Friday, November 9, 2007

You Are What You Wear - The Psychology of Color in Dress

We’ve read much talk about the psychology of color in staging and decorating a home. But there is much to be said about our dress & what the colors evoke in others.

Colors affect us both physically and emotionally depending on their use. It has to be noted that color psychology differs from color symbolism, which in itself differs greatly between societies, cultures and religions.

Colors are basically broken down into two main categories –

Warm Colors – which are those on the red side of the spectrum including orange & yellow.

Cool Colors – those on the blue side of the spectrum including green and purple

Now to the colors themselves:

Blue – is probably the most popular color, but then one might expect that since it is the color of the ocean and sky. Blue is considered a business color as it reflects reliability. It also symbolizes loyalty.

– is probably only second to blue as a favorite color. Green is the color of peace and ecology, as it is found quite prevalent in nature. But let’s not forget that green is also the color of money. Dark green is considered masculine, conservative and is associated with wealth.

Yellow – is associated with joy, happiness and optimism. Remember, yellow is the color of the sun. At the same time yellow can be overpowering when used too much.

Red – is the most emotionally intense color, but it also considered the color of energy. Red is not a good color to overuse and will make someone appear a little heavier, but will also attract attention. A navy blue suit with white shirt and a red tie gives you just the right amount of energy to draw attention.

Orange – the most flamboyant of colors is associated with fun, happy and lively, but also ambition. The different tones of orange usually have a love-it or hate-it relationship.

Black – is the color of authority & power and at the same time makes people look thinner, but remember that it can be very overpowering. Black can be formal, but also can represent evil (think of the bad guys in the movies).

White – What can I say? White wedding dresses, white picket fences, white lab coats. Purity, innocence, clean and happy, but not a fun color to keep clean.

Brown – reliable, stable, solid. It is the color of the earth; and, therefore, associated with nature.

Purple – is associated with royalty, prosperity and wealth. Purple is a more feminine color, but young girls are more likely to choose it. Purple can also appear to be artificial.

Gray – is considered practical, timeless and solid, but also is sometimes associated with depression and loss, whether it be mourning or a general lack of direction. Gray is a great color to use because it mixes well with other colors.

Now, these are basically the primary colors. Different shades will elicit different emotions due to the combination of these colors.

Hope you enjoyed!

Till next time – Marc It Sold!

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