Do Clothing Colors Reflect Mood?

Do Clothing Colors Reflect Mood?

Kate Smith, Staff Writer

“Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions,” said the famous artist Pablo Picasso.

Color in clothing is a choice. When people wake up in the morning, they decide what they’re going to wear. Maybe today one person decides to wear a bright red shirt. Is there a reason behind that decision? Junior student Ashley Ochoa isn’t sure if there is one. Her favorite color is blue, but she says with a shrug, “I don’t know, I just put on clothes and hope it all matches.” Although it is not a definite science, color psychology has developed to give some insight into the world of color.


Red is perhaps the most well-known color when it comes to symbolism. Love and anger alike are represented by this bold hue. This is why it is known as a passionate color. Red can easily be found in nature, as well as the world, and is very eye-catching. This can be scientifically explained by red’s long wavelengths, which make it an easily visible color. It is often thought of as an attractive color and a bold statement; think of a woman in a red dress or a man in a suit and red tie. Red exudes confidence when worn.


Orange is a notoriously energetic color. Its associations with fresh citrus, bright fall foliage, pumpkins, and other things give it a sense of liveliness and youthfulness. Like red, orange has long wavelengths that make it an eye-catching hue, though it is seen as more of a happy color than a passionate one. A pop of orange in one’s wardrobe can add a youthful, energetic flair. 


Yellow is a very fresh, exuberant color. It evokes images of sunshine, sunflowers, lemons, and other bright, warm things. Yellow is similar to orange in its playful connotations, and is quite the cheerful color. Vibrant shades of yellow draw the eye and bring an invigorating feeling while softer, pastel yellows can give a sense of calm and comforting cheerfulness. 


Green is the color of nature. Those intrinsic ties with nature are often said to make it a soothing color. Green belongs to the cool color family due to its shorter wavelengths that are easy on the eye. Green can symbolize success and positivity, as well as growth and life. A green shirt, pair of shoes, or accessory can make for a refreshing addition. 


Blue is often described as a tranquil color. It calls to mind sunny summer skies, vast oceans, and breathtaking tropical waters. These connections contribute to the calming effect blue has for many people. Blue can give a sense of stability and safety in addition to peacefulness. It is a widely favored color, and a popular color in clothing. Junior student Kate York says, “My favorite color to wear is navy.” She thinks about the reason why, settling on, “It doesn’t make my skin look so pale.” Sapphire tones can give a sense of importance, as can royal blues, whereas a softer, baby blue can be very serene and gentle.


Purple is traditionally associated with royalty and wealth due to the fact that it used to be the most difficult and expensive color to dye clothes and other items with, since it wasn’t found much in nature. This meant purple clothes and ornamentation were usually reserved for the wealthy and powerful. The color is also connected to bravery and wisdom, as well as spirituality. The fact that it doesn’t show up very often in nature gives it a mysterious quality that links it to the unknown and spirituality. Overall, purple is often viewed as a regal or exotic color.

Maybe there’s a psychological reason why people wear the specific colors they do, or maybe not. Either way, colorful clothes are a great form of expression!