Understanding the Power of Colour in Your Wardrobe

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“Clothes should match a woman’s presence – her figure and colouring – and when you discover a shade that works well for you, wear it!  The right colour gives you power, no matter what it is.”
 Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz says “Clothes should match a woman’s presence – her figure and colouring – and when you discover a shade that works well for you, wear it!  The right colour gives you power, no matter what it is.”
It’s great to see a designer understand that clothes should be about flattering you (not just clothes for the sake of the latest fashion, no matter if they suit you or not).
Because colours that flatter you make you the focus (rather than the clothes), highlighting your beauty and creating harmony with your appearance finding the right colours for you really does give you power.
This is why I love personal colour analysis and in particular signature colours which really highlight a person’s natural colouring and make it the focus.

Plus you can use the traits of colour to assist you in your communication, for example:

  • High contrast (dark and light) combinations are seen as more authoritative and powerful (they are yang)
  • Low contrast (similar value colours whether, lighter or medium in value) are seen as more approachable (more yin)
  • Brighter mid-value colours can make you appear more enthusiastic and energetic (yang energy)
  • Highly tinted colours (more pastel) will make you appear more calm and nurturing (yin energy)

Using colours to change the way your outfit communicatesThen of course there is the psychology of colour too.

Every colour communicates something and much of colour psychology comes from nature, the world around us and our culture.

Psychology of Colour - understanding how to use colour in your wardrobe
  • Red is energising and stimulating
  • Orange is friendly and fun
  • Yellow is energetic and youthful
  • Green is reassuring
  • Blue makes us feel calm and trusting (and trustworthy)
  • Violet is creative and spiritual
  • White is pure and clean
  • Black is mysterious and powerful
  • Brown is down-to-earth and approachable

You have control over the colours you choose to wear, which means you have control over the messages the colours you wear send out.

How to Choose the Colour to Wear

 Colour makes such an impact, we live in a coloured world, are surrounded by coloured plants, skies, water in nature, plus man-made colours of cars, buildings, and clothing (just to name a very few).  So why not use that power of colour to your advantage and choose the colours that you wear each day based on:
  • What flatters you and makes you the focus, looking brighter, more vibrant, energetic and alive
  • How you feel, do you need more stimulation or calming today?
  • Who you are communicating with?  What is the reaction you want?  Do you need to exude power or gain consensus?

I know that I often dress from the colour up.  How do I feel? How do I want to be perceived? What do I want to communicate?  The answers to these questions help me choose the best colour for me for each occasion.

 You are in control of how you are perceived as you choose the fabrics and colours that you wear (uniforms excluded).
 What colour do you feel today?  How is it (or they) supporting your life, goals and dreams?
If you need a personal colour analysis to find out your best colours, this is part of my 7 Steps to Style program which you can do from anywhere in the world.

More Tips on Choosing Colours

How to Use Colour To Communicate Your Authority or Approachability

From Intimidating to Friendly, the Story of a Colour Analysis

7 Outfit Colour Schemes to Steal

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2 Comments

  • I love strong colors as much as you do. I wear them often and I like prints. My daughter in law doesn’t get my fascination with color and finds my style intimidating. Have you ever second guessed your choices because some one else made some kind of comment?

    • I dress for me and understand what works for me, my colouring and personality. I also dress in a way that communicates what I want on that day, depending on who I’ll be coming into contact with. So if I have a client who is more reserved, I will tone down my look (make it more Yin) so that I don’t intimidate.

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