Sensi Magazine

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High on Color

By Stephanie Wilson
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COVID-19 lockdown sent us into our sweats. We sat in monochrome cotton surrounded by neutral-colored walls for so long our brains actually lost the ability to accurately track the passage of time. We became starved for stimulation. We spent 18 months in our khaki-colored apartments and when we came out, we collectively decided it was time to banish the beige

It’s no wonder we came out craving color—bright, bold, eye-catching color in rich, saturated shades of magenta, sage green, and eclectic blue. We wanted to wrap ourselves in it, to cover our bodies from head to toe in vibrant shades.

Color is a mood, and we can’t get enough of it right now. Vibrant hues and bold shades are the antidote to the dark days of winter, and our lives are more saturated with color than ever this year. The post-lockdown world is looking a little more bright and a lot more vibrant. This is the feel-good trend we need right now.  From rainbow dresses to electric blue suits, the hottest 2022 fashion trends are setting a bold mood—and we’re getting high on color. 

 

So what exactly is dopamine dressing? It’s where self-care meets style, where fashion intersects with mindfulness.

Brain Chemistry

That high, in fact, comes from dopamine, the brain chemical that influences your mood, emotions, and motivation. Your brain releases dopamine into your body when it’s anticipating a reward, which is what motivates you to do the thing that delivers the reward. Color is closely associated with emotions—we use it to describe our moods. We say we’re “feeling blue” when we’re sad, “seeing red” when angry, “tickled pink” when filled with glee. But does your mood dictate your color choices or do your color choices dictate your mood? The science is out on that. 

What’s not up for debate is that as humans, we give objects (including clothes) symbolic meaning. So our brains start associating that t-shirt we were wearing when we had the best night ever with positive memories, and then anticipate making more of them whenever we wear it. It’s that anticipation of reward that triggers the release of dopamine into our systems, ultimately driving us to do it all again.

We wore it, we liked it, so we wore it again. Then we had to up our dose. Now, head-to-toe monochrome magenta is the norm—and we’re never going back to neutrals.

It’s about wrapping your body in hues that make you happy and accessorizing with sparkly or feathery abandon.

 

Dopamine Dressing

So what exactly is dopamine dressing? It’s where self-care meets style, where fashion intersects with mindfulness. It’s the big trend right now, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. It’s also simple to follow. 

Dopamine dressing is choosing to wear the things that bring you joy—choosing something because it’s fun, not just because it’s practical. It’s not going to your closet and being happy with clothes that are clean and fit, but mindfully selecting items that jive with your vibe. It’s about wrapping your body in hues that make you happy and accessorizing with sparkly or feathery abandon. It’s about elevating your style and defining your aesthetic by choosing pieces in the fabrics, cuts, colors, and prints that send a surge of confidence through your system raising your vibe so high you’ll be giving off Lil Nas X energy.