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Clothing color: why it matters and what it says about you


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When the alarm goes off in the morning and the daily rush begins, mindfully choosing a specific color to wear is rarely the most pressing priority. Most people purchase colors they like to wear or feel enhance their skin tone.

But shopping for clothing in colors that make people feel something specific is an expert-level move to get what you want out of life. Basic psychology says clothing color can affect your mood and even the mood of those around you.

As an example, white has long been associated with purity and is connected with special occasions like weddings and religious ceremonies. The conscious act of dressing in white can help the wearer be mindful of the important nature of the events.

Here are some trending colors this year, and what feelings they invoke in you and others around you:

Colors of the year

Each year, color experts at the Pantone Color Institute analyze current trends in all areas of design and filmmaking to see what new avenues are being explored and influenced by color. This year’s Pantone’s Color of the Year is the vibrant Living Coral. Pantone says, "Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression." The experts realized the desire for a happy presence in design work and social media, so Living Coral is the color for 2019.

If the goal is to seem lively, inviting and joyful, wear a shade of coral to work, a party or wherever the day takes you. It will help others around you feel the same way.

Outside of Pantone, there are other organizations that help determine featured colors of the year. Many people turn to The Chinese Zodiac's Feng Shui colors of the year for guidance. In 2019, the Year of the Pig, the colors are:

  • Vivid red
  • Azure blue
  • White
  • Gold.

Fire (red), water (blue), and metal (white and gold) are all elements associated with this particular Year of the Pig. According to MindBodyGreen, white is supposed to invoke feelings of freedom and new beginnings. If you want to show your feelings of freedom and light, consider wearing a new white dress or shirt. ModWhite makes beautiful women's white dresses that are unique and flattering.

Design and Feng Shui experts have determined colors of the year, but fashion trends for 2019 are telling a different story.

Fashion experts weigh in

According to experts in the field at Glamour and WhoWhatWear, pastels have always been popular in the spring months, but new colors are hitting the rack this year:

  • Dried sage/mint green
  • Dove blue
  • Lemon verbena/pale or golden yellow
  • Dust rose
  • Bright/burnt orange
  • Lime/bold green
  • Non-boring beige.

These trendy color options might seem all over the place, but there’s definitely a movement towards outside-the-box color options in fashion.

To use these hot colors intentionally this spring, consider what feelings they provoke. According to Nick Kolenda, a persuasion marketing consultant, the green color is associated with calm and comfort; blue evokes feelings of efficiency and intelligence; yellow makes people feel cheerful and confident; dusty rose or pinks are linked to feeling charming, cheerful and feminine; orange is comforting and daring; and beige is typically associated with security and support.

What to say with your clothes

Not every color will make a big announcement, but some may convey certain intentions over others. For example, job interviews are a typically nervewracking situation for the person interviewing, and that person wants to convey certain qualities that the future employer finds desirable for the position. This person might wear darker, gem tones to appear more controlling and powerful. Or if they wanted to make a softer, more friendly impression, light pink is a good option, according to Glamour.

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to color psychology since every person has had different experiences to influence their thinking. But using this knowledge can help navigate and influence desired outcomes.

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