally loved this post. Definitely got me inspired. I’ve got a big 3 day conference coming up, with a bunch of different events. Now I know what outfits to buy, for the different moods I want to portray. =)

  7. 7
    May 6th, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    I find this to be totally true.

    I wear a lot of black and my friends always say I’m the responsible one.

    I totally want to wear more yellow know.

  8. 8
    May 6th, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    Great post! Thanks!

    I’d love to see a post about working in retail. I am really hoping to get a job in retail this summer and would appreciate any advice you might be able to offer. I have no experience in working retail but I am eager to learn! Interviewing tips (what to say and wear), who to contact (and how often!) after turning in the application, and how to an excellent job once hired would be incredibly helpful. I would appreciate any advice! :)

  9. 9
    May 6th, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    wonderful post and very interesting!

  10. 10
    May 6th, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    This post is so interesting! I always like to think about colors in my wardrobe and its always interest to read about how color can affect you! I normally hate purple but I wore a purple shirt the other day just to try it out and it is definately a stimulating color, everyone noticed!

  11. 11
    May 6th, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Hi Zephyr, I’m curious to hear what you think about brown — that’s my usual staple neutral (the way most people wear black, and some wear gray) and I’m totally addicted. It’s so soft and vaguely hippie! But lately people have been mentioning that it doesn’t seem so professional. Should I not be wearing it to interviews/work? What kind of emotions/image does it connote? I’m so curious, the answers could have a big effect on my whole wardrobe!

  12. 12
    May 6th, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    I particularly adore the layout of this blog post and the photos used in the examples. I love all colors and need to incorporate more bright and flirty colors into my wardrobe. This is a BIG help, especially with finals around the corner, I’ll be sure to sport some YELLOW !

  13. 13
    May 6th, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    great post! as usual

  14. 14
    May 6th, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    GIrl you have AMAAAZING pieces! Especially love the accessories. Definitely, color affects my mood. Absolutely.

  15. 15
    May 7th, 2009 at 6:29 am

    I love wearing green, but I realised that I don’t have many red things. I think this is a great post and is inspiring me to wear other colours.

  16. 16
    May 7th, 2009 at 6:35 am

    love this post :D now i know what to wear for my finals! :D

  17. 17
    May 8th, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    loveee the stuff you picked Zepher !! those red short from AE are super comfy

  18. 18
    May 9th, 2009 at 7:38 am

    Hi! I love all the post – its so true about colours and mood! I was wondering if I could have some advice. I’m wearing a yellow dress to prom but I have no idea what colour accessories to wear. Shoes are my biggest issue – both style and colour. I’ve looked at white and silver but they seem a bit tacky. I live in the UK and my prom is in June – any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you :P

    btw – this is the dress

  19. 19
    May 9th, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    viva – ooh lovely dress, I’m sure I’ve seen pix of Kate Moss in something similar – if you have similar colouring then you could look up what she wore with it. If you have dark skin then you could go for a stronger contrast eg turquoise coloured accessories, shoes etc.

    Silver might work if it was chrome and a bit spiky or studded, to add a sort of tougher contrast edge to the very floaty dress.

    I’d always say use fewer rather than too many accessories – one stunning one is great eg a fabulous choker but no bracelets & just one cocktail ring.

    Actually even if you are paler I’m liking the bright turquoise blue idea. More high-fashion than plain black accessories, unless you go for a haute goth-y look for the rest of the accessories e.g. jet choker, black strappy very high platform sandals (e.g. the Louboutin copies), black cocktail ring, black feathered bag or feathered shoulder cape. Black nail polish (short nails) and heavy black smoky or winged eyeliner, probably pale/nude mouth.

    Hope that’s a few useful ideas! would love to see you post a polyvore set of what you decide on!

  20. 20
    June 14th, 2009 at 12:10 am

    Aaaaarghhh! I was interested in this subject and saw here it’s for chicks! I don’t own dresses or handbags, I’m alpha male, not transexual! Haaaahaahah!

  21. 21
    March 5th, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I wanted to see most wanted….eheeh

  22. 22
    May 8th, 2010 at 2:01 pm


  23. 23
    August 22nd, 2010 at 3:32 am

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  24. 24
    June 23rd, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    i like shoping and i love clothes

  25. 25
    March 5th, 2012 at 2:00 am

    OW SUM

  26. 26
    April 12th, 2012 at 5:00 pm



  27. 27
    May 10th, 2012 at 1:05 am

    This post is very informtive. I always have the question in mind about the effect each color represent. this hepls me alot. thank youi.

  28. 28
    August 3rd, 2012 at 8:57 am

    This lovely post adds an informative and inspiring contribution to colour and moods. I find it very interesting and refreshing, for me white has always been my colour of choice,since it allows me space for true self expression.

  29. 29
    September 6th, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    all true. i luv the work

  30. 30
    October 7th, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Im using this for my science fair project FFFUUUNN

  31. 31
    October 7th, 2012 at 11:58 am

    I Love the yellow dress hint hint mom i want it

  32. 32
    November 5th, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    I personalty like MyCloset ( app) by Mamoru Tokashiki. to manage my closet. From now own I will manage my closet by the color : ) Will get my mood on the go : )))) Great article! Thank you.

  33. 33
    March 1st, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Thanks for such informative article on colors. I always feel that I would pick colors by what my mood is. And I could see my mood and the color associated in this article. Good information about colors. Generally I would choose dark colors when I am kind of low energy and I pick bright and light colors when I am full of energy. I am not sure, If I choose a bright and light color on my down day would help me anyway?

  34. 34
    April 26th, 2013 at 1:16 am

    fantastic. It is fun to read. You will enjoy to read this.

  35. 35
    November 4th, 2013 at 10:11 am

    I am always looking for little tips about colors and how they can affect my mood and the overall vibe of my surroundings. Color is so important for your home to be more functional as well as for your wardrobe.Mostly overall for a better flow of energy color is so important whether im applying feng shuii to my home or choosing what outfit I’m going to rock!

  36. 36
    January 15th, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    I like this post! I’m going to wear white, black, and pink more often ,well i always wear pink but, what evs

  37. 37
    July 15th, 2014 at 1:32 am

    a very accurate test of here-and-now thinking based upon color choices. Also, did you know that if you put water in different colored glass containers, it will taste different? Red tastes like dirt. Green and blue are refreshing and brown is like eating lard. These waters are supposed to be good for certain types of healing. I have also spent many years practicing Applied Kinesiology and found that different colored stones had different effects upon a person’s overall strength and well-being when placed over their heart chakra. I also found that colored glass crystals had about the same effect as mineral crystals of the same color so it isn’t necessarily the properties found in the mineral that makes this effect happen.

  38. 38
    July 26th, 2014 at 4:02 am

    nice collection of all dresses.Proper matching of all it.

  39. 39
    February 25th, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Love red won’t to be Needed in red

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