What Colour Should I Wear to Make a Statement?
Choosing an outfit every day can be difficult, but if you’ve got a big meeting or important presentation, you probably want to choose a colour that will help make a statement. In the world of fashion, colours have different meanings and believe it or not, the colours you choose to wear may be giving off a hidden message.
When it comes to choosing an outfit that’s going to make you stand out, there are a few colours you should keep in mind. It’s time to jump right into the world of colour and fashion.
The psychology behind colours
Believe it or not, colour psychology is a thing! Yep, the colours you wear can subconsciously send a message to others with varying meanings from power to luxury to success. Personal Stylist Josephine Eve says ‘all colours have deeper meanings. They can reflect your personality, mood, values, qualities and increase your confidence overall.’ How the colour is portrayed to others also depends on the person wearing the colour and how they choose to wear it or portray themselves while wearing it.
Each colour represents certain feelings or emotions, which we’ll look at below:
Blue – The colour blue is often linked to the water and generates feelings of peace, tranquility and calm. Wearing blue when you’re in office environments sends out positive signs such as intelligence, trust and efficiency.
Black – Black is a colour we often see in workplace environments – and for good reason! A survey conducted in the UK found that black was rated ‘first’ as a colour that represented confidence and power. It’s a popular colour as it is considered elegant and has a slimming effect.
Red – Wearing red is certainly a bold choice. It represents physical courage, strength, energy, and excitement. However, red also represents aggression and passion, so sometimes it can come across as hostile in a working environment, so try not to wear it too frequently in the office!
Yellow – The colour of the sun, yellow represents happiness and laughter. Yellow also has some other traits including increasing concentration and attention, speeding up metabolism and increasing serotonin in the brain.
Green – Similar to blue, green represents harmony, balance and reassurance. Subconsciously, the colour green can put you in a good mood and enhance your surroundings.
Purple – Purple can give off vibes of royalty or luxury and subconsciously can be viewed as a little bit spiritual. This dates back to past times where only the rich could afford to wear shades of purple. In today’s world, however, it also indicates creativity and insight.
Orange – Similar to the colour red, orange is a colour of stimulation and enthusiasm. Orange always gives an atmosphere a fun party vibe, in addition to being a warm and opportunistic colour. Like red, wearing orange into the office should be done in moderation.
White – White is a colour of freedom, purity, innocence and simplicity. Choosing to wear the colour white often comes at a time where when people are starting a new journey in their life – such as a bride getting married and starting that new chapter. As it is a neutral colour, it rarely repels others.
Grey – One of the most neutral colours is grey. Interestingly, it is the only colour that has no direct psychological properties. It can also be quite a suppressing colour or even be seen as an absence of colour which can – in turn – come across as slightly depressing. It can often be quite difficult to characterise a person who is wearing the colour grey.
When it comes to making a statement, there are a few colours you can wear to ensure you stand out. ‘Statement colours are any colours that are contrasting in your outfit and are more attention-grabbing in looks’ says Josephine. ‘Red and yellow are definitely the most extroverted colours if you’re wanting to make a bold statement, but you can rock any colour to make it more of a statement feature in your outfit.’
Colours in the workplace
When it comes to the workplace, we need to wear colours in many situations to portray a message to others. From job interviews to client meetings, there are many situations you will find yourself in that some colours may serve a better purpose than others. Job interviews can be stressful – especially because first impressions are so important so what you wear is crucial for that first impression. Experts agree that the best colours to wear to a job interview are blue, black, grey, or white. The reason behind these decisions is:
Blue - A survey of hiring managers found that blue was the most recommended interview outfit colour as respondents reported associating the colour with someone who’s a team player – who wouldn’t want to be viewed like that?!
Black – Black is a classic interview colour as it represents sophistication and leadership. ‘As black is a high-powered colour, save it for high-powered interviews,’ says fashion brand Who What Wear. ‘Because black can come off as powerful and aloof, it's ideal for top jobs and managerial positions, but it's not great if you're applying for something in customer service, retail, or anything entry-level.’
Grey – Grey is another great neutral colour you can wear to job interviews, as it can portray you as logical, analytical and professional. Just keep in mind if you’re a bit of a sweater it might be a better idea to go for a darker colour, as grey will show sweat.
White – Wearing white to an interview is another great, neutral choice – you can’t really go wrong with a simple, clean, white shirt. The colour is so easy to match with and allows you to add a pop of colour to your outfit without overpowering it.
When it comes to colours to avoid, it’s best to steer clear from colours such as orange, red, brown, and multi-coloured prints. While simple prints are fine, you don’t want your interviewer focusing on your multi-coloured and patterned shirt during the interview – the attention should be on you!
If you’re choosing what colour suits your industry best, think about what each colour represents. If you’re in an office or business role, wearing neutral colours will make you appear elegant and professional. Wearing blues or greens when working in health care will allow you to come across as peaceful and calming, while wearing all black in the hospitality industry is a common choice to represent professionalism.
What colours are the most flattering vary from person to person depending on skin colour, hair colour and even eye colour. ‘Every person has a different complexion that suits a different set of colours’ says Josephine, ‘but thankfully, there are some universal colours that seem to work on everyone, including teal, navy, coral, eggplant purple, true red, blush pink and light grey.’
Working out what colours suit you may seem like a difficult task – especially if you’re unsure of how to do this, but luckily there are ways you can tell which colours will suit you based on which type of skin tone you are.
Some more food for thought
Whether you’re dressing for a certain occasion, or just to go to work every day, Josephine shares some top tips:
- Start your looks with some neutral base colours like black, navy, camel, grey and cream, and then add your favourite colour to the look.
- Style your outfits with a range of 1-3 colours for an effortless look and style no more than 4 colours in your outfit as to not make your outfit appear too ‘busy’.
- Avoid colours that are too close to your skin tone as they can wash you out.
- Style one light colour (white, cream, light grey etc), one medium shade of colour and then one dark colour (black, navy, deep green, petrol etc) for a nice colour balanced look.
- Invest in your neutral staple coloured wardrobe items, then you can add pops of coloured items into your wardrobe each season.
When thinking about what colour you should wear to make a statement, it may feel like you’re lost in a sea of colours and psychological meanings behind these colours. With each colour meaning a different thing, you may want to do some research if you’re heading into an important meeting or presentation to ensure you’re subconsciously sending across the right message to those around you. If you are struggling to figure out what colour suits you, it may be worth investing in a personal stylist such as Josephine or heading into your closest Biz Corporates stockist for tailored advice to you.