English scientist Sir Isaac Newton discovered that white light separates into the whole range of visible colors when passing through a prism in the 1600s; he determined that each color consists of a single wavelength that can’t be split up any further.
Color psychology looks at how the various hues along the color spectrum influence human behavior. Things like age, gender, and environment can shape how colors are perceived- as well as impact how you choose the clothes that you wear. There are fundamental reasons why people pick certain colors over others and it typically surrounds associations with these colors, such as experiences, exchanges, and the way that we are feeling that particular day.
If you’re pursuing your image consultant certification, it’s critical to understand how the underlying meaning of a color can change from one day to the next with any individual – it all depends on your mood and energy at that specific point in time.
What are the colors that you wear communicating about you today?
The color red is a warm shade on the color spectrum, and it has historically been associated with danger, risk, war, power, and determination. It can have an aggressive connotation but also conveys love, passion, and desire- think about Valentine’s Day. When you see the color red, it typically can increase blood pressure and rate of respiration, often evoking or signifying anger. While only around 9% of Americans call red their favorite color, it is considered the most attention-grabbing of all colors on the spectrum.
Brown denotes dependability and reliance. There is a comforting reassurance associated with brown that conveys resilience and perseverance. Those that choose to wear brown often are looking to be discreet, are reserved and don’t necessarily want to attract attention. Light brown tones symbolize stability, earnestness, and honesty; darker brown shades are considered to be representative of predictability and maturity, though may also reflect a sense of boredom.
Orange pairs the energy of red with the joy of the color yellow, creating a bright, happy, and creative color. Orange is associated with sunshine and exotic locales, representing enthusiasm, success, encouragement, and a childlike sense of wonder or fascination. Orange is stimulating and may give you some pep in your step when worn to work or school.
Blue is the favorite color among Americans by a landslide and it conveys that you feel authentic and sincere. People that frequently favor blue are often unique individuals that seek greater meaning and purpose in life. They are sympathetic and personable, warm and compassionate. Blue represents spirituality and integrity that makes them natural magnets to others. Blue symbolizes peace, romance, imagination, and nurturance. People that relate to blue are usually idealistic and flexible, willing to collaborate cooperatively with others.
When you think of joy and happiness, most people think yellow. Yellow reflects energy and intellect that makes it a positive color for many. Yellow stimulates the mind and generates an energy that can warm you from your head to your toes. It symbolizes cheer and overall warmth. It demands attention from others, but can it be too stimulating? Studies show that infants cry more in rooms painted yellow; too much yellow may be agitating or disturbing.
Green is comforting, often reflecting a harmony that may make you automatically reach for it when you get dressed in the morning. It is likened to nature, symbolizing growth, freshness, and evolution. It can provide a sense of safety for many and may also be representative of money and prosperity. Green has been said to have healing properties and provides stability. It evokes endurance and fertility. Since green is the color of the ocean, it also may be worn by those that have depth and curiosity about the unknown. Green is often connected to the idea of heaven, as well as characteristics like confidence, wisdom, loyalty, and truth. Green reflects that you care about your wellbeing and when you see or wear it, green can slow down human metabolism and produce a calming effect that is therapeutic. Green is tranquil, calm, and on the cool color spectrum.
Pink might be worn to exude femininity and gentleness; it typically represents vulnerability and youth. Pink is non-threatening, calming, and hopeful for most, symbolizing a sense of optimism. Pink tends to bring about thoughts of nurturance and kindness toward others. It may evoke memories of childhood or feelings of silliness in some who wear it.
Purple is a unique color, a marriage of the fiery, stimulating red and the cool, stable blue. Purple is the third favorite color in this country, symbolizing nobility, royalty, and luxury. It evokes a sense of power and ambition, frequently associated with wealth and indulgence. There is something magical and mysterious about the color purple and many who favor this color report that it signifies wisdom, independence, and dignity.
There is a reason why many brides wear white dresses on their wedding day; white is associated with goodness and purity- virginity. White is light and innocent, the perfect color for infants and babies, too. White is often considered a ‘perfect’ color, representing cleanliness and positivity, among most. White is also used to represent faith, spirituality, and godliness among those with religious affiliations or experiences. White may also be worn when you feel like a fresh or new start.
A lot of times when we want to feel powerful or elegant, we wear black. Black is frequently associated with formality, authority, and mystery. Black can have a negative and darker meaning among some people, signifying death, evil, or grief in some wearers.
Some other interesting facts about colors include the following:
- What is your favorite color? Americans favor the color blue, with around 35% identifying it as their favorite color followed by 16% who prefer the color green.
- The affinity for the colors blue and green are often attributed to ancestry and evolution, relating these shades to the sea and bodies of water.
- Some believe that those that prefer warm climates may prefer warm hues, like red and orange; those that prefer cooler living conditions may favor green and blue.
- Some research asserts that women overall prefer warm shades, and men, in general, prefer cool colors.
Color is a form of communication. The next time you pull something from your closet, what is it saying about you? You make a strong statement with the clothing and color choices that you make.