Dress to destress: how your outfit can boost your mood

Have you heard of ‘dopamine dressing’? It’s sort of the ‘clean-eating’ of the fashion world – the idea that what you wear can improve your mood, much like how clean-eating is said to improve your health. Bursts of colour and inspiring slogans are key to this fashion mindset, but can you really lift the Monday blues with a colourful shirt? QUIZ, retailers of a colourful range of plus size dresses, looks at this hot new trend.

The psychology of colour
The impact of colours shouldn’t be taken lightly. Studies have shown that different coloured objects and clothing can have different effects on individuals.
One study saw students presented with a black, green, or red participant number. 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.
Perceptions of a wearer also change depending on their colour choices:

  • Red — a sign of strength, power, and social status. It also has connotations of confidence. It can indicate good health and financial stability, too.
  • Black — intelligence and self-confidence are associated with black.
  • White — deemed a modest colour choice. Also considered to give an optimistic vibe.


Coloured clothes also impact sports. 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.
It’s obvious then that colour can influence our mood. So, what about when it comes to dressing for your own happiness?

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We all have our own perception of what colours look ‘happy’.
Colour meaning can change between cultures. 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.

If you reckon yellow is a happy colour, you’ll probably feel happy when you see yellow. 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 can alter your mood too. 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.
Consider which clothes and colours you feel happiest and most comfortable in, then dress towards this for a mood boost.

Addressing your shape
Complementing your shape when dressing is another way to boost your mood with clothes, as what you’re wearing will not only highlight your best features, but also make you feel comfortable. Here are some tips for perfectly dressing your body shape:

  • Pear-shaped — you carry your weight around the lower parts of the 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 — apple-shapes have their weight distribution more towards their middle. Bring focus to your legs with a straight-leg trouser and pair with heels.
  • Petite — be careful not to pick clothes that overpower you. 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 highlight your long legs, opt for a low-rise trouser with a skinny leg.

Our outfits can indeed impact our 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!


Hy I'm iffy!! A chronic worshiper with a DIY spirit! After a near death experience I started my journey to living a more purposeful life.


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