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What is Dopamine Dressing? How Colourful Clothes Can Boost Your Mood

A man and a woman in colourful outfits
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Bright clothes and bold patterns are dominating 2022. With eye-catching patterns in electric colours and statement pieces in lime greens, lemon yellows and hot pinks, this trend, known as “dopamine dressing,” has taken over the runways recently for some of fashion’s biggest designers. Dior’s Spring Summer collection boasted pieces in bright orange and green, and Versace‘s Spring Summer 2022 collection revealed tops, skirts and dresses in teal, fuschia and more.

But it turns out, these clothes aren’t just fun to look at — wearing bright, punchy colours can be linked to your mood. And by participating in dopamine dressing by putting on an outfit in vivid colours, you can actually make yourself more cheerful — one study from 2012 explains that clothes that are “well-cut, figure-enhancing, and made from bright and beautiful fabrics” made women happy.

Woman in bright clothes dancing
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What is dopamine dressing?

So how can wearing bright clothes change your mood? Well, dopamine dressing is rooted in colour psychology, which is the study of how certain colours impact feelings and behaviour. For example, the colour orange is associated with playfulness and enthusiasm.

According to fashion psychologist Shaikila Forbes-Bell, author of Big Dress Energy, clothes have the power to affect your mood because they can make you feel happier and more confident. She says that dopamine dressing is “psychological grounding to the ‘look good, feel-good’ concept. When you wear something you associate with happiness, you embody that emotion and feel happy.” So this plays into the idea of dopamine dressing, because it’s all about bright colours and exciting prints.

@slicedotca Colours make me 🥰 #dopaminesdressing #dopamineboost #outfitinspiration ♬ Thank You Next By Ariana Grande – Let the Earth Breathe 🌎🍃

Related: The ‘90s frosted eyeshadow makeup trend is back and better than ever.

A couple in bright clothes on a white scooter
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How to do dopamine dressing

If you’re someone who is into wearing colourful hues such as pinks, yellows and more, you likely already understand the appeal of dopamine dressing. If it’s grey and rainy outside, throwing on your favourite bright yellow shirt more often than not gives you a mood boost.


However, if you’re not someone who likes bright colours, don’t overhaul your entire wardrobe. As The Psychology of Fashion puts it, “within colour psychology, there are certainly strong known associations between hues and moods, what feels good to one individual won’t feel good for another” because we all have different tastes and styles. With that said, go for colours and patterns that you enjoy, and don’t be afraid to try something new!

Related: What is twee fashion? Why the style loved Taylor Swift and Zooey Deschanel is back.

Cute wardrobe staples for dopamine dressing

You don’t have to change up your entire wardrobe to participate in the dopamine dressing trend. Try a new item in a colour you already love. With summer coming, two-piece sets and oversized shirts are everywhere, so try out these pieces in a fun print or a colour that goes with the clothes you already own.

Model wearing a swirly crop top

Cut-out Crop Top, H&M, $20.

Yellow tank top on a model

Gathered Strappy Top, Mango, $50.

A pink knit cardigan
Urban Outfitters

UO Anna Tie-Front Cardigan, Urban Outfitters, $79.

A green mini satin dress

Mini Slip Dress, Dynamite, $50.

Amazon two piece purple set

Women’s Casual Two Pieces Tracksuit Half Sleeve Button-Down Shirt High Waisted Shorts Set, Amazon, $46.

Related: The worst celebrity wardrobe malfunctions caught on camera.

All products featured on are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy through links in this article, we earn an affiliate commission.

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