Colour psychology in business wear
Posted on December 29 2017
Colour psychology in business wear
Choosing what you wear to work is usually down to personal preference, but should we be paying more attention to the psychological effects of colour?
What we wear can have quite the impact on ourselves and how we work, and how others perceive us. A recent study found that by donning white coats participants thought belonged to doctors they performed better on tests than those in casual clothes.
And we already know that a bank manager dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and jeans isn’t going to come across quite as professional as a more traditionally suited and booted gentleman.
But what happens when we look at colour in business attire?
We’re not quite sure why colour influences mood and perception, but we have been aware of it for centuries. Red in nature is widely known as ‘dangerous’, for example.
A study into the importance of colour for marketing purposes found that purchasing intent is greatly affected by colours due to how they impact on the perception of a brand. The colours influence how the ‘personality’ of the brand is seen.
And it’s our own business personality that we hope to enhance through the subtle use of colour within our clothes.
The colour of our clothing can greatly enhance how we’re perceived and treated during a business negotiation or sales meeting.
Let’s look at the colours and how they’re perceived.
The classic blue suit is a business staple for a reason.
Associated with being calm and competent, blue is often used by those wanting to enhance how professional and trustworthy they are.
That’s the reason why a nurse’s uniform is blue – so you feel like you are in safe and capable hands.
Have you noticed how that uniform darkens with seniority? That’s because darker tones give the perception of authority.
Black invokes feelings of power and sophistication, but it can also come across as overbearing. Being the colour of mourning in the western world, it’s best avoided in situations where calm and tact are the order of the day.
For best results break it up with other colours and accessories for a less intimidating effect.
It might seem stuffy and old-fashioned but brown is a colour of maturity and experience, inspiring feelings of respect.
It’s associated with feelings of stability, honesty, practicality and commitment so you’ll be seen as a hard worker and a team player.
Surprisingly, orange is one of the safest colours to wear for work.
Representing creativity, confidence and ambition it’s a vibrant colour that creates a feeling of positivity in those who wear it.
It’s also associated with warmth and enthusiasm which makes it a great contrast and accessory colour as a bright orange suit might be tricky to pull off for most people!
Red makes the heart beat faster and exudes power, energy and excitement.
It can also come across as aggressive rather than assertive and make others feel nervous being around you.
It’s generally safer to avoid wearing red for that reason although a tie or other accessory could generate the sense of urgency you’re looking for when closing a deal.
- Linen shirts vs cotton – which is better this summer
- Everyman’s Guide to Wearing Tailored Separates
- Wedding Suits and How They Started
- A Brief History of Men’s Braces
- What’s the best way to care for my bespoke shirt?
- How to wear a blazer this summer
- The remarkable history of the necktie
- Summer shoes and how to wear them
- Top Tips for Staying Cool in the Office this Summer
- This Summer’s Big Shirt Trend – Vertical Stripes
- How to wear a checked shirt with style
- A gentleman’s guide to organising his wardrobe
- How to wear a short-sleeved shirt well this summer
- Formal Dress Codes Revealed – what they really mean
- The Denim Jacket – for the casual smart look this summer
- Why every man should own at least one Oxford shirt
- Suit colour combinations that work
- From field to shirt – explaining the cotton industry
- Nanotechnology – the future of modern clothing
- The impact of social media on menswear
- 21st Century Office Wear - have we seen the last of the three-piece suit?
- How to get the most mileage out of your shoes
- The gender differences of shirts and suits
- From Nightgowns to Business Wear – the Interesting History of the Humble Shirt
- Upcoming Fashion Trends for Spring/Summer 2018
- Why a tie can be more of a fashion disaster than a fashion statement in the office
- Valentine’s Day – a date to dress sharply for!
- The overlooked clothing item of the corporate world – socks
- Professional Image as a Freelancer – What Should You Wear When Meeting Clients?
- Should you be implementing a corporate dress code for your company?
- The Need to Know Guide to Buying a Suit for the Larger Gentleman
- Colour psychology in business wear
- Can Denim Ever Belong in the Office?
- How to dress correctly for a black-tie event
- Avoid Those Winter Fashion Mistakes With Our Top 5 Tips
- The Perfect Guide to Choosing a Winter Coat
- The Gentleman’s Guide to Dressing for Business Travel
- Mastering the Tape Measure – How to Size Yourself for a Suit
- Simply the best accessories to go with a business suit
- Classic Tie Knots Every Gentleman Should Know – The Four in Hand vs the Half Windsor
- Should you always dress to impress at a job interview?
- How to avoid a cheap suit – the tell-tale signs to look out for
- The gentleman’s guide to washing a shirt
- Style in Business – What to Wear to a Client Meeting
- Let’s Talk About Collars and Cuffs – a Guide to Formal Shirts
- The essential guide to layering your look this autumn
- Every man’s guide to packing a shirt for travelling
- Gentlemen’s Fashion Styles This Autumn 2017
- The Gentleman’s Guide to Wearing Check Shirts
- A Quick Guide to Shirting Fabric and Weaves