My Colors

Olivia Carlen
Online Portfolio Thesis Site


Many factors play a part when one chooses what to wear each morning. The color of clothing is often a subconscious choice, and one doesn’t tend to think deeply about this decision. The color choice is often secondary to practical considerations. One considers, for example: comfort, cleanliness of clothing, weather, and anticipated activity for the day.

Color choices are pre-determined by the availability of clothing in the closet and how the clothing was originally acquired. We get into habits based on our socio-economic groups and day-to-day experiences in work and social encounters. Our color choices date back to the origins of symbolism in cultural practices and ceremonies, and this gives an insight into how our motives have evolved into today. There are huge variations just within New York State, due to our diversity in cultural heritage and local climates.

My senior thesis focuses on the psychology behind the colors students at SUNY New Paltz choose to wear everyday. I conducted my own experiment pertaining to color preferences by having 15 SUNY New Paltz students keep a diary for a given week about how they go about choosing clothing. “My Colors” is a book that aims to open people’s minds to why they are choosing the colors they wear and where the choice originates from.