Colour therapy. It may not be a phrase that you have heard before, however, it is something we all adhere to every day. The idea that you use colour to dress for certain environments, for instance corporate, family or social, can have a huge effect on your communication with colleagues, clients, family, friends and strangers.
You’re going on a night out and you want to feel confident. You put on your red playsuit or your suit trousers and a white t-shirt and you instantly feel amazing! This is colour therapy or colour psychology – whichever you prefer. Outside of the office, red can be powerful in provoking excitement and attracting attention, and lighter colours like white make you appear friendly and approachable!
Sounds interesting, right? We all spend time making sure we pick the right style or right fit of every item we buy, however when it comes to the colour of the items we want to buy we tend to stick to what we know or what we’re comfortable with. White tees because that’s what you always wear, or black jeans because ‘they go with everything’. So let’s try something new, next time you go shopping, start with the colour and THEN the fit and style.
So let’s start with a basic overview of how this works.
- So we’ve already discussed light colours – see above
- Dark colours can seem mysterious, formal but also authoritative
- Subdued colours, often including pastels can seem less aggressive or threatening
- Bright colours express confidence and convey a strong energy
However, if you’re looking for a proper in-depth detail of how to use colour to dress to you’re the influence you are trying to pass onto people around you, keep on reading, we might have what you’re looking for!
This colour is best at making you seem dependable and professional. We’d recommend wearing it if you work in sales or an environment when you need to pitch to clients. But also in social gatherings as it gives the impression that you are trustworthy and reliable.
Red can show confidence, success and commitment so wearing this to an interview or on a date is a really good shout, but try not to dress in a full red outfit as that could seem overwhelming. However, whilst this is the general advice surrounding this colour, how this is interpreted by the other person often gives off mixed messages. Sometimes red can seem aggressive or convey a threatening message, so make sure you read the situation beforehand. If you’re having a difficult meeting at work or struggling with conflict at home, maybe stay away from it.
In a business setting, light pink is your best friend, for both men and women. For women, you’re seen as powerful. For men, you’re going to be seen as assertive, bold and very confident in yourself.
Wearing pink in a sales situation, or public speaking, you will successfully convey the above which will really show your passion for the topic surrounding the event. A pink tie with a white shirt, a pink shirt or a pink dress, all will have the desired effect.
A mix of the two best power colours blue and red. Much like wearing pink, a gentleman wearing purple will make a bold statement of confidence and power. Combine the two, a purple shirt and light pink tie or a pink shirt and a purple pocket square, whatever it is. You’ll make it work.
Growth, wealthy and influential. Dark green is the go-to colour if you’re interviewing, going for a pay rise or telling someone they’ve got a pay rise! A dark green pattern or tie will give the impression that you are making a positive impact on their day!
Bright & Light Green
If you work or socialise in a creative environment then bright green will add a refreshing and casual stance on your day. We suggest maybe staying away from bright green trousers or jumpers, but a shirt, a blouse or accessories will do the job.
Light greens appear softer and give off calm and relaxing notes which can be useful if you’re dealing with a difficult situation or with management.
Yellow & Orange
So rule number one. Yellow is not a corporate colour. It sends off messages that you’re fun and childish. Whilst being fun in the workplace isn’t a bad thing, for more serious and professional colours, we’d suggest avoiding it.
However, wearing yellow shows that you’re optimistic and you give good energy. So maybe to brunch or a family gathering, a yellow piece or accessory would be an excellent choice!
Unlike yellow, orange has negative connotations to warnings and prisons, which no one wants to give off! But if you work or thrive in creative environments, small accessories including pocket squares, jewellery, scarves or ties are attention-grabbing and can give off an enthusiastic vibe.
Dressing in a suit, tuxedo or black outfit with dress, heels, bag and jacket to a cocktail or formal event can make you seem glamorous and refined. However, if you’re going full black, it can seem aggressive and dominating. All black for a serious work event makes people seem unapproachable. In some cases your role has to be assertive and authoritative, so all black is an excellent way to achieve this. However the lower down your role is in the company, the more you should choose warmer tones like pink and purple to build up a trustworthy relationship with your colleagues.
Hopefully from this post, you have learned that it isn’t always about the cut and style of the item, but more the message that the colour you’re wearing can convey. How you can influence and impact the views of the people around you and how you want people to see you as a person.
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