Happy woman in yellow dress

Put a spring
in your step

If there's one season that inspires “happy dressing” in me, it's springtime. After months of somber black and browns and being bundled up from the cold, it's finally time to wax those legs, peel off those winter woes and look on the sunny side of life (and my wardrobe)!

If you're like me and keen for a little sartorial cheer — but not quite ready to run through the meadows in a floral cotton dress or squeeze into a Lycra bikini — there are a few cutting edge trends and fashion tricks we can employ immediately to cheat our way to feeling (and looking) fabulous. Here are my four tricks for optimistic dressing!

Splashes of yellow

Ever loved or loathed a particular color without fully understanding why? It might have something to do with the fact that colors have a meaningful impact on our mood. A recent study published in the journal BMC Medical Research Methodology found that people with depression or anxiety were more likely to associate their mood with the color gray, while happier people preferred the color yellow.

Of all the colors in the rainbow, yellow is the one most closely associated with optimism and joy (sunshine anyone?!).

Simply slipping on a little lemon has been proven to increase feelings of cheerfulness, optimism and overall happiness. So if you crave a dose of sunshine, start by working splashes of this happy shade into your wardrobe. It might be a bright yellow skinny belt or blouse at work, some neon yellow ballet flats on weekends or even a canary yellow woolen scarf if the temperatures haven't quite caught up to your mood.

Splashes of yellow

Kathryn's top picks:

Pastel denim

After months in dark, dreary denim, it's time to bring a little pastel punch to your often-neglected bottom half with pretty pastel denim pants. From aqua to peachy pink, yellow to tangerine, these sorbet-hued jeans are guaranteed to put a little spring in your step. Wear them with a relaxed fit top in a neutral shade by day or dress them up with metallic accessories at night. And don't worry about pastel pants being unflattering to your "winterfied" wobbly bits — the secret is finding the right cut for your body type.

Pastel denim

Kathryn's top picks:

Shocking pink pout

This spring, the hottest and happiest lipstick trend is pink lips. Not just any old pink, I'm talking shocking pink. From Alicia Keys to Blake Lively, Ashley Madekwe to Melissa George, just about any skin tone can benefit from a hint of this hot pink hue.

Shocking pink pout

Kathryn's top picks:

Neon and neutral nails

This spring, one of the hottest trends on the catwalk is milky white and nude nails with pops of color. If you're looking to wake yourself up from a slow, sleepy winter, put your fingers first. You'll nail it with the diagonal tip in a bright contrasting shade.

Start with a nude base coat, and once dry, place a piece of tape diagonally across the tip of your nail. Then, paint them in a bright-hued polish. Orange, mint, cherry or magenta are ideal shades.

Neon and neutral nails

Kathryn's top picks:

  • Le Metier de Beaute Lacquer in Clockwork Orange Nail ($18)
  • Essie nail color in Fiesta ($8)

More style tips and trends

5 Pieces that give new life to the peplum trend
Get the look: Sundance chic
Are pants making a comeback?


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Megan March 18, 2013 | 7:37 PM

I love this. How you dress can definitely affect your mood and how you portray yourself. I love the pastel bottoms, and that green belt?! I die!

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