As a fan of organized emotional shopping, I deliberately choose to buy a new wardrobe item because it lifts my spirits. I also often choose to wear a particular outfit because it lifts my spirits.

The attributes and sensibility of the items that I buy and wear that continually spark joy are consistent, and it’s mainly a visual thing. I’m taking it as a given that the fit is fabulous, flattering or just flattering enough, and comfortable. 

Bright Colours

My mood is VERY positively affected by the colour of wardrobe items. It doesn’t matter how incredible the item looks and feels, it won’t make me happy if it’s the wrong colour. Colours that make me happy are my usual sour brights: tomato red, citron,  apple green, neon green, chartreuse, shocking pink, coral, watermelon, Dutch orange, and bright turquoise. 

I have an assortment of bright coats, jackets, bags, knitwear and blouses because they lift my mood in our grey and rainy Seattle weather. My bright green specs and citron wallet lift my mood daily, and add a happy touch to neutral outfits. 

White & Cream

I love sour brights, but items in shades of white also make me very happy. Of all the neutrals, white is the brightest and most crisp, which is probably why it lifts my mood. I have coats, jackets, jeans, skirts, tops, footwear, belts and bags in white, bone and cream. I wear them year round. Some of the items are wardrobe essentials, and many are wardrobe workhorses. 

Sparkle & Shine

Sparkly things are bright (there’s a pattern here.) I love gold shoes, watches, hardware, AND white pearls. White pearls add a bright and shiny component to my outfit without fail. I also like sparkly knitwear. 

Classic Patterns

I tire of patterns that aren’t classics, so I stick to polka dots, stripes, florals, checks and animal prints. My spirits are especially lifted when I wear florals and stripes in the Spring and Summer, and checks in the colder months. 


I love lace because it’s Modern Retro, romantic and pretty. All my underwear is lacy, which makes a difference to how I feel in my outfit despite its lack of public visibility. I have an assortment of lace dresses, tops, and adore lace trim.

Impeccable Quality 

There’s something about wearing impeccable quality that lifts my spirits, and it’s as simple as that. Quite magical. 


I’m happiest wearing dressier clothes and polished outfits, full stop. My casual outfits are “dressed up” because it lifts my spirits. I can be working from home, cooking all day for a dinner party, or having a quiet day with Greg and Sam – and I wear a regular casual or smart casual outfit with pearls and make-up. 

Judging by how I’ve refreshed my style for Spring and Summer, I’m very focussed on items that lift my spirits. I’m still working on the white tops, trousers and dresses, but here are the items:

This brings me to why Ann Taylor’s flared striped sweater did not work. I loved the way it felt, draped, moved, and fit. Luxurious, pretty, sufficiently dressy, interesting, fresh, romantic and tailored. The ink blue was fab, but the forest green did not make me happy as we head into Spring and Summer. I tried to brighten things up by combining it with white jeans, white footwear, pearls, green specs and a citron bag. But I couldn’t shake that the colour combination dampened my spirits. Back it went. 

Over to you. Which types of wardrobe items lift your spirits, and why? How different are the attributes of those wardrobe items compared to mine?