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Did you know the colours that you are wearing today are already sending messages to others, before you? An image consultant speaks about the power of colours.
“Red is my favorite color! I will wear a red outfit for my job interview tomorrow. It has always brought me luck.”
There she was in the waiting room of a reputed bank in her lucky red dress. Little did she know that she was about to be judged by her appearance even before she could utter a word. Or even before she can show her qualifications. A study at Harvard explains that it takes about 15 seconds for one to decide whether to hire or reject a potential candidate.
That is exactly what happened in her case. She was extremely intelligent with befitting qualifications; however, she was perceived as “aggressive” or “trying to catch attention” which was very far from the truth about her. Just because of the colour of her outfit – she was perceived as someone who she wasn’t.
The colors you choose to wear or brand yourself with will say a lot about you.
The colours you choose to wear or brand yourself with will say a lot about you. At a personal level, I love to play with different colours since I know what colours suit me the most. This helps me stand out, make a bold statement and create a lasting image, as I have no desire whatsoever to blend in. As an image consultant, my aim is to assist individuals to be more confident about themselves and also help them create a personal and candid style statement, which is true to the person’s individuality. Confidence, creativity and uniqueness are a few of the qualities I offer to my clients in my profession.
However, wearing bold and eye catching colors may not be the apt choice for someone working in a bank. Her prospective employers, thinking she isn’t fit for the job, would reject her solely on her choice of attire. Employers expect those who represent them to be more polished and conservatively dressed. Presentable and eye-catching, yet not too loud or boorish!
On the other hand, if you’re a designer for a fashion house or jewelry store or graphics designing company, you ought to look creative, dynamic and definitely not “boring.” And that needs to be portrayed either by the colour of the clothes you choose to wear or on the business website – which also portrays you.
So take a look at your wardrobe and notice the colours you have. Do you have a plethora of colours that you buy more out of choice and liking and not for their aptness?
So take a look at your wardrobe and notice the colours you have. Do you have a plethora of colours that you buy more out of choice and liking and not for the aptness? This challenge is because while you’re shopping, your mood influences the colours you buy. But when you wear the right colours, the effect causes harmony.
Do people often notice the colour you wear before noticing you or complimenting you? If this is the case, then you are probably not choosing the right colours. When the colour is right, it creates an overall look and you should be complimented on a complete look and without colour being the main focus. Wearing the right colours is important as it gives a healthy glow, the radiance which complements you and enhances your natural colours and tones.
Now, take a close look at your closet, and notice the colours that are most prominent. Let’s get into the psychology of colours and what they may be speaking about you. In this way, you can evaluate the messages you are sending out every day!
BLACK indicates power, authority, and strength. It can often be seen as being self-absorbed just as the colour black that absorbs all the other colours. It’s a good choice for covering or concealing. It’s often seen as colour of sophistication, referred to in fashion as ‘little black dress’ or ‘the black tie event.’ This colour is also attributed as the colour of intelligence – which is why they have black robes during convocations. Black implies the end of something which means there is a new beginning too.
WHITE is a colour symbolizing purity, completion, innocence. Hence, the white dove is a symbol of peace. White contains equal amounts of all colours found throughout the spectrum representing equality, neutrality and independence. It also stands as a symbol of new beginnings. Hence in western culture the brides wear a white gown while in India it’s worn during death – which also means that now the person will start a new life or make a new beginning. Doctors too wear a white coat which signifies protection, help, hope and encouragement.
GRAY usually is referred to as the colour of relaxation, depression and under-confidence. It is even associated with maturity and responsibility, as the gray hair of old age. It is a formal, conservative, neutral and unemotional colour used in the corporate world – being neither black nor white. Yet it can never be a glamorous one. It has a toning down effect on any bright colour like green, red, yellow or orange.
BROWN is the colour of the earth, signifying structure and stability. It is a colour of physical comfort, simplicity, and quality. Brown signifies honesty, hard work, genuine with both feet rooted to the ground – just like roots of a tree. It is often associated with organic, natural while never associated with frivolity or excess of anything. Quiet but confident, this colour never attracts attention while preferring to stay in the background allowing other colours to shine.
RED is a warm, positive, energetic, attention-grabbing colour. Red symbolizes leadership qualities, motivation to take actions and determination to do something. It’s the colour of sexuality and can stimulate deeper and intimate passions– like love and even revenge and anger. If surrounded by too much red it causes irritation and agitation and ultimately causes anger. In India, red colour is for purity and is usually worn by brides to mark their new beginnings.
YELLOW Being the lightest colour on the spectrum, yellow stands for hope, illumination, happiness, cheerfulness and fun. Yellow is the best colour to create enthusiasm and to awaken optimism in one’s life. Yellow has a tendency to make one, more analytical, critical, non-emotional coming straight from the head and not the heart.
PINK represents compassion, unconditional love and nurturing. Pink is a combination of red and white – wherein it has passion and power of red and purity, completeness of white. Pink is affectionate, intimate and caring. It tones down the physical passion of red with a gentle loving energy of white. Studies have confirmed that exposure to large amount of pink can have a calming effect on the nerves. That is why cells of prisoners are coloured pink as it has a positive effect on them. However, the constant use of it can lead one to become immature.
BLUE This colour is one of trust, honesty and loyalty. It is a sincere colour exhibiting inner security and confidence. This is a colour that seeks peace and relaxation – the colour of water and sky. Blue is an universally liked colour, probably the most safest and non-threatening colour. However, it depends on whether it is the dark or light blue, because the darker one represents more authority while the lighter one is much calmer.
ORANGE The colour orange radiates warmth and happiness, combining the physical energy and stimulation of red with the cheerfulness of yellow. The colour psychology of orange is optimistic and uplifting, rejuvenating our spirit. With its enthusiasm for life, the colour orange relates to adventure and risk-taking, inspiring physical confidence, competition and independence. The colour orange relates to social communication, stimulating two way conversations. Being close to the colour red, it too is great for attracting attention.
GREEN: This is the colour of balance and harmony. Green is an emotionally positive colour, giving us the ability to love and nurture ourselves and others unconditionally. Also, being the colour of the nature around us, it’s a colour of abundance and prosperity, of finance and material wealth. On the negative side, the colour green can be possessive and materialistic, with a need to own people and things.
An Indian Woman with her wardrobe image via Shutterstock
Hello! I am a Certified Image Consultant & Founder of Bespoke Image Solutions. Specializing in Image
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