Self-care has been a hot topic in recent years and never more so than during the pandemic. With some of our favourite activities limited, we were rightly encouraged to focus on looking after our bodies and minds.
Now that we’re able to go out and about again, we’re finding pleasure in being able to wear our brightest and most fun outfits again. Our activity-filled summer has been characterised by playful printed dresses, colourful two-pieces, and bold statement accessories as we’ve rediscovered the joy in dressing up. This has been such a huge trend over the summer that the term ‘dopamine dressing’ – choosing clothes that make you happy – was coined.
If you want to learn how to ‘dopamine dress’ and which clothing items give you the biggest mood boost, we’re here to help guide you through this latest self-care trend!
The rise of dopamine dressing
Our response to 18 months of lockdown and our favourite dresses and skirts gathering dust in our closets was to put them to good use. We’re wearing bright, fun clothes that make us happy so much that it’s actually having an impact on the runway. Gone are the dulcet browns, soft beiges and burnt oranges we usually see emerge in the autumn. In their place are bold, colourful items and psychedelic, quirky, and fun prints that are certainly eye-catching.
This way of dressing isn’t just a trend – it’s rooted in psychology. It’s long been recognised that colours can have a significant impact on our mood, and experts have said this also applies to the colour of our clothes. Bright and bold colours can trigger dopamine, our feel-good hormone, while cooler tones make us release oxytocin, a calming hormone.
How you can practise self-care through fashion
So now we know that the colour of our clothes can boost our mood. But how can you incorporate this into your outfits?
Warm and bright colours for a mood boost
If you’re feeling a little lethargic, wearing a bold colour on the warm end of the spectrum can help to boost your mood. Opt for a bright red, pink, or yellow for maximum mood-boosting benefits. These vivid colours also come with extra little benefits:
- Reds and oranges make you feel more confident and look stronger to other people
- Yellow increases energy levels and focus
- Pink makes you feel better about yourself
Cooler tones for busting stress
Sunny, warm-toned clothes are great for a mood and energy boost, but cool colours also have their place in your self-care wardrobe. Blues, greens, and purples can all play a powerful role not only in making you happier but also in reducing negative feelings.
- A bold blue can help alleviate feelings of stress and worry thanks to its calming properties
- A striking green is both grounding and soothing because of its links to nature
- Purple can help with creativity and improve your decision making
No bright clothes? Add accessories
Many of us have a neutral or dark-hued wardrobe because these colours are versatile and easy to fall back on. But you don’t have to switch up your entire wardrobe to boost your mood – even smaller details can give you the same effect.
If your neutral wardrobe is filled with whites, beiges, and earthy tones, adding a colourful printed tote bag or a bright blue belt can add a pop of fun to your outfit. Equally, if it’s on the darker side, bold red shoes or a bright green hat bring that mood-boosting splash of colour.
It’s safe to say that most of 2020 and the first half of 2021 were characterised by drab colours and clothes you wouldn’t be seen out of the house in. As restrictions have eased and we’ve had more opportunities to do the things we love, we’re exploring our favourite fashion items with a new enthusiasm. Why don’t you add some colourful items to your wardrobe to put that extra skip in your step?