You are what you wear: How the colour of your clothes can literally make your mood

Arpita Kala
Arpita KalaMay 16, 2019 | 09:46

You are what you wear: How the colour of your clothes can literally make your mood

Woke up on the wrong side of the bed? Or are you on cloud nine because your crush texted you back? Turns out, your clothes can reveal more about your mood than you thought!

There are some of us who painstakingly put together our outfits or OOTDs (Outfit of The Day) the night before — and then, there are others who just put on the cleanest pair of jeans-tee that they can lay their hands on, hours before heading out.

Whatever may be your dressing style, the fact, your clothes actually set the mood for your entire day.


Don’t believe this? Then try spending the entire day in a tight pair of jeans that cause a wedgie or a seamless bra that has the underwire poking painfully in your chest and see how you feel.

We rest our case.  

Feeling what you wear

The go-to designer for millennial Bollywood stars such as Kartik Aaryan and Vicky Kaushal, Kunal Tanna agrees. He says, “People always wear what they feel. Even if they are dressing for an occasion, there is always an element of their mood in it. In fact, this has always been a part of my design philosophy. At the same time, there is also talk of ‘masking your emotions’, but in spite of that, I feel you can always find clues about what a person really feels in their outfit.”

With terms such as ‘Sad Boi’ (sad boy), ‘Emo’, ‘Sad Asian Girls Club’, ‘Soft Aesthetic’, etc., being thrown around on the Internet, feeling a certain way has become almost an aesthetic or a style statement. For instance, each of the aforementioned Internet subcultures has a stereotype be it regarding music tastes or clothing. ‘Sad Bois’ are known to rock shaggy hairdos, wear tees/jackets with Japanese references, bucket hats and enjoy listening to vaporwave.   


So, it comes as no surprise that mainstream fashion is also moving away from occasion-based clothing to giving consumers something for their moods.

Tanna is doing the same with his collection, Resurrection, which is inspired by grief, caused by a deep personal loss in his life. “Usually, my collections have been inspired by happy experiences and travel... but this collection is coming from a very personal space, basically rooted in a loss and the hullabaloo that I had been thrown in for the past couple of months. That’s how the emotions evolved into a concept that resulted in this collection,” he says.


Sadness is a blessing

As fashion gets more inclusive of feelings, there is also a shift in how we perceive these feelings. Your anger or anxiety is not always a negative emotion — it can empower and strengthen you too.

Even in the case of the creative collective, Sad Asian Girls Club, the taboo surrounding feeling unhappy is being challenged through creative visual mediums.

As the club founders, Olivia Park and Esther Fan, students of Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) said in an interview with Dazed & Confused Magazine, “To be sad is a taboo in society but we give agency to the term “sad” by making progressive work rather than drowning in our tears. The “sadness” refers to the confusion and frustration that many Asians in Western societies experience, as we are often unable to fully identify as either “fully” Asian or “fully” American, Canadian, Australian, British, etc.”


Don’t be afraid to catch ‘feels’

In a society where hiding your true feelings is considered 'strength', grief is an unwelcome emotion and so is happiness, because nazar na lag jaye.

Wearing something inspired by emotions is a bandwagon of silent rebellion that everyone seems to be getting on.

That’s where colours come into play. From aura-readings to mood-therapies, colours have been denoted by a specific emotion for a long time. Just like if your favourite colour is red, you are branded as quick to anger or power-hungry. Wearing a pink shirt? Men are likely to invite comments about being effeminate — and women are deemed girly or just weak.

Not anymore. Now, everyone has their own definition of what a colour they are wearing means. Many moods, many colours, many meanings.

So, are we finally moving towards a world where we wear what we feel?


“Because of my personal loss, I have been through a lot of mentoring and guidance from experts. I personally have delved a lot in colour therapy readings and feel there is a lot more to a symbol or colour than what we are told,” says Tanna.

Here’s how he decodes his hues — how about you?

Designer Kunal Tanna decodes the meaning behind each colour in your outfit. (Photo: DailyO)

Last updated: May 16, 2019 | 09:46
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