CTS Blog

How Clothing Affects Confidence


Two women wearing Called to Surf dresses in a field


What’s your favorite thing in your closet? Why is it your favorite? Is it because it has sentimental value, is your favorite color, or makes you feel good?


If you don’t have something come to mind, maybe it’s time to try and find something new to refresh your selection. After all, it’s easy to get stuck with certain styles and prioritize function over fashion and fun, but the beauty of clothing is that it has this unique ability to make us feel both our best and our worst depending on the day. Wearing the right thing can be a confidence boost just like wearing the wrong thing can dull the day.


According to Vogue, “It’s no secret that assembling an outfit is like selecting social armor, and that what we wear has power over others.” So, if confidence and self-image are top of mind, consider the clothes you wear as you start your style journey.


If you’re on a quest to look and feel your best, we’re right there with you. Today we’ll talk numbers, color, fit, formality, shape, and more as we explore how clothing affects confidence. With some TLC, we can unlock the best versions of ourselves through our closets. How cool is that?


Color Psychology and Confidence


Color analyses and personal palettes became really trendy on social media recently—and it’s a fun area to explore if you haven’t yet! As such, Insider spoke with a color psychology expert and shared this about colors and the emotions they evoke:

  • Red: Can give you energy when you're feeling exhausted or need an extra kick for a long day
  • Orange: Can keep the body calm and balanced
  • Yellow: Can make you feel happier
  • Green: “Has the power to evoke numerous feelings in the body” which can calm you or perk you up
  • Blue: The “psychological primary color of the mind,” with lighter shades having calming effects and deeper hues promoting stillness and relaxation
  • Purple: Most often associated with spirituality and connection
  • Pinks: Can inspire comfort and softness, but magenta is the color of revolution and helps spark action


An article published by Columbia University reports that the black color is mostly associated with these words and phrases: “powerful, mysterious, serious, and intelligent, commands respect, and represents dignity and elegance.” On the flip side, “White is neutral not only in technical terms of color theory but also in the psychological context. Wearing white never puts anybody off and its inviting nature is embraced by all. White almost universally represents purity and is associated with cleanliness, simplicity, and optimism.”


Back to color analyses. Knowing your season or palette can be instrumental in crafting your closet for confidence. Once you see how certain colors can perk you up and others dull your sparkle, you can have so much fun with fashion. It can be hard to separate colors and shades you like from what looks good on you, but who says you can’t bend the “rules” if a color outside your palette brings you confidence?


Body Confidence and Clothing

Two girls walking across a field while wearing Called to Surf dresses


In this Forbes article, health coaches and body confidence experts joined to share how to up your self-esteem in this area. The article tells us to think of positive body image as a practice rather than a destination. "It’s not a state to be perfected, it’s a daily practice of self-acceptance," said Jessi Barnes, body image coach.


Another article published by Northern Arizona University shared seven body-positive shopping tips:


  • Do your shopping when you are in a good mood
  • Buy clothes that fit you now (if it doesn’t fit JUST RIGHT, don’t buy it)
  • Make it fun 
  • Don’t be afraid to send it back (thank goodness for return policies!)
  • Only buy outfits you feel confident in
  • Use positive affirmations
  • Shop at body-positive stores


And don’t be deterred if you aren’t finding anything you like or anything that fits right. That might just mean you need new places to look.


How Clothing Type Affects Confidence 


While our comfiest clothes might feel great, it’s a different type of “feeling great” than something that just exudes confidence. This study asked some subjects to wear casual clothing and some to wear formal clothing before a series of intellectual tests, and wouldn’t you know, those wearing more formalwear did better, suggesting a correlation between clothing and cognitive performance. 


So, if you’re ever feeling down, put on your “power suit!” (Note: It doesn’t have to be a power suit if that’s not what makes you feel powerful and confident.)


Body Shape and Confidence


Forget the fruit metaphors—we’re more partial to the Kibbe body type system. David Kibbe, trained in the 1980s era of beauty, created the system as “a corrective to what he called “fear-based” style advice that told women they needed to minimize their features.” It’s more exhaustive, comprising 13 body types on a scale of angular/sharp to soft/round. And, it embraces the fact that all bodies are beautiful. If you’re looking to self-educate in this area, the Kibbe system is where we’d recommend you start, but remember that “rules” are meant to be broken and if you love something and it makes you feel great, don’t toss it just because someone online “told” you to. 


Find Clothing That Makes You Feel Confident at Called to Surf

Colorful Called to Surf dresses hanging on a clothing rack


From the latest trends to closet staples, Called to Surf can be your one-stop shop for fashion that not only looks good but makes you feel good, too. Whether you’re looking to do a closet cleanout, a wardrobe edit, or pick new pieces that suit a new style or vibe, pop over to our online shop and see what stands out. From dresses and new arrivals to shoes and accessories, there’s a bit of everything in our boutique.


Look and feel your best in Called to Surf clothes.

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