What colors should we wear and use in various different social and professional situations. Colors can affect us in many ways and knowing when to use certain colors or when not to use them can have impactful, both negative and positive results.
It’s important to understand that not everybody is affected by color and environments equally. Some people are sensitive to their surroundings, colors, environments and subtle changes while others are less effected.
Someone having sensitivity to colors or aesthetics in general is connected to the personality trait (openness). People high on the openness trait tend to be creative, seek new experiences, thrives from variety and is associated with aesthetic sensitivity.
Showing sensitivity to colors also seems to be gender specific, with women generally having better color vision, especially when detecting subtle differences in shades, particularly red, which is the warm primary color.
While colors do have general common associations and influences, some people may have different associations based on personal experience.
When to Wear & Use Certain Colors?
Bright colors, especially red can increase energy, enthusiasm and generally have a stimulating effect, which is ideal if you’re looking to engage in some physical activity. Studies suggest red can increase blood pressure, heart rate and alertness which will naturally lead to increased physical energy. Orange would also have a similar effect.
You’ll also often see yellow and bright shades of green and blue used in sportswear and supplements to tap into those high energy, youthful and upbeat associations that bright colors have.
Blue would be an ideal color to wear for an interview. Blue is associated with trust, confidence, intelligence, reliability and the personality trait conscientiousness/hard working.
The interviewer will automatically be fed these associations at the subconscious level.
Men – the color blue is associated with trustworthiness and reliability which are usually traits that women look for when searching for a long term partner. Blue is known to also have calming and relaxing influences which may help with those nerves.
Women – wearing red often makes the wearer look more attractive, so that’s definitely a good thing when on a date. Red can also encourage spontaneous and impulsive behaviors which could make the date more interesting.
Dress – wearing black in the office is always a good choice. Black is associated with professionalism and seriousness which can make the right initial impression. Black is also linked with influencing organizational tendencies.
Environment – Neutral and cool color schemes tend to be best for office plan and general working environments. Neutral colors are good for calming and concentration, however it would be recommended to include some brighter colors to add some energy.
Blue has calming influences and is believed to increase concentration. Recent studies in color psychology showed that blue significantly improves creative thinking. Red on the other hand improved the level at which people pay attention to details, which can enhance memory.
Colors Red & black are known to have an intimidating effect. Several studies have shown that these colors intimidate opponents and opposing teams, this is because they’re associated with power and strength. Red is also commonly associated with danger.
Wearing red for an individual or team can increase physical energy and perhaps aggression. Studies have also shown that wearing black encourages aggression, which likely comes from the increased feelings of power and confidence that wearing black can cause.