What colours lift your mood?


Australian-born author Karen Haller has studied the influence of colour on behaviour for over 20 years. She even wrote a book about it: The Little Book of Colour: How to Use the Psychology of Colour to Transform Your Life. She gives us some tips on how to use colours to have a positive influence on our mood. An analysis that struck a chord with our creation studio, which has been designing exclusive vibrant colours for the House collections since 2005.

“One of the things that is so fascinating about us as a species is that we wear colour. We can change our outer layer to any colour we want, at any time. No other creature can go to a cupboard and take out a load of new feathers […]. We can use colour like a magic wand.”

Massachusetts T-shirt

Playful spring, serene summer, earthy autumn and minimalist winter

The concept of colour harmony was developed by psychologist Angela Wright. It is comprised of four colour families, in which every colour always harmonises with the other colours in its family, but not with those of other families.

Karen renamed the first group “playful spring”. It includes bright and dynamic shades that do not contain black, such as watermelon red, apricot, sky blue, lilac and sunny yellow. The second is “serene summer”, composed of cool colours with a blue base for more relaxation and softness, such as magenta, plum, powder blue, mauve, pearly white and burgundy. The third is “earthy autumn” with warm yellow-based colours with a touch of black, giving us the energy and anchoring that we need. These tones include olive green, peacock blue, aubergine, rust and chocolate. Finally, the fourth is “minimalist winter”, full of cool blue-based colours for a minimalist aspect with lemon yellow, scarlet red, pistachio green, charcoal grey and fuchsia.

Decatur T-shirt

The right shades for an instant burst of energy

The trick is to find colours that resonate with you by wearing your favourite colour or, if you have several favourites, by deciding on the right times to wear them. For a quick fix, remember that certain shades have an immediate pick-me-up effect: red motivates, bright pink gives assurance, pale pink encourages self-care, yellow boosts self-confidence, orange is fun and playful, brown grounds you, dark blue encourages concentration, turquoise revives your mind, dark green comforts, violet is perfect for introspection and white promotes order and clarity. A last tip: keep in mind that, for a date, although black may seem glamorous, it may be perceived as cold and distant. On the contrary, magenta is an explosive and feminine pink that imposes respect and independence, while grey shows more restraint and prudence. Now it’s up to you to have fun with colours!

AMV Journal is a space dedicated to encounters, discovery and travel. Every week, explore the musts, portraits and inspirations of American Vintage and its creation studio.