Recently quoted in You Should NEVER Wear This Color to a Job Interview for Money Magazine and How to Use Color Psychology in Your Relationship for Bustle. You make so many immediate visual decisions solely on the basis of color. Yet, you might not realize how color psychology impacts you. The topic of color psychology seems to be pretty hot these days. The writers felt these were important questions for a lot of their readers and wanted insight from my point of view as a fashion and personal style strategist. I was happy to oblige.
Even though color psychology impacts you every single day, you might not know too much about how it actually works. Color psychology deals with the emotional and mental response that people have in the presence of color. The effects are similar whether in plain view or conjured in the mind. I use color psychology to learn more about my clients and to teach them more about who they are. I study a client’s Color DNA [TM] and their radiating color energy because it effectively helps people tell their stories. They speak volumes without having to say a word.
Color is an immediate form of non-verbal communication. People wear clothing and accessories and use color to telegraph professional, personal, and intimate messages all of the time. At times, we make these decisions based on instinct, whereas at other times we put more thought into selecting colors. As wearers of clothing and accessories we want to feel a certain way about ourselves. Also, we want others to get a sense of who we are in the moment. This definitely applies to everything from job interviewing to love and attraction. I guess we all want to be wanted!
Color, like attraction is in the eye of the beholder. But, as the wearer of color, you have some opportunity to make the correct impression based on the moment. To use color to your best advantage, my favorite tip is to repeat your eye color in clothing and accessories. Eyes are the windows to the soul, so whatever color your eyes are, it helps people connect to your truth. I offered this key advice to the Money magazine writer. This advice applies to every moment in your life when making a strong connection really matters.
What Does RED Say About You?
The most important and obvious color that people identify with love and attraction is red. Some people believe that they cannot wear red, thinking that the color overpowers them. I beg to differ with the naysayers. More than any other color in the spectrum, red offers the most variety of color values and intensities. Depending on your purpose and intention, red sends signals ranging from powerfulness to sexiness.
The key to finding your best red is to look for the highest concentration of hemoglobin on the face. Often your lips are the best location, but could also be the apple of the cheeks. Repeating that red in clothing and accessories [and cosmetics for those who wear them] is a subtle, but rich, application. It’s also possible to intensify that particular red. Just bear in mind whether your natural red is warmer or cooler so that you avoid wearing a clashing tone. Always be in command of the colors you wear, rather than the colors commanding you. This applies to red and to all colors.
Want to Appear Slimmer?
Some people seeking attention, who want to look attractive and appear slimmer, rely on black as their go-to color. But, you can take the rule of black and apply it to virtually any color. The key is to wear a solid color from head to toe and the effect is similar. Even white, which people tend to think makes them appear heavier, when worn that way, can look slimming and sexy.
How Texture Adds Depth to Color
One of the most important ideas to think about when using color to communicate is to consider fabric texture. It’s really one of the secrets about how color psychology impacts you, especially as it applies to clothing. The same is even true when selecting home décor. Smoother, tighter fabrics tend to appear stronger and sexier. Whereas softer and loftier fabrics give off that cozy and cuddly vibe.
Are you going nightclubbing, or do you want to hold hands at the movies? That kind of sensitivity to your situation will help you come up with a solid color and texture choice. I love how clients in relationships use their colors to plan out how they want to seduce their partners. Using color correctly reminds couples what they loved about each other to begin with.
Color Psychology Impacts How You Are Perceived at Work
The same is true about how color psychology impacts you in a professional capacity. Color is always a signifier of competency. Every color conveys a certain ability or personal quality that represents why you are so good at something. Knowing those messages and intentionally using them are a proven strategy. As a style strategist, I’ve successfully used these methods with my clients throughout my career. You can, too!
In the end, my way of studying and practicing color psychology is not so much the colors. At the core is that a specific set of colors represent a person’s essence. As I’ve written about before, this is much like a Surrealist’s approach to styling: expressing the unconscious mind through personal style. To read more about my philosophy click here.