Colours have the power to influence our soul with their strong physiological and psychological impact on how we react and perceive things subconsciously.

Perceptions of colours are often deeply personal and can be subjective based on our cultural influences and experience. For example, while the colour white is used in many western countries to represent purity and innocence, it is perceived as a symbol of mourning in some eastern countries.

We live in a very international and culturally diverse environment. As a result, it becomes extremely important that we make ourselves aware and respect these cultural nuances when dressing up and choosing colours every day.

With some relief I can state here that there are certain hues that have more culturally universal associations. Colours in the red area of the colour spectrum are the “warm colours” (red, orange, and yellow). These colours evoke emotions ranging from feelings of warmth and comfort to feelings of anger and hostility. Warm colours have a yellow tint.

Colours on the blue side of the spectrum are the “cool colours” (blue, purple, and green). These colours are perceived as calm, but could also give a feeling of sadness or indifference. Cool colours have a blue tint.

Colour can influence performance and is capable of boosting our moods and also causing anxiety. But the good news is that you can choose the colours that work for you and support the type of image you want to project on both personal and professional fronts.

The reason for choosing a particular colour should depend on the people that you are meeting and purpose of the meeting. Pick a colour that looks good on you and is an appropriate shade for the weather.

Here is snapshot of what some colours reflect in a corporate / professional environment and how to wear them.

Black represents sophistication and power. Wearing all black is okay for day and night for both men and women. Grey reflects relaxed professionalism, teamwork and agreement while dark grey is a symbol of power.

Red exudes energy, action and power. Men can wear it best in a tie (tie of an initiator) while women can wear red in dresses, skirts, jackets, tops, dress, shoes, accessories etc.

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The colour yellow has an uplifting effect. Both men and women must avoid yellow in suits. Rather, men can wear it in a tie or informal shirts while women can be more experimental when adorning shades or tones of yellow. They can wear it in dresses, skirts, jackets, tops, dress, shoes, accessories etc.

Navy blue is a universal favourite shade of blue. It’s a power colour. It looks great in suits, shoes, bags, shirts, dresses and accessories.

Dark green has a soothing effect. Though not appropriate in suits, Men can wear it is ties and shirts while women in dresses, Skirts, jackets , tops, dress, shoes, accessories etc.

Pink is a colour of care, compassion and love. Since it is available in many tones and shades it’s important to find your favourite one! It’s a flattering colour for women & they can wear it in both clothes and accessories. But, for men it looks best in shirts and ties.

Brown radiates elegance, femininity and sophistication. It emits a feeling of being grounded and solid. Women can enjoy wearing all shades and tints of browns in clothes and accessories While men can flaunt it in shoes, belts , a striped tie or a watch strap.

Lastly, here are some tips that will help you know if you are a warm or cool tone so you can choose what colours suit you best.

Look at your wrist veins: Blue veins means cool tone and green veins mean warm tone.

Gold / Silver: If you feel gold looks better on you; you are a warm tone, if silver looks better then you are a cool tone.

The best colours are the ones that are flattering and make your skin look healthy, bright and fresh and not dully and blotchy. Awareness of colours that work for you will go a long way in saving time off your shopping sprees and while buying confidently online.

Style is about self-expression and so my last advice will be… Be mindful of the colours that work together. It’s not just about wearing the right colours but also developing an eye for which colours look good in unison. But, if there is a colour you like, go and wear it with confidence!

StylizedU

Neha Bhandari