Is ‘Dopamine Dressing’ The Secret To Being Happier?

Dress yourself happy!

dopamine dressing
Image: Instagram user @rebeccamir

Fashion and mental health are two things you wouldn’t normally put together. Unless, of course, you count those feel-good vibes you get when you buy a new pair of shoes…or the comedown once you look at your bank balance! But a new trend sweeping the fashion world merges the two worlds perfectly. Enter, dopamine dressing.


Based on the ideas that you can ‘dress yourself happy,’ the trend seems to have emerged as a reaction to Emma Stone’s canary yellow dress in La La Land. Since then, bold and colourful looks designed to lift your spirits have been popping up everywhere, from the aisles of Topshop to the runways at Fashion Week.

It’s hardly surprising that the fashion industry is turning to colour to brighten up dark days, given the world has been inundated with bad news lately. But can wearing bright, happy clothes really have a significant effect on your mood? According to Carolyn Mair, a psychologist who has developed a course in fashion psychology at the London College of Fashion—yes, but it all comes down to what you believe about those colours.

If you believe that wearing a certain colour – it doesn’t need to be bright yellow, it could be lack – lifts your mood … it’s a simultaneous wearing and believing that has been found to have significant results. When people believe in the symbolic meaning of their clothes, it can affect their cognitive processes, and part of those are your emotions.

via The Guardian

Chances are, you already have sub-conscious meaning attached to certain colours. This isn’t because of the colours themselves, but rather their culturally assigned meanings. Here are some of the common colour associations in Western society:

Red: Determined, desire, passionate, courageous.

Pink: Feminine, love, caring.

Orange: Creative, cheerful, enthusiastic.

Yellow: Attention-grabbing, happy, lively.

Green: Calming, natural, reliable.

Blue: Peaceful, professional, loyal.

Purple: Powerful, mysterious, noble.

Black: Elegant, sophisticated, strong.

Want to bring your dopamine dressing into you active-wear wardrobe? Check out these 11 bright, colourful workout tights.