The Art to Dressing Better Than You Feel

On those gray and overcast Seattle days (which happen more often than I would like) I often grab the first thing that comes to mind. Neutrals. It is very common to dress the way we feel so colors like black or gray seem like natural choices. However, dressing in dark colors that reflect my exhausted mood often makes me feel more worn down. It’s a habit that I am trying to get out of. So the question I pose today is, “Will dressing in brighter colors change your mood?”

Colorful skirt with bold red top

If you are knowledgeable about color psychology you may understand that each color represents a different tone and, therefore, portrays a different emotion. For example, yellow is joyful, red is energizing, and blue is calming. I’ve mentioned this briefly before in my post What to Wear When You Feel Down. I often incorporate my knowledge of how these colors are perceived into my wardrobe. I do this especially when meeting people for the first time because it is no mystery that making a good first impression has a lot to do with what you wear.

Colorful skirt with bold red topColorful skirt with bold red top

For this colorful outfit, I decided to perform a little experiment by choosing to wear something out of my comfort zone. Wearing a bold red is not generally something I gravitate towards. I would much rather wear it in a bold lip color because that is definitely my signature style. I received this beautiful skirt from Mindy Mae’s Market new spring collection and was immediately drawn to the intensity of the colors. My initial reaction was to tone down the colors by pairing it with lighter pastels or even white.

Colorful skirt with bold red topColorful skirt with bold red top

To test the color psychology theory, I wore it with a bold red color one day and then later wore it with white and a jean jacket. Can you guess the difference that I felt? Both days I started out feeling the same. I’ve been going through a tough time lately and noticed that I have been completely avoiding color. Determined to make a change in my mood, I went for a bold color. The day I wore red I didn’t just appear confident to others, but I felt more energized. As you may have guessed, the day I wore white and blue I felt pretty calm and peaceful.

Colorful skirt with bold red top

Colorful skirt with bold red top

Colorful skirt with bold red top

This little experiment taught me a lot about the art to dressing better than you feel. Sometimes it takes grabbing a color based on how you want to feel and not necessarily how you currently feel to change your mood. I learned that the color you portray on the outside will affect your mood on the inside. So I challenge you, the next time you feel like matching your wardrobe to your mood, try throwing on a color that represents how you want to feel! You may be quite surprised by the difference it makes!

Colorful skirt with bold red top

Colorful skirt with bold red top

I’d love to hear, have you noticed how colors affect your mood?

Keep smiling!


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Photo Credit //  Samantha Weissbach Photography

Molly Lawson

I’m Molly Lawson! I live in Seattle and am an optimist, adventurer, and bold lipstick wearer. I created this space to inspire and empower women with words of encouragement known as #MollysWords and share inspiration through my personal style. I always want my readers to leave with a smile and I hope you do!

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  1. Kait Elizabeth
    March 21, 2016 / 7:16 pm

    These colours look so good on you! They could definitely brighten any day, just like your smile. Hugs, Kait

    • March 29, 2016 / 10:15 pm

      Awww! Thank you Kait! Your smile brightens my day too! Love you!

  2. Abby Castro
    March 21, 2016 / 7:44 pm

    I love that you wrote this because we all have “those days” wherein we’re just not in the mood to dress up. But with such a bright and fun color, I’m sure it’s guaranteed to turn your mood around!

    Abby of Life in the Fash Lane

    • March 29, 2016 / 10:15 pm

      You’re so right Abby! I’ve been having more of “those days” lately and find color helps! Although today I wore all black… haha oops 😉

  3. March 22, 2016 / 7:44 am

    I find that I am quick to succumb to my laziness for getting dressed even though I want to look like I respected myself to get ready. And I always regret being lazy. Slowly progressing to getting dressed no matter how I feel. I definitely agree with colour theory.

    • March 29, 2016 / 10:16 pm

      I’m with you! Especially when I like to sleep in so much 🙂

    • March 29, 2016 / 10:16 pm

      Aww I’ve been in a color rut too! Color and sunshine help! 🙂

  4. March 22, 2016 / 10:21 am

    Oh wow, this was a really interesting post! I had never really given much thought to how the color of my outfit made me feel. I’m going to have to pay more attention! And this outfit is beyond gorgeous – I love the skirt!


    • March 29, 2016 / 10:17 pm

      Thanks! You definitely should try it! I’ve even found that the color closest to my face makes the biggest difference!

  5. March 22, 2016 / 1:21 pm

    Such an interesting post; I’d never thought about this concept before. I’ve been finding lately that I’ve been rushing around, stressed out and feeling a little down and always grabbing neutrals and black garments although I have a wardrobe full of colour that I love. I’m definitely going to be trying to wear more colour… especially at work.

    And you look fab as ever, hope you’re feeling a bit better!


    • March 29, 2016 / 10:17 pm

      Thanks Ellie! I totally know what you mean! I hope you try out the concept and find it works for you! 🙂

    • March 29, 2016 / 10:17 pm

      Well thanks so much! I really appreciate your kind words!

  6. March 23, 2016 / 11:56 am

    You look stunning!!! I’m used to you in neutrals but I love these bright colors on you!

    • March 29, 2016 / 10:19 pm

      Thank you Chelsea! As much as I love neutrals I love playing with color too! 🙂

  7. March 24, 2016 / 12:12 pm

    Such a beautiful outfit! Thank you for the reminder, wearing bold colors indeed affects my mood. Should do it more often 🙂

    • March 29, 2016 / 10:19 pm

      Aww thank you! It’s as much as a reminder to myself as it is to you 🙂 Hope it helps!

  8. March 24, 2016 / 3:51 pm

    OMG how cute are you! This outfit is totally you Molly, bright and colorful. Love love love that skirt (be warned, I might steal it from you haha). And totally agree, color makes a world of difference.
    xx, Kusum |

    • March 29, 2016 / 10:20 pm

      Aww Kusum, you are a sweetie! You look so gorgeous in color and I know you would look amazing in this skirt. Borrow it any time 😉

  9. Len Dela Peña Parent
    March 28, 2016 / 6:01 am

    Simply STUNNING!!!!! Love your skirt girl. I also have the same one. Have a fabulous Monday!
    Much love, Len

    • March 29, 2016 / 10:20 pm

      Thank you Len! I appreciate your kindness so much! Isn’t this skirt fun?!

  10. Monika
    March 28, 2016 / 2:52 pm

    I have always loved colors and gravitate towards them. Clothes are powerful and definitely affect your mood. You look stunning in this outfit. Red looks great on you and that print skirt is sheer perfection. Hope you have a fantastic week, Molly <3

    Monika |

    • March 29, 2016 / 10:21 pm

      You are so right Monika! and thank you for the kind words! It’s amazing what clothes can do for a girls mood 🙂 Have a great week!

  11. April 14, 2016 / 10:03 am

    Beautiful Molly! I love that look and totally agree that the colors we wear have an effect on my mood. Way to go for the bold red pairing; it definitely works against our gray skies!

    • August 7, 2016 / 12:19 am

      You are so right Angie! Wearing red against our gray skies is so worth it! Definitely brightens up my day! Hope you’re having a great summer!

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