Tips on The Psychology of Color and Clothing
No matter where you fall on the fashion spectrum, you might be surprised at just how big of a role color plays in your wardrobe. Because of this, don’t ignore these tips about color if you want to be attractive to the opposite sex.
What’s in your closet right now? Do you find yourself gravitating to a lot of blacks because it’s slimming? Maybe you’re like Andy Sachs from “The Devil Wears Prada,” wearing primary blue with deliberate indifference and a little bit of insecurity. You could even have a rainbow of clothing in your closet but feel you have nothing to really wear.
Why Do We Choose the Colors We Do?
Traditionally, we associate specific colors with certain traits. We see dark colors as formal and authoritative and lighter shades as more casual and relaxed. Brighter colors tend to be associated with energy, while subdued colors have a more conservative feel to them. These energies are then linked to both seasons and genders: Men are often drawn to darker and bolder colors while women seek softer, lighter shades.
It has often been heard by some men that they are “color blind.” Thus they may have their spouse or some female friend help them to choose coordinating colors to wear. The National Eye Institute reports, “Color vision depends on our eyes and brain working together to perceive different properties of light. Men are much more likely to be colorblind than women because the genes responsible for the most common, inherited color blindness are on the X chromosome. Males only have one X chromosome, while females have two X chromosomes.”
Men VS Women
With that point in mind, the question can be asked, are men more attracted to women that wear the darker colors that appeal to them? And furthermore, do men find certain fabrics such as leather more engaging when worn by women?
While we have ideas about the messages colors send, we don’t have a lot of actual data about why.
Hues and Moods
The world around us is a veritable rainbow of brilliant shades, tints, and tones, and for reasons that we might not even fully understand, we are almost irresistibly drawn to specific colors. It’s safe to say that our feelings and ideas about colors are heavily influenced by not just our personalities and personal preferences but also our upbringings and cultures. For example, in China, wedding gowns are traditionally red while in the U.S., they are white or ivory. In India, yellow has a sacred meaning to Hindus, whereas, in western countries, blue might be considered religious due to its association with the Madonna.
Some shades affect us on a deep and almost primal level. When a juvenile center painted its rooms a bright, cheerful pink, the children who were manic or psychotic were able to calm down more quickly and with fewer staff interventions. More than 1,500 hospitals and other facilities followed their example and created “passive pink rooms” to help calm patients and inmates.
Although closely related, red appears to have the opposite effect. Red has been used effectively by restaurants desiring to stimulate the appetites of their diners. The color red has also been associated with passion since the beginning of time. Ladies lingerie in red sells abundantly for Valentines Day pairing it with love and excitement. Similarly, the color black can be associated with sinister or even daring. Motorcycle riders often wear black to display a badass attitude.
Many Shades of Gray
Our relationship with various colors may ultimately be as simple as the light spectrum’s effects on us. However, keep in mind that the psychology of your wardrobe choices could be revealing more than your decolletage and exposing some of your deepest secrets. Is there a color you don’t particularly like?
Colors and Their Meanings
Red is traditionally associated with sensuality and a deep need for physical contact and stimulation. Orange, which is closely related to red, is also related to physicality as well as a need for social acceptance. Bright and sunny yellow reveals a need for novelty and a strong sense of logic. The color green is known as the color of life. Those drawn to it are all about giving and receiving love and acceptance. Blue is the color of a peaceful sky, and those who wear it are drawn to truth. Those wearing blue are thought to have a commitment to their beliefs and ideals. Lush, velvety purple is associated with emotional security, and those who thirst for purple tend to be perfectionists. Bright bubblegum pink is the tint of love, and those who wear it tend to yearn for acceptance.
Dressing To Impress
Remember the old saying, “Dress for the job you want not the job you have”? That’s based on the psychology of colors and how others perceive you. If you want to feel good, you need to dress well. Take things to the next level, even if you have reservations. Accessories or a scarf of a contrasting color can keep things interesting.
If you want to dress to impress for a first date, consider the colors that may be attractive to the opposite sex. These will be different for men than they are for women. Wearing colors that are surprising or shocking may unknowingly give off a false impression. In the same vein, wearing a color to bring out the intensity of your eyes will draw them to look at you more closely.
How to Determine The Colors To Wear
Start by identifying your undertones. While there are just about as many skin tones as there are people, there are only two undertones: cool and warm. Cool skin tones have blue or pale pink undertones while warm skin tones have yellow or orange tints. People with warm skin tones tend to have veins that look slightly green, while people with cool skin tones have purple or blue veins. Warmer skin tones look best in warm colors, and cool skin tones look best in cool colors.
Next, figure out your skin’s shade. The best colors for you will be those that contrast in brightness with your skin. Lighter skin shades look best in rich, bold jewel tones while darker skin shades look great in saturated or bright shades. To bring out your eyes or make them pop, look for a shade that is close to them or one that contrasts sharply with them. For example, match a blue bustier with blue eyes or contrast a purple scarf with green eyes.
Personalizing Your Look
To create your own personal style palette, start with the two or three colors that speak to you. Use these for the foundation pieces of your wardrobe. Add four coordinating or complementary colors in essential pieces, such as button-downs, cardigans, or tees. Use one or two neutrals, such as a gray, dove or basic black, for foundation pieces, to balance out your look. You can add a few bright accents through accessories, and use jewelry for a finishing touch. Remember that silver and platinum are cool metals while bronze, gold and rose gold are warm metals.
Above all else, have fun with your looks. The red sneakers effect is a real thing: Making a bold fashion choice can help you stand out from the crowd and make a strong impression on others. Step away from dull and boring and step into something that makes you feel a little more like you.