The Blues: Could  Wearing this Color Boost your Mood?

We caught up with Laurie Pressman, VP of the Pantone Color Institute, to discuss how this classic color choice is even more calming and relevant now.

The hues hanging in your closet represent so much more than personal preference. Colors we wear, decorate our homes with, and even experiment with through makeup represent our feelings, evoke memories, and have the power to inspire hope. We've seen the latter with the symbolic rainbows painted in windows by children throughout the current crisis and also while taking a closer look at Pantone's 2020 Color of the Year: Classic Blue.

"Each year, our selection reflects what's taking place in the culture at a particular moment," shares Laurie Pressman the Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute. Her team researches and reads through the tea leaves, deciphering patterns across all categories from fashion to beauty to lifestyle, technology, socioeconomics, and more. And while cool tones may not always be selected, 2000 also revealed a rather famous choice, Cerulean Blue, which led to that Meryl Streep film moment we all know and love. "As we walked into another new era, it was important to choose a color that represented dependability, calm, confidence, and connectedness," says the color expert, "A classic blue is symbolic of that because it resonates as a color people see every day. Like the blue sky, we have the confidence of knowing this color will be there." 

Photo: Pantone

"Cool colors captivate and are calming like the feeling of looking up at the sky or taking in mesmerizing views of the water."

The steady color choice is a deep blue reminiscent of a dusk sky and similar to cobalt or royal blue. Shades of this classic color have been popping up on the runway in a cyclical fashion from Oscar de la Renta to Gucci. They represent self-care and are on our top shelves via trusty skincare packaging (think Augustinus Bader or Dr. Dennis Gross) or on vibrant eye shadow palettes ready for self-expression.

In this moment of uncertainty, Pressman agrees that gravitating towards an approachable color is even more expected. "People are craving to find ways to relax, and I think colors can influence how you feel physiologically and psychologically." One way to transform how you are feeling can be through what you wear or through home décor. Surrounding yourself with accent pieces that have mood-boosting qualities or putting on reliable items you love like jeans could be the secret to enhancing our wellbeing in stressful times.

Pressman explains this phenomenon, "Cool colors captivate and are calming like the feeling of looking up at the sky or taking in mesmerizing views of the water. Psychologically speaking, studies have shown that after seeing blues, our bodies react by slowing down our respiration rate.  Taking time to breathe becomes inevitable then."

So when it comes to choosing your next look, blue might be the best feel-good shade. "Classic colors represent what we see in fashion as there's a move towards no seasonality, versatility, and getting more mileage out of pieces. This blue is perfect for that—something that is cross-generational, cross-gender, and what we're comfortable with." But what's up Pantone's sleeve for next year, especially after Classic Blue so accurately describes the present? "You'll just have to wait and see!" Pressman says, "This is going to be an interesting year, so [the future] certainly needs an interesting message. People are looking for a lot of positivity, but we'll still want foundation and confidence. Overall, we really need a color that'll help us feel better."

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