This New Project Is Exploring The Psychological Benefits Of Wearing Yellow

Dress for happiness!

Mahaneela Choudhury-Reid is a photographer, director and part of the In Bloom all-female creative agency. She’s directed music videos and recently had one of her personal art films screened at London’s Tate gallery. Earlier this summer she set up the Wear Yellow Project to explore the positive physiological values of the color. 

Recently I have found myself drawn to the color yellow. After having been through some rather difficult times in my personal life and coming out the other side better than ever, I knew there had to be something psychologically that was attracting me to the color, and it’s no hard science that brighter shades tend to lift one’s mood. 
I’m a visual person, and throughout my work as a photographer and director I have always used strong saturation of color, especially with the flora and fauna that is often interwoven through my imagery. This season, yellow has also been a solid trend for SS17, with many iconic fashion moments leading up to the trend. From Beyoncé’s Lemonade mustard ruffle dress, to Emma Watson making headlines wearing ethically sourced pastel Dior haute couture and Viola Davis at this year’s Golden Globes turning heads with her floor-length, sunshine-soaked, sequinned Michael Kors gown. It’s been a big year for yellow in fashion, without a doubt.

I started the Wear Yellow Project with a hope of exploring my connection to the color, researching it’s historical, spiritual, anthropological and psychological roots. I've learned that yellow was the first known pigment humankind used, some 285,000 years ago, with yellow ochre being found in ancient caves in Kenya. It was one of the first tools with which we were able to express what we saw in the world, and I think without a doubt that’s why there seems to be such a strong connection to the color in particular among creative people. 
Across many ancient cultures, the yellow sun was one of the most important symbols and was worshipped as a god, from the Greek sun-god Helios to the Egyptian god Ra. The color is linked to other deities, too, like the Yoruba goddess Oshun, who is often depicted in yellow, and the Hindu gods Lord Vishnu, Krishna and Ganesha who wear deep shades of the color to symbolize happiness, peace and knowledge.

As I continued to research the world and history of the color, I found my mind to be clearer and I felt happier after looking at so much yellow imagery. I realized that being mindful about your color choices really does impact your mood. I started the Wear Yellow Project on Instagram to help document my findings and to hopefully bring some of that positive energy onto the feeds of other people, too: whether it’s as simple as them seeing a yellow photo, or inspiring them to step out of the house in a yellow outfit, I want to encourage people to harness this power-color and to be intentional about bringing it into their lives. Dress for happiness. Try it and see how you feel!
I plan on releasing a photo-series and short film about the color yellow, but for now you can follow my journey on Instagram @wearyellowproject or follow my personal account on @foxyneela

Check out our selection of yellow pieces to bring some positive vibes to your fall closet:
Style Mafia Etta High Rise Tassel Pant - $139
Boohoo Plus Jemma Bow Front Sleeve Chiffon Maxi Dress - $30
Lasaison Mustard Trench Coat - $178
Free People Amelia Set - $200
Topshop Knitted Wrap Top - $55
Pixie Market Marigold Yellow Satin Maxi Dress - $68
Urban Outfitters Bonnie Silky Button Down Shirt - $49
Forever21 Plus Off-The-Shoulder Top - $8
& Other Stories Pleat Frill Neck Blouse - $65
Storets Avril Wrap Mini Dress - $74
Mango Ruffles Floral Blouse - $80
Topshop Suede Harrington Jacket - $475
& Other Stories Bloom Jacquard Sweater - $95

Words by Mahaneela Choudhury-Reid. You can see more of her work on her website,
@wearyellowproject on Instagram for full image credits.