How to dress to boost your mood

From colours to fabric and form, here’s how the clothes you wear can affect the way you feel.

Most of us have worn a gimmicky mood ring at some point, but what if colour really does have the power to reflect and improve our mood? 

Turns out the idea isn’t so far-fetched, with biological phenomena like synaesthesia and chromesthesia helping scientists to better interpret how colours can trigger an emotive response in humans.

And the concept can extend to our everyday lives through the clothes we wear.

Here’s our guide to how you can dress your way into a better mood:

Vibrancy is key

Bright colours are believed to generate all kinds of emotive reactions to both the wearer and the people around them.


Associated with romance, sexuality and passion, red demands attention, indicating that the wearer has a certain level of confidence about them. It’s also known to trigger junk food cravings, oddly enough (cue Maccas and KFC packaging).


The brightest colour to the human eye and reminiscent of sunshine, it’s little wonder yellow is linked to happiness and boosting moods.


Long linked to health and wellness, green is said to help neutralise your mood as it’s neither overtly cool, nor warm. It’s also linked with wealth (hence greenbacks in the United States) and is particularly wearable this season because it’s very much on trend.


Connected with authority and structure, it helps explain why police uniforms are generally blue. It’s also linked to calmness and a sense of tranquillity.

Nothing but the truth: The psychology of colour

Fabric matters

Colour isn’t the only element of clothing that can lift our mood. Fabric also plays a significant role and simply comes down to its level of comfort.

  • Natural fibres like cotton and linen are generally durable, breathable and most importantly, flexible, all of which increase comfort.
  • When shopping for denim, a cotton-lyrca blend is ideal as it gives you the same effect as traditional denim, albeit less stiff and constrictive.
  • Fine wool like Merino and cashmere are known to have longer wear, are less likely to pill and are more comfortable than wool/polyester blends, which can be scratchy and irritable.

Fit for a king

Sometimes your mood can simply come down to the actual fit of your clothing versus its physical appearance.

A simple trip to the tailor can make the world of difference to your clothing – not only in how you it fits, but also how you look and feel wearing it.

Written by Charlotte Brundrett