Yes, we all know words can have an effect on others and what we say can influence or sway someone into giving you that job or turning a browser into a buyer. But did you know the colors that you have on can have an affect on someone without you saying a word? For example, have you ever noticed how many fast food chains use the colors red, yellow and orange so much? Those colors attract customers to their restaurants. What’s more, red has a positive effect on the appetite as well.
Beyond enhancing one’s appearance, colors have the psychological power to influence behavior and it can be used to your advantage, particularly at work to manage and improve relationships. Marketers have long used colors to influence consumers and you can do the same thing with your wardrobe.
Here’s a breakdown of moods and emotions that each color can elicit. Wear these hues if you want to:
– Appear friendly and approachable:
Clear earth tones (mid-brown, beige, camel and tan) are warm, friendly and approachable. Light yellow is highly visible and therefore sociable, but not as demanding as bright yellow. Clear warm colors (such as coral, sunflower yellow, peach) are non-threatening and open, particularly if they are light.
– Look authoritative:
Wear dark colors, in particular black, charcoal, medium to dark gray, midnight-blue, navy, dark blue. The darker the shade the more powerful, intimidating and threatening the effect. Dark colors give off the sense of seniority and the power to make decisions.
– Appear less intimidating:
Earth tones appear friendly and approachable. Pastel colors are calm, gentle and non-threatening. Yellow appears positive and friendly. Bluish-pink is calming and appears non-aggressive.
– Look successful:
Wear rich but subtle sophisticated colors such as camel, butternut, burgundy, salmon and blue-gray. This creates the impression of having social influence, clout, prosperity and economic success.
– Appear trustworthy:
Wear clear, earthy colors combined with navy or medium blue. Clear earth tones (such as tan, camel, yellowed beige) appear warm, open and down-to-earth giving the impression of dependability and credibility. Navy and medium blue suggest reasonableness and professionalism so the two color palettes create a nice balance.
– Appear professional:
Wear medium to dark hues, in particular men’s traditional suiting colors: navy, charcoal, gray, dark blue, gray-beige, black. These colors suggest efficiency, strength and assertiveness and gives the impression of commitment and capability.
– Attract attention:
Wear bright, advancing colors such as orange-red, orange, yellow and lime that are visually and psychologically compelling (but not necessarily business-like so save the brighter colors for after work hours).
– Appear creative and forward-thinking:
Strong clear colors, such as purple, are expressive, extroverted and positive. Purple is the color related to higher intellect.
– Appear calm and reassuring:
Pastel colors are unassuming, quiet and diplomatic, calmly deflecting criticism. Green is a balanced color which gives the impression of peacefulness and orderliness. Muted warm colors such as earth tones are centered and down-to-earth.
If you’re trying to make a great first impression during a job interview, you can’t go wrong with a navy-blue suit and a red tie. Want to impress someone on the first date? Wear a burgundy sweater and a pair of chinos. Throw on a camel colored sports jacket if you really want to earn some extra points. Knowing what colors to wear for any occasion or situation can give you the winning edge you’re looking for.