As I was sitting at my desk looking down at my shirt, I started to think about the color I was wearing and if it affected the way people interacted with me. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and it led me to find out more.
In my research, I discovered that color has the power to evoke and influence emotions in your peers and even yourself. Each color and shade of color can help determine how you are perceived and how your message is received by people. It can even affect your behavior and mood. If you think about it, color is one of the first things visible to the eye when you first see a person, so color choices are important. It probably won’t make or break a presentation, interview, or date, but it can help the process go a lot smoother or make a person connect with you more easily.
Despite the personal preferences of colors by each person, there are specific psychological reactions to each color. Depending on what image or message you want to convey, you can choose a specific color to wear to improve relationships and your mood. There have been several studies about the effects of color, so I have compiled a list of colors and their effects.
Gray: Dependable and Practical
Gray can help you appear neutral and can help people focus on your personality. It can show that you are dependable, practical, and mature, since it is usually correlated with gray hair of old age. Gray is not an overpowering color. A darker gray is good for business when you want to be seen as credible. Gray can show a lack of confidence or depression if your mood is not positive and confident.
Characteristics: neutral, practical, dependable
When black is worn, it is usually viewed as sophisticated and powerful. Black is a classy and classic color that helps make strong statements. Wearing black can help you to be taken more seriously. It can also be viewed as threatening and arrogant. It is not suggested to wear black to an interview, as you may be perceived to have a harsh attitude.
Characteristics: powerful, professional, dominant
White helps clear negative feelings and can empower people to make a new start. White is also worn by doctors and health professionals in order to portray being pure and clean. Too much white worn may be seen as bland. If that’s not the message you desire to convey, wear it sparingly.
Characteristics: pure, clean, innocent
Wearing brown can symbolize age and maturity, which can make someone appear wise. Teachers and professors tend to wear brown because it inspires people to be respectful. If you wear too much brown, it may make you look out of date and old fashioned.
Characteristics: stable, natural, reliable
Red is often worn to be noticed and have attention drawn towards you. Red is eye-catching and it stimulates the nervous system, which can increase the heart and breathing rates. It is a good color when you are trying to intimidate someone or want their attention on you.
Characteristics: powerful, strength, aggressive, intense, passionate
There are studies that show that pink is calming, but if people are exposed to it for too long, it becomes irritating. Pink is more calming, than stimulating, which is why some jail cells are painted pink.
Characteristics: kind, compassionate
Orange brings excitement and energy to places. It isn’t great for serious instances, but if you are meeting new people or going out on the town, it’s a good color choice. It is an uplifting and sociable color. It can also stimulate mental activity by increasing the oxygen supply to the brain.
Characteristics: energized, fun, warm
Yellow is in the same color family as red, so it has similar effects. It can catch attention and increase the heart rate. There have been some studies that show that yellow releases the hormone in the brain that makes you feel good. Also, some dark shades of yellow come off as unpleasant and dirty.
Characteristics: cheerful/optimistic, approachable, youthful
It shows high self-esteem and confidence. A lighter green shows that you are friendly and approachable. Studies show that green helps our health, since it is the color of nature. We are mammals, so our brains are trained to need the color green (plants).
Characteristics: dependable, healing, successful, harmonized
Blue: Team Player
It is recommended that it is worn for interviews and dates (if you are a man) because it is seen as a loyal and trustworthy color. They will unconsciously trust you more because of the color blue. Blue is also seen as dependable, which is why a lot of uniforms are blue. Light blue is suggested for social scenes and dark blue is suggested for work related occasions.
Characteristics: loyal, stable, peaceful, relaxed
By strategically picking out the colors of your outfits, you can help change how your message is taken and how you are perceived. So, the next time you have a big presentation, interview, or meeting, make sure you are wearing the right color.
– Brooks, Melanie. “Color Psychology: What Color Says About You – Tuts Business Article.” Business Tuts. Web. 6 Aug. 2015.
– Ng, Denise. “Influence With Color Psychology.” : Imago Image. Web. 6 Aug. 2015.
– “Business Clothing.” Empowered By Color. Web. 6 Aug. 2015.
– Johnson, David. “Color Psychology – Do Different Colors Affect Your Mood?” Infoplease. Infoplease. Web. 6 Aug. 2015.