Colors are emotional. Color can express how you feel, change your disposition, or influence the way others feel in your presence. Color can embolden a shy person, calm an anxious person, or excite a quite crowd. Advertisers have harnessed the power of color for years to make consumers bond with products. Interior designers use this same information to help people feel hungry in restaurants and comfortable in luxury hotel rooms. When you apply this knowledge to business dress, you’ll have super-powers in the boardroom.
Here are some general themes associated with each color. Use them to choose colors to help yourself and others navigate sticky situations, take action or enjoy experiences more fully.
Red is primal. It increases heart and respiration rate. Red is aggressive, grabs attention, intensifies emotions and stimulates conflict. Wear red to create a competitive atmosphere or embolden yourself to fight. Many sports teams use red in their uniforms for this purpose. Women often wear red as a power color to attract attention and stand out in the crowd. Although you do get attention when you wear red, the color also makes it hard for people to warm up to you or follow your lead.
Burgundy embodies security, safety and gives the impression of richness, elegance, and luxury. Wear this color to gain respect and help others feel safe. Rosy Pink feels innocent and youthful. Wear it to stimulate trust and acceptance. Coral embodies vitality. Wear it to stimulate exuberance and courage.
Orange literally says rescue and safety. It stimulates optimism, confidence, and tolerance. Wear it to strengthen team spirit and a feeling of community. Prison uniforms are orange to help inmates let go of their individuality and become part of a collective. Orange works well for t-shirts for volunteers. Yellow is energizing. It stimulates communication, wisdom, and intellectual clarity. Wear it when you need to teach, study, or think clearly. Green is restful because it is the easiest color for the eye to see. It feels renewing and stimulates harmony and healing. Wear it to reorganize or rework ideas or recover from difficult situations.
Forest Green is conventional and traditional. Wear it to help people feel stable during times of change and safe when they are vulnerable.
Teal is refreshing and effervescent. It feels rejuvenating. Wear it when you are tired to raise your energy or to calm frayed nerves. Dark Blue is dignified and strong. It helps people be more reliable and inspires trust and faith. Light Blue reduces respiration and blood pressure. Wear it to sooth and calm people that are under stress. If you have difficult information to deliver, this is the color to wear.
Purple is magical, joyful, and regal. It is a great power color because it makes you stand out and stimulates respect and loyalty without creating conflict. Wear it when you want to be seen as the leader. Magenta is energetic and daring. Wear it to stimulate action. This is the perfect color when you have lots to accomplish in a short amount of time.
Wearing & Mixing Color
How do you wear your favorite color if it doesn’t support your desired outcome? What if you want to wear a color for it’s effect, but don’t like it very much The way you wear a color can affect the degree of its impact. If your favorite color doesn’t support your goals for the day, you can still wear it, if you soften its impact. On the other hand, you can dial up the effect of a color when you want it to have a mojor impact on your results. Here are some tips for moderating the effects of your color choices.
To make a big impact and dominate your mood and the mood of the people around you, wear big blocks of a color, such as a suit, coat, dress or briefcase.
To make a subtle impact, use small accents of color in prints, jewelry or accessories. This is also a good way to incorporate a color you don’t like very much.
To dilute the impact, wear the color in a flowing or feminine style. For instance, wearing red in a matte chiffon fabric or ruffled style allows the wearer to stand out without stirring up conflict.
To strengthen the impact, wear the color in a tailored or masculine style. For instance, wear light pink in a tailored style to maintain the trusting quality of the color without feeling childish. Experiment and have fun. See what happens when you wear different colors or mix them up in different ways. Although color isn’t a replacement for substance, it can support your skills and help you achieve even greater results.