You can not help it. When a woman in a red dress walks into a room, or a man in a striking black suit wearing a vibrant red tie, you turn and look. Or how about how relaxed you feel in a green room? Colour is all around us and has more influence over our moods then you might think. When it comes to fashion, colour is a powerful way to send non-verbal messages about your confidence and ability.
“The colours a man chooses for his business attire tell the world a lot about him,” says Dana Persia, image consultant and owner of DP Image Consulting. “Color implies its level of success, background, status, authority, personality and more.”
Here are a few tips from Persia for deciding on what colours to add or subtract from your wardrobe:
For suits, choose dark blue and dark grey in solids or pinstripes to create more credibility. Other acceptable colours for suits are brown and beige. Black can be severe; the darker the colour, the more weight it carries. Black is your most authoritative choice, followed by a dark navy.
As for the colour of your shirt, white is the safest and most versatile since it will go with every colour of the suit and match all of your ties. The next best choice is light or medium blue and then light pastels like yellow or even pink, if you are so bold. A man who wears pink actually creates an air of confidence because any man who dares to where it must be just that!
Coordinate ties in bold colours like red (power, strength, ambition, leadership), blue (coolness, confidence, conservatism, dependability), purple (creativity, wisdom, flamboyance) depending on the business situation you are in.
And what do the colour experts say about the meaning of colour?
Black is an authoritative colour that carries a lot of weight in social and business situations. In fashion, black is a slimming colour. But on the opposite end of the spectrum, black can implying submission, which is why clergy often wear black. Black is intense and can be off-putting or intimidating. In terms of pop culture and folklore, black is associated with villains. If you find black too severe for the office or feels too formal, break it up with diagonal white stripes
The same goes for your dress shirt. If you are not wearing a tie, a black dress shirt with slight white stripes is professional and modern. We like Dolce & Gabbana’s Striped Cotton Dress Shirt. But if you want the bad boy mysterious look, go for a solid black dress shirt and pair it with jeans for a night out with the boys or for a first date. The StretchPoplin Shirt in Black says sophisticated and a little bit dangerous.
In many cultures, white is a symbol of purity. Traditionally viewed as a summer colour, white can now be worn year round. For fashion white goes with almost anything; however, it does show dirt and is more challenging to keep clean.
White ties are hard to come by but you may see more of them with the popularity of the monochromatic looks. The Belisi Cloud Dancer tie looks great paired with a crisp, white dress shirt or any colour buttondown.
Without a doubt, red packs a punch. An emotional and vibrant colour, red simulates blood – the source of life. Red clothes get noticed, which can work for or against you. Red is intense, so if you’re involved in negotiations it could work against you, as red could be seen as intimidating and threatening. Red cars are also a popular target for car thieves.
For men, red is best when worn as an accent colour such as in a tie.
Pink is associated with romance and tranquillity. A recent trend is men wearing pink dress shirts or ties. If you’ve ever heard the saying “real men wear pink”, there’s something to it. A man who wears pink screams confident.
If you’re not ready to commit to a pink dress shirt, a pink tie is a great way to subtly infuse a little colour.
The colour of the sky and the ocean, blue is one of the most popular colours. It causes the opposite reaction as red. Peaceful, tranquil blue causes the body to produce calming chemicals, so it is often used in bedrooms. Blue can also be cold and depressing. Fashion consultants recommend wearing blue to job interviews because it symbolizes loyalty. People are more productive in blue rooms. Studies show weightlifters are able to handle heavier weights in blue gyms.
Have a legal face-off coming up? If you want to pacify the opposition and appear less threatening (like to arbitrator or judge), a light blue dress shirt, like the Burberry Herringbone Dress Shirt is a good choice. Or, accent a white, grey or black dress shirt with a light blue tie.
You might notice your friends painting their walls green. And with good reason; green is calming, refreshing and easy on the eye. Green has been associated with fertility and wealth. A man who wants to convey status might wear a dark green tie or shirt.
Yellow is associated with cheerfulness and morning. But studies show that people lost their tempers more often in yellow rooms, and the colour appears to upset infants. It’s a noticeable colour but hard on the eyes. On a positive note, yellow can improve concentration (explaining why legal pads are yellow) and improves metabolism – since the reason many kitchens are painted yellow. Brighten up a gloomy day with a soft yellow tie.
Purple denotes royalty, wealth and luxury. It is a romantic and feminine colour, especially in violets and deep purple velvet fabrics. Purple can appear artificial, since the colour is rare in nature, so if you’re going for a natural look, purple may not be the right colour for you. Wearing purple is all about balance. Choose a tie that is colourful yet not overpowering.
Brown is the colour of earth and looks great on people with Autumn skin tones. Light brown embodies genuineness and dark brown gives off a rustic, earthy feel with its closeness to wood and tanned leather. Brown can also be a dull colour, so make sure to fill your wardrobe with a variety of colours and tones. When worn properly, brown is sophisticated in a non-intimidating way. A brown tie is a great way to send the message that you’re open and honest.
Spice up your wardrobe, add a little colour!
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