For some, the choice of the traditional navy blue-and-white patterned dress for birthdays and holidays may seem counterintuitive, given the color palette.
A study of more than 10,000 participants found that the pattern of the white dress, or navy, was associated with higher levels of positive emotion and higher levels, on average, of perceived social support, the New York Times reported.
“The idea of wearing a white dress is very much a sign of being in a supportive and social group,” one participant, Samantha Buehl, told the paper.
And, of course, it is also a fashion statement.
The New York-based study found that women who wore white dresses reported feeling more social support than their peers who wore navy blue, but they also reported being more likely to have positive feelings toward their parents and peers, as well as being less likely to engage in risky behaviors, including risky sexual behaviors.
This pattern is particularly pronounced in those who are more economically disadvantaged, and those who live in urban areas.
In a recent study of 1,300 college students in the United States, a white-tie dinner party was found to reduce negative affect and reduce negative self-concept, according to The Atlantic.
White dresses are also more acceptable for a number of other reasons, including being “cool,” said Jennifer Lee, a psychologist and professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and because they have a “vibrant, fun” effect on women’s moods, Lee said.
Even if you don’t want to wear it, don’t be afraid to experiment with it, she said.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by your wardrobe, there are a number simple ways to make it less overwhelming, like adding a floral pattern to your favorite white dress or a bright color that can make it stand out.
If you’re a mom, it may be wise to look for patterns that don’t require a lot of work, but can still be fun.
A simple pattern can be used for a simple outfit, like a baby-blue dress, which looks good on anyone from any age.
A white dress can also be worn for casual occasions, like with a pair of jeans, and it can be paired with other colors, like brown or grey.
A white dress also can be worn as a graduation present, to show your graduating class your appreciation.
While white is not the only color, it can help you look more confident and more feminine, according the National Council on Women’s Health and Gender Equity.
But don’t stop there, and don’t forget to choose patterns that look stylish, too.
You may also be able to wear a white blazer or a white shirt to work.