Can colour make you happy? I’m not sure that there is any concrete proof in this, but I do think there’s something in wearing brighter colours that can give your mood a little lift and, in these times, we really have to take what we can in the joyful stakes.
I recently read a book called ‘The Secret Lives Of Colour’ by Kassia St Clair – if you’re a fan of history and colour, do check it out. I won’t go into too much detail as we will be here all day, but it has inspired this post and I will give you a little overview on each colour I’ve chosen and what it is purported to mean. Take all this with a pinch of salt, I’m totally paraphrasing everything I’ve learnt!
PRETTY IN PINKS
I mean, of course we have to start with pink as it’s the theme of one of my favourite 80s films ever. Don’t get me started on the the travesty of her final prom dress though, and don’t come at me saying she should have ended up with Duckie. I will forever love Blane and basically Andrew McCarthy in anything as he was my ultimate 80s heartthrob. His book ‘Brat: An 80s Story’ is also a really good read; he’s an excellent writer as well as being the ‘sensitive one we all fancied’.
Pink isn’t just a frivolous colour for girls though. It can also be used to pacify very aggressive people. Dr Alexander Schauss found that pink can calm anger and anxiety. His study showed a real difference in behaviour of prisoners when the cells were painted ‘drunk-tank pink’. This is also the colour of my living room, so maybe that’s why I feel calmer in there…
YOU’VE GOT THE BLUES
While blue can sometimes be considered a cold, sterile colour, it also has a lot of positive effects. Being around blue can help lower your pulse and that’s why it’s used in a lot of medical environments. Blue reminds us of being around the sea and the sky and can help us stay calm and stimulate creativity.
Also, fact fans, a recent survey conducted across ten different countries in four continents found that blue was people’s favourite colour by some margin. Not mine though, mine is green. That saying ‘blue and green should never be seen’ is nonsense. I love blue and green together. Hence this Mango jumper is top of my wish list.
HAVE A GREEN DAY
I like green for two reasons. One (mainly), it suits me. Two, it’s the colour of a lot of leaves (and I like trees). I am that simple. But the psychology line is that when we see green our eyes don’t need to adjust because it is at the centre of the colour spectrum, therefore making green restful, balancing and harmonious. I’ll take that.
LADIES IN RED
Red has the effect of increasing your pulse rate, sparking excitement and action. Fun fact for you – Coca-Cola owes its colour design to the red and white flag of Peru, which is where the company sourced the coca leaves and cocaine its drinks contained until the 1920s. That definitely WOULD increase your pulse rate! Apparently, footballers are also more likely to win wearing red shirts because they are perceived to be dominant. I call bullshit on this one though. The Bees are red and white and we certainly don’t win all the time. Until quite recently, hardly ever.
MELLOW YELLOW & ORANGE
In terms of orange, what came first, the fruit or the colour? I can tell you that, according to my book, the fruit was first and the colour name didn’t come into circulation until around the 16th century. Yellow is the colour of happiness, optimism, sunshine and spring. Both can sometimes be tricky colours to wear, but they really make a pop if you use them for your accessories. Saying that, I love this bright orange Ganni jacket.
THE WHOLE RAINBOW
We haven’t all lived through the past two years of pandemic without knowing that the rainbow is a sign of hope, peace, acceptance and all-round optimism. It makes me think of the phrase we learnt at school to remember the colours in order: ‘Richard of York gave battle in vain’. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. If only I’d taken the same interest in times tables. Might have been slightly more useful in the long run…
I hope this brightened your day a little bit. Next week I think we will have a look at that very tricky item, the ‘spring jacket’.