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The Psychology of Colour

Updated: Jun 1, 2020

I’m going to admit something here, before I trained in colour theory in 2015, I met a friend for dinner who had recently had her ‘colours’ done. We got onto the subject because I’d complimented her on the colour of her top (she usually wore black / grey / dark colours.) and she said she’d been trying to work with the information she’d been given by an image consultant a mutual friend had paid for her to see. I was super sceptical, (mainly because I don’t believe that people should be restricted by what someone else thinks they should wear if they like it themselves), however I had to admit she looked great. Fast forward to my colour training, only then did I appreciate that indeed, colour can make a huge difference to the way that you look and feel and to how you are perceived, both in the workplace and outside.

The colours that work best can make you look 10 years younger as well as feeling more confident and stylish. Conversely, colours that don’t quite work for you can be draining, they can make your skin look sallow and highlight any flaws that you’d rather not see.

To take it one step further to understanding colour, there is much evidence around how colour affects your mood, enlightened business owners understand the impact on productivity and morale that a well – designed office painted in uplifting colours can have on employees. They don’t ignore it as being ‘’fluffy’’ and a waste of money but reap dividends in having happy employees that want to be at work, are more creative and less likely to leave a business because that makes them feel good on a Monday morning, not counting the days until it’s finally Friday.

I normally advise my clients that understanding their best colours is a great way to start to assess their wardrobe and their image. In general, most people can wear most colours, however it’s the depth, tone and intensity that tends to have a huge impact on whether it works for the individual.

Here are my top tips to making the best out of the colours that work for you;

• Wear your most flattering colours near to your face. It will be no coincidence that when you are wearing a colour that is amazing on you the compliments will be forthcoming. Pay attention to the colours that people comment on and what they are telling you.

• The easiest way to ‘rescue’ an outfit that isn’t in your most flattering tone or colour is to wear accessories closest to your face in your best colours. This may be a statement piece of jewellery, a scarf, jacket or a tie or the frames of your glasses.

• Pay attention to how you feel when you are wearing a certain colour and what people comment on. When I’m super tired, I tend to wear my most flattering red lipstick and minimal eye makeup. It makes my teeth look whiter, my lips look fuller and no one notices how tired I am. I have found that I get comments on how amazing the red colour is and not how tired my eyes look. It’s a welcome distraction and always cheers me up.

• Understand your skin tone, it can be one of the easiest ways to understanding what colours suit you best. Generally, warm skin tones suit colour with a yellow / warm undertone and cool skin tones suit colours with a pink / cool undertone.

• Camouflage the negative, accentuate the positive. Wearing colour to highlight what you think are your best features and darker colours to minimise the parts that you are not so confident about, is a great way to create impact and help you to feel more confident.

Don’t underestimate the power of colour, it can have an incredibly powerful impact on the way that you are perceived and how you feel about yourself.

If you want to learn more about how colour can change your confidence and your mood, contact us, we will help you to be more successful, happier and have a greater impact.

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