Thursday, December 20, 2007

Color's Influence

Hello all! This is my first post. Pleasure to be here. :-)

How does color influence your mood and your ability to maintain a positive outlook? More specifically, how does the color of your clothing influence your mood?

Do you use color in your appearance to relflect or affect your mood? Ever consider the practical considerations of a monochromatic wardrobe? We often think of goths as being moody and depressed, and clothed in solid black. However, which came first: the mood, or the ebony wardrobe?

I've been experimenting with wearing nothing but black to work (four days a week) for the past month (not that I identify with goth culture, it's just something I've done periodically since, oh, before the internet and before I'd even heard the word goth*), and let me tell you, while I feel especially fashionable and love getting dressed in the morning (everything practically matches! either it's blue-black or it's brown-black), I haven't been my most upbeat self, either. That may be atttributed to other things going on in life lately, but as a fashionista in the field of clothing psychology, it raised a few questions I couldn't ignore.

How does the color of what you wear affect your moods and thoughts? Do the colors reflect what's going on inside, or do they first create what's going on inside? A little bit of both? Just some things to ponder...

*alternatively, I once experimented with wearing all white as much as practically possible. Not nearly as practical, fashionable or flattering as all black. :-)

7 Comments:

Blogger keri marion said...

hi lauren. it's a pleasure to have you here.

i'm very sensitive to color, but not in my clothing, however i do prefer drab, nondescript colors (to keep the excitement in the design) and often solids, but lately i've been diggin on some pattern.

mostly the color i'm sensitive to is in my direct environment. i can't deal with white walls, they make me feel kind of sick inside, like a hospital or institution. further, i've been considering painting the ceiling because i don't like the contrast of white to the rest of the lovely colors around me. the only thing that is stopping me is i don't want to redo the trim... but this is missing the point a little.

i think black is classic. it's because it flatters, matches and is still practical that it's classic.

the only thing about all black that i would not like is the "mac makeup counter" or "mid-range hair salon" look.

most people i know who wear all black are depressed, but i don't think it has to do with the color so much as the reasons they might choose black in the first place.

so i suppose it's a "chicken and egg" question, but still interesting. i think capitalizing on your question we could ask, what sorts of ideas does one promote with the clothes they wear? because color is like a minor chord in the symphony of fashion.

for instance i saw a girl lastnight in all black and she was cute as a button - seemed happy, had her own style. she was wearing this really cute sweater dress with some leggings and flats... just adorable on her (would have looked a little retarded on me).

contrastingly, i know a woman who, by all accounts is a very nice person, however everything she wears screams "i like to have sex with multiple people at the same time."

i'm curious about the roles we fill and fulfill with the way we project ourselves using clothing as an identity. hair is another one but we can save that for a later discussion? or not.

December 21, 2007 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger tfinklang said...

As a constant wearer of black, I would not agree witht he depressed part. to me, its just a classic, elegant color..everything matches, it's all of a piece.. sort of a uniform, if you will.

That said, I do occasionally wear color in the form of a top (never a bottom. ever.) and when I do, I love rich saturated colors.. turquoise, emerald, royal purple, red. I love how the color vibrates.

But mostly, I love black. love love love it.

December 21, 2007 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger Shanny said...

You know, I quite often feel trapped by my wardrobe because I work as a sign language interpreters, which means that I have to wear solid, dark toned clothing. As a result, most of my clothes are black, red, dark blue, dark green, etc. Therefore, my choice of colors to wear is loosely dictated by my profession, not by my emotions. Unfortunately, now whenever I go shopping out of habit I avoid stripes and patterns because I have a limited budget and my clothes need to be wearable to work as well. At this point, I don't know if it really affects my mood, except that some mornings I look in my closet and I think how bored I am with my clothes. I subsidize it with fun and borderline gaudy jewelry (if it's too flashy I'll take it off before starting an interpreting job). That will often be enough for me to feel better in my boring clothes.

December 21, 2007 at 10:22 AM  
Blogger keri marion said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 21, 2007 at 12:45 PM  
Blogger keri marion said...

i should mention the thing i hate about black is when it fades. i hate trying to match blacks. this probably comes from living in places with poor lighting (northwest, coastal california, new england) and then walking outside to find i'm actually wearing brown and blue, not black like i had intended.

that's the main reason i wear browns or muted colors because they fade well and match each other easily. they blend with the environment in which i live; plus my personal style encourages old and faded clothing.

i also like to repurpose clothing, which often isn't black in the first place. i like wearing "old man pants" which i've cropped to midcalf, sometimes finished with stitching and sometimes just left a little ragged for effect.

i buy a lot of things second hand and re-use the fabrics or alter them to fit me better. this shopping option started because of economics, but has grown into a lifestyle. often times the choices are limited and i usually go for the design of the piece as opposed to the color, so i can't be too terribly picky if it's got potential.

i find it interesting that my sister (tfinklang) and i (though we are similar in many ways) are almost exactly opposite when it comes to clothing. i wear black the same as i wear brown or blue or green, but i almost never wear vibrant colors. i excuse that as a rule on occasion if something really strikes me (and usually it's orange or red or pink if it's in the vibrant category).

i should note that i only dress myself if i intend to leave my house which is very rare.

December 21, 2007 at 1:22 PM  
Blogger Journeyfree said...

Wow, a lot of thoughts on this topic!
My fashion sense is, I'll admit it, EXCELLENT. ;) The pity is, it's usually geared towards other people, so I come out like a slob. When it comes to fashion, I think it's less colors that influence how I feel and more the type of clothes.Slobby clothes=feeling sloppy.
HOWEVER there's an exception. In high school, a Navy Peacoat and black military boots made me feel energetic and a bit more "power" if you can call it that--I think the color was part of it.

(side note to shannon-I wondered about that! You could defy them and wear wavy patterns! :) Truth is, many of us deafies I think don't care about patterns so much as loud colors.

December 21, 2007 at 3:34 PM  
Blogger Shanny said...

Jesse - it's true about the slobby/sloppy clothes. I always feel less "together" when I'm not dressed as well. As for the boots, I must admit that when I was more of a punk in college and wearing boots, spiked necklaces and such I did feel more like a bad ass! :)
That's interesting to get a Deaf perspective on interpreter clothing choice. In the ITP they over-emphasize the need to wear solid, pattern-less, dark clothes.

December 21, 2007 at 4:37 PM  

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