Psychology of Colour – Orange


psychology of colour orangeOrange – a colour that few list as their favourite colour, but one that radiates warmth, joy and happiness.

Orange is fun, it’s playful and will encourage conversation if used in decorating an environment.

Not only does it encourage communication, it also stimulates appetite.

It’s not a colour that works well in business, it’s message is too much about sociability and carefree times and lacks any business sense.  But it is noticeable which is why you will see it in high-visibility clothing.

It will grab attention, so is a great colour to wear in a social setting if you want to be noticed, to be seen as warm and inviting (particularly if you’re shy or introverted and find these occasions hard work).

Orange can only ever have a warm undertone as it’s a mix of red and yellow, so those with cool colouring should steer clear of wearing it, but don’t feel that you can’t enjoy it in your life – just use it in your surroundings instead!


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  • A lacy-knit pumpkin-orange sweater is one of my favourite items 🙂 Cozy and friendly yet also elegant, and kind of unusual.

    Might consider having more of it in home decor, now that you mention it — especially the subdued shades.

  • I had people tell me I look good in orange back in high school but didn’t give it much thought. Then a year or so ago I fell in love with a Harvest Orange jacket on Etsy and took it upon myself to create my own (I re-dyed an old jean jacket). I get loads of compliments on it.

    I took a huge fashion risk for me a month ago and ordered a bright orange blazer I really liked the cut of. I figured I’d only be out $11 if I disliked it. Blew me away when I put it on how good it looks.

    Delighted to have found a brand new color to add to my wardrobe/

    • Amanda – new colours for us are great – we often get stuck in colour ruts, where we wear the same ones over and over, yet there are 16 million identified colours – it’s time to try a few new ones!

  • Although Ive more of a soft colorings I find that orange can work if the person wear a soft bronzer and choose a pastel/light peachy shade rather than halloween-orange-y shade. (but of course, I think they need to be able to wear pastels in that case). 😛

    You said one time that I was more warm, but the strange thing is that I can only pull off warm pastels (I love lemon-yellow with black & gold) and dark warm colors like terracotta if wearing them with a touch of bronzer — or wearing warm colors with cool neutrals. (yellow-beige looks terrible on me, I prefer rosy-beige or even powderpink better).
    Also, I feel my best in dark cool colors (burgundy, plum, seagreen etc) and most bright colors (fuschia, watermelon and teal seems to work best on me). I always get washed out from icy colors (but not cool light neutrals :S), and anything too warm, like cooper.
    When I was a teen, I used to only wear cool colors because of my natural dark mousy-blonde (If I look at color analysis charts and compared it to my natural colorings, I often end up being a “soft summer” :S), but when I started to wear bronzer & dyed my hair color more golden (and a few times, a warm red), I suddenly could wear more warm colors. My favorite combination are gold, pure white, black & fuschia/red/teal together (which doesnt seems to be neither cool or warm combination, haha).

    Regarding warm and cool colorings, its sometimes a bit confusing, because sometimes it feels like its not only your colorings that matter, makeup & hairdying has a huge role in it as well! (At least in my experiences).

    =p Sorry for the long comment, haha. What people say about what colors or clothes that suits you, I always end up looking better in the opposite. o.O;;

    • you may be on the just warm side of warm, not the really warm – people don’t realise just how varied the spectrum is for warm and cool. Think about it being a continuum from warm to cool – there are colours closer to the warm/cool divide that many think are cooler but are still just a little warm. There was no option in the Seasons for such colouring which is why so many were told they were Summer (cool) when in fact they are a little warm. This is why we’ve developed new, more accurate colour systems.

      As far as hair dye goes – ideally you want to work with your skin and flatter it with the colour of your hair – the wrong hair colour can make some people look very ruddy, or very washed out (depending on the colour they choose). Makeup too should work in harmony, rather than changing your colouring.

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