The Color Psychology Of Your Clothes

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Color choice can reveal a lot about a person, especially when it comes to clothing. Color can have a great power over attitude, mood and how you're perceived.

From landing the job interview to meeting the parents - today we are teaching you how to craft the perfect color palette to accomplish your goals. 

 

Red is often the color of passion and romance. Red can convey power, energy, movement and excitement. It is also a risky color. On one hand, it can convey confidence, self assurance and focus. On the other hand, red can show aggression, stress and danger. 

Wearing red will definitely draw attention to the the person wearing it. Those who's closets contain a lot of red are often bright, slightly self-centered, easily excitable and even prone to addiction (Grey's Anatomy is not considered an addiction!)

When to Wear Red:

  • During negotiations to demonstrate self-assurance
  • When speaking in public
  • Business or networking functions
  • When trying to persuade or influence others or grab attention
  • On a first date 

When to Skip Red:

  • Job interviews - can signal arrogance, rebellion, not a team player
  • When you want to relax
  • For meetings involving damage control or conflict resolution
  • A regular day at the office - it can be seen as hostile

 

Energy, warmth and fun all sum up the color. So why does research show it overwhelmingly is answered a someone's least favorite color? Orange has many negative associates, such as prison uniforms, warning signs and safety gear. Orange can be known as an unflattering color, it's hard to get that shade just right with varying skin tones.

Even with this negative reputation, orange has its ups. Orange can communicate vibrancy, happiness, and creativity. Orange also signifies enthusiasm and stimulation making it the perfect color for working out. Orange mixes together red's passion and yellow's joy. Studies show that the color orange increases oxygen supply to the brain, stimulating brain activity and producing an energizing effect. 

When to Wear Orange:

  • Creative, artistic situations
  • Working out - see above!
  • In moderation or as a accent color
  • For a friendly and approachable vibe while hosting
  • To liven up your mood with an instant boost of energy

When to Skip Orange:

  • Job interviews, board meetings, and selling negotiations 
  • You want to minimize the attention on yourself
  • When guilty and standing before a judge
  • You want to bring your energy down and relax

Yellow is the color of sunshine and associated with happiness and laughter. Yellow signifies optimism, vibrancy, and positivity. 

Yellow has been shown to help with concentration, think Post-Its, highlighters and legal pads. It's the most common color used in branding for this very reason. Yellow grabs your attention making it understandable why it's used for billboards, road signs, advertising, street lines and caution symbols. 

Color psychologists say that people who wear yellow ofter are typically active individuals with a leaning towards creativity. Teachers may have categorized you as a dreamer or adventurous. 

When to Wear Yellow:

  • When you need to keep moving forward
  • To boost optimism ahead of an important event
  • When you want to spur creativity or improve concentration
  • Speaking in public to hold the audiences attention longer
  • To subconsciously liven your mood

When to Skip Yellow:

  • Job interviews - can convey immaturity and aloofness
  • Job promotion discussions
  • Client meetings
  • Selling, negotiating or other serious settings

Green is often used to represent healing, success and hope. The color of money, nature and plants, it signals freshness, safety and harmony.

The color green is associated with reducing anxiety, makes sense that painting your office green can induce the same chemical reaction in your brain as sitting in a forest.

 Located in the middle of the color spectrum, Green is the hue of balance and restoration. Imagine a new, green plant emerging from the soil. Surrounding yourself with green while tackling a new goal can be very motivating. 

When to Wear Green:

  • During a stressful period, for a calming effect
  • An intimate cocktail party
  • When consoling a friend - to show her she is safe and ease anxiety
  • When discussing a pay raise with your boss

When to Skip Green:

  • Addressing a group of staff members - it won't hold focus for long

 

Blue communicates confidence, reliability, trust and honesty. It makes sense why it's the color choice for airlines, police uniforms, business suits and private school uniforms. They are trying to invoke these qualities through the color blue.

If you frequently choose blue in your wardrobe you may be described as kind, shy, sympathetic and courteous. Other qualities communicated by blue are strength, tranquility, dependability, patience, and calmness. 

When to Wear Blue:

  • Women interacting with other women - women associate blue with comforting and calming more than men do
  • Dealing with sensitive situations - like teachers dealing with parents
  • To counteract a drama-filled office
  • When dealing with customer service issues
  • Anytime you want to feel in control, calm and collected

When to Skip Blue:

  • When feeling down or emotional
  • If in need of an energy boost
  • When you want to set boundaries - when others are draining you and you are too accessible 

 

From centuries ago to now, purple has represented luxury, royalty and richness. Purple is rarely found in nature, so creating dyes for fabric was expensive and took much more effort. 

Purple holds the balance of red's stimulation and blue's calm. It ignites creativity and imagination. 

Lighter shades of purple, such as lavender or lilac exude a calming effect. It has long been associated with refinement and femininity.  

When to Wear Purple:

  • Fancy and formal events
  • Creative outings, like gallery openings, art shows or concerts
  • When you need to tap into your personal power for poise and strength
  • Any selling situation
  • When speaking in public

When to Skip Purple:

  • When trying to seen authentic - purple can come off as artificial
  • When feeling extroverted 
  • Anytime you want to seem accessible and even the playing field
  • When you want to avoid the perception of snobbery

 

 

White has always symbolized purity, innocence and simplicity. We associated the color white with weddings, hospitals, and angels. In Western culture these represent peacefulness, purity, cleanliness. This makes sense as white is the absence of other colors.

People who wear white can be described as organized, neat, clean, and perfectionists. White is often used by designers to make rooms feel larger and more spacious. On the negative side, if used too much it can translate as cold, sterile or unfriendly.

When to Wear White:

  • You want to contrast other bold colors
  • An all-white ensemble to make an unexpected, impactful statement
  • When you want to appear "put together"
  • To encourage forgiveness
  • To convey innocence or avoid conflict
  • Meeting the parents

When to Skip White:

  • Informal settings where you want to show warmth and friendship
  • When you want to seem relatable to others
  • When eating a large plate of spaghetti
  • After Labor Day 

Black outfits are often seen aggressive, powerful, dominant and intimidating. This color communicates prestige and seriousness. More often than not, someone wearing black demands to be taken seriously.

The opposite of white, black absorbs all light in the color spectrum. Black is often used to represent menace or evil. Villains, Dracula, and witches in movies often wear black. Black is associated with death and mourning.

Personality traits for those who prefer black include ambition, emotional and easily excitable (although they try to hide it). If you are in a leadership role, black can help reinforce you authority, but don't be surprised when you are perceived as unapproachable.

Black also exudes elegance and luxury in fashion. Think the classic black tux, the little black dress or the classic black pump. There are all wardrobe essentials that are powerful, luxurious and timeless.

When to Wear Black:

  • When you want to be taken seriously
  • Interviews for management positions
  • During any vulnerable period or event to provide a sense of mental armor
  • When you want a slimming effect
  • While putting your kids to timeout - let them know who's boss

When to Skip Black:

  • When creating an environment of warmth and approachability
  • When meeting with new clients 
  • When selling or negotiating - you want to build trust

 

Color Palette - In Broader Strokes

  • Bright colors can help convey confidence and energy
  • Light colors are perceived as more friendly, honest and approachable
  • Muted colors are received as less threatening and conservative
  • Dark colors offer dominance, authority and formality

 

 

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