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Friday, April 3, 2009

The Importance To Understand The Code of Color

The color of your clothes can have a considerable impact on how you are perceived. If you visit your local supermarket and look at the products on the shelves, think about the color of the packaging. Why has that company chosen blue, or green or red? What is the message that color projects? Why do we choose different colors to decorate our homes? The psychology of color also comes into play with our clothes. Not only does it have an impact on how we are perceived but also how we feel.

Have some fun with word associations – throw out a color to a group of people and ask them for their immediate reaction to that color and see what you get back. There may be some very common associations.

Different colors often have different meanings in different cultures, so be aware of this when visiting overseas or doing business abroad.

Whatever colors you choose to wear they should suit you and not drain you: here you might wish to take some expert advice. It could save you a great deal of money in the long run as you no longer waste it on buying clothes that you don’t like once you get them home from the shop.

Let’s look at some colors and see what they mean.

1. Black

In the western world black signifies formal, authority, sober but that isn’t all it means. It is often worn at funerals and old-fashioned villains and witches wore black. Priests wear black to signal submission to God and some fashion experts say that black worn by a woman signifies submission to men! But many women like black because they believe it makes them look slimmer. However, because it is such a heavy color and absorbs light, it has the opposite effect on someone who is not already slim, overpowering them and making them appear bigger and heavier and therefore making others feel rather nervous around them.

We also tend to think black is sophisticated and glamorous. It can be, but only if it suits you. Not everyone looks good in black - in fact I look like death warmed up - it drains me both physically and mentally. Men in black suits, or black pin-striped suits set off by a white shirt, can look quite stunning but they are also giving out an authoritative air. Waiters wear black and white to show they have authority on the restaurant floor and so that they can be recognized as waiters. A smartly turned out waiter or waitress in black and white can add serenity and sobriety not to mention class to a restaurant. But if you are a woman attending an interview and you decide to wear a black suit with a white blouse then beware, it is unlikely you will get the job. Why? Because black and white can be overpowering, aloof and hostile and can therefore threaten the interviewer. If the only suit you own is black and the only blouse white then try and break the harshness of this combination of colors by adding a colored scarf, or for men set it off with a colored tie. Accessories are a lot cheaper than buying a whole new suit.

2. Red

Red signifies energy and physical strength. It also signifies aggression and danger: fire engines are red. I remember reading somewhere that red cars are involved in more accidents than any other color yet red cars are popular. Why? Because red also symbolizes power. It is an intense color and often makes the wearer (or user) feel more confident. But again another word of warning: if you choose to wear red then also choose where and when to wear this color. If you are a woman and you choose to wear a red jacket to work you may find this doesn’t help you in a meeting with your male colleagues. Because it is a power color it may say that you are trying to exert your power over your male colleagues too much. If you are the boss then fine, but if not you may find yourself being isolated or attracting aggression. Men don’t wear red jackets unless they work for Butlers, the holiday and entertainment company. However, men can wear red ties and this will have the same effect as the woman wearing the red jacket. If you are involved in negotiations or conflict situations red might not be the most appropriate color to choose as it signals aggressiveness and your aim might be to gain cooperation.

3. Pink

Pink is a more tranquillizing color, soothing and feminine. All the pastel colors of pink, blue, and lilac symbolize tranquility and femininity. So you are back to deciding who you are seeing and the impression you wish to project. What is the aim of your meeting? If you need to project authority and energy, or perhaps gain promotion or get that job, dressing yourself in pastel colors may not be communicating a very confident and assertive image and this also applies to men wearing pastel colored shirts and ties.

3. Green

Green is the color of nature. It is a calming color but too much green can communicate we are lazy, too relaxed. It is not a very assertive color especially when it becomes a muddy green, which moves towards signifying death. Green is also associated with envy, resentment and possessiveness. Some people hold that it is a color of bad luck and they will not wear it or have it in the house, my mother is one such person, although personally I like it in the home but cannot
wear it, as it does not suit me. In the middle ages, brides wore green as a symbol of fertility.

4. Yellow

This is a bright, sunny, optimistic color. It is associated with the intellectual side of the mind giving out the impression of someone who is clear thinking, has good judgment and able to make decisions. However too much yellow can be overpowering. Yellow can help to build self-confidence, it enhances the concentration and conveys a good organizer but beware of a muddy yellow, which can signify liverish.

5. Blue

Blue inspires mental control and clarity. It is also associated with creativity. It is the color of the sky and ocean. It is peaceful and tranquil but can be cold and aloof. Blue is often a good color to wear to an interview as it symbolizes loyalty and productivity. Studies show that weightlifters are able to lift heavier weights in blue gyms. Too much dark blue however can be depressing.

6. Turquoise

Turquoise is invigorating. It refreshes us, lifts us and is good for stimulating communication, sensitivity and creativity. Funnily enough I often wear turquoise when writing my crime novels.

7. Brown

Brown is a solid reliable color, it is the color of the earth, bringing with it stability. It can also be sad and wistful and can imply narrow mindedness and retreat. Men tend to like brown.

8. Grey

Grey tends to have a negative feeling, as it is associated with poor weather, Grey clouds, Grey sky, heavy and dull. It is neither black nor white, the color therefore of evasion, giving the impression of lack of commitment and loneliness.

By now you’re probably trawling through your wardrobe in despair wondering what colors you can possibly wear! Well, you should:
  • wear the colors that suit you and enhance your complexion, not the ones that drain you.
  • wear the colors that make you feel comfortable and confident
  • choose which colors to wear when and on what occasion.