Colors and Mood: How the Colors You Wear Affect You - College Fashion

Colors and Mood: How the Colors You Wear Affect You

Publish date:

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.


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 -


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 -; Jeans, Earrings, and Necklace - TopShop; Thong - Tilly’s; Handbag - H&M


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


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 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


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


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


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


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.

Related Stories