Fashion 101: Action VS. Reaction to the Colors We Wear

By Vanessa Coppes

Ready for some Fashion 101? Believe it or not, colors are a form of non-verbal communication. They create both a physical and emotional reaction.

Understanding what they mean and what they provoke in others can help you set the right tone and even evoke the desired response to and from others. 

To answer the never ending question, “What do I wear?”  Here are some tips that could help you decide:

Cool Colors tend to have a calming effect. At one end of the spectrum they are cold, impersonal. At the other end the cool colors are comforting and nurturing. Blue, green, and the neutrals white, gray, and silver are examples of cool colors.

  • When to wear? To an interview or if you are hiring someone. If you are in sales, around your customers.

Warm Colors convey emotions from simple optimism to strong violence. The warmth of red, yellow, pink, or orange can create excitement but it can also  create anger.

  • When to wear? To a networking event, a speaking engagement, a party or a date. Never when you are firing someone or evaluating an employee’s performance.

Mixing Warm and Cool Colors can calm and excite. These are colors derived from a mix of a cool and warm color such as blue and red or blue and yellow. Typically considered cool, green is really more of a mixed warm and cool color.

  • When to wear? When meeting someone new or when you’re playing it ‘safe’.

Neutral Colors help to put the focus on other colors or serve to tone down colors that might otherwise be overpowering on their own. To some extent blacks, browns, tans, golds, and beige colors are considered warm. While white, ivory, silver, and gray are somewhat cooler colors. Yet these warm and cool attributes are flexible and more subtle than that of reds or blues.

  • When to wear? To a networking event, a meeting with your board, when you aren’t feeling so hot about your body.

So, which color will you decide to wear today? We hope you find these tips helpful the next time you’re headed to a party, event or meeting.


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