You know the phrase, “wear what makes you happy”? This is the year to dress that way, and quite literally. Spring’s biggest fashion trend is chockfull of happiness-inducing bright colors; a trend so strong that media outlets, buyers, and editors have dubbed it as dopamine dressing.
I’ve chatted with a handful of friends, store associates, and other bloggers over the past few weeks regarding clothes and their closets, and one common thread has stood out to me. We are all sick of the safe, over-worn pieces we’ve worn on repeat the past couple of years. There’s a common desire between everyone I have talked with for a full closet purge and to finally put on clothing that makes us excited again.
What is Dopamine Dressing?
At its core, dopamine dressing is dressing in pieces that make your feel great, which triggers feel-good neurotransmitters (known as dopamine) in your brain. In theory, this could truly mean any color, but this year’s trend is heavily leaning into brights.
According to Pinterest’s trend report Pinterest Predicts, “People are headed somewhere over the rainbow this year with vibrant outfits and colorful palettes.”
It’s been long understood that colors can trigger emotions and feelings. When I was in college, I studied this for an entire semester. Do you know why most fast-food signs are red? Because it’s been shown that red makes you hungry, and therefore may be more likely to pull up to the drive-through window.
The key to dopamine dressing is finding the colors that resonate with you, that provide you with a personal happy association from your culture, childhood, or your favorite color.
How to Try Dopamine Dressing
Of course, you can fully lean into this trend with a bright head-to-toe ensemble. Half the fun with this trend is trying color combinations you maybe wouldn’t have paired together in years past. But if that’s not your thing, don’t sweat it, and don’t force it.
Pick one bold piece like a blazer or a pair of pants. And keep everything else neutral and plain so the color can speak for itself.
If that still intimidates you, then start small, and try the dopamine dressing trend via your accessories. Earrings, hair accessories, jewelry, shoes, and handbags easily add a colorful, yet still subtle impact to a plain white tee and a pair of jeans.
BONUS: try your hand at wearing Very Peri, PANTONE’s Color of the Year.
Here are some of my favorite pieces for every shade of the rainbow: