We are all exposed to color psychology as soon as we’re born. For instance: girls dress in pink and boys dress in blue. As we discussed last week The History of Colors in Fashion and Culture, the truth is that color carries an even deeper resonance with people than simply a fashion trend.
Here is the Importance of Color in Fashion
Color has the power to evoke every type of feeling. From femininity and masculinity, to emotions and cravings. A Canadian study found 90 percent of consumers’ first impressions are based on color alone. And in a Business Insider compilation of several studies, the research found that the color of your clothes are completely capable of communicating your status and level of intelligence to others. These kinds of dressing decisions don’t only influence what others think of you, but they influence what you think of yourself. Because of this, let’s take an in depth look at the psychological relations behind fashion’s most popular colors.
- Psychology of Black: Black reflects authority and power. In fact, by wearing black often enough, the color can draw admiration and respect. The color also magnifies it’s authoritative connotation by indicating a sense of independence.
- Psychology of Red: Red has always been known to captivate people. A study from the University of Rochester found waitresses who wore red lipstick earned greater tips than those not wearing lipstick. The color reflects energy, power and strength. Red carries so much authority as a color that studies have also shown that the color can cause others to experience a faster heartbeat and breathing rate as it stimulates the nervous system. For this reason, psychologists recommend being cautious when wearing the color, never being too gratuitous as the over-wearing over red can cause irritation in those around you. We also have mentioned in a previous post, how sport studies have shown that athletes who wear red have a higher chance of winning, because the opponent will be more likely to find them as a threat and dangerous.
- Psychology of Blue : Blue is another powerful color, however opposite to red, it carries calm and relaxed mental and physical vibes. Because of the tranquil sentiments blue relays, psychologists warn against incorporating too much of the color into your life, as it can also bring out a sense of depression and loneliness. And although too much blue can be a faux pas, stylists recommend wearing the color to job interviews and important business meetings. The reason for this? Blue gives people a sense of loyalty and trust. In a 2009 color psychology study, Dr. Juliet Zhu found the color blue suggests “knowledge, power, integrity, and seriousness. It evokes a sense of calmness while stimulating creativity.”
- Psychology of White : As we mentioned in our previous color post, white reflects innocence and purity. Those who wear white are often seen as someone who care about cleanness, openness and creative thought. (Think of doctor and nurse uniforms). Even global brands like Apple incorporate this color psychology into their branding.
Here is the Importance of Color in Fashion continued…
A British shirt company, which supplies clothing to retailers like American Apparel, surveyed 1,000 people on their judgments based on the color people wear. Respondents were asked whether a color makes them feel confident, if they like seeing it on the opposite sex and if they associate arrogance or intelligence with it.
The leading color for personal confidence was black. 56 percent of respondents replied with this color: 48 percent of women and 64 percent of men. Apparently, females and males like it on each other, too: 66 percent of women like black on men and 46 percent of men like it on women. And of all the colors, black was most associated with intelligence-45 percent answered this.
The color red inspired more mixed reactions. Although 54 percent of women wear it for a confidence boost and 56 percent of men like seeing a woman in red, 28 percent relate the color to arrogance and only 12 percent associate red with intelligence.
If the color of our clothes can influence our thoughts, than they also have the ability to influence our mood and sense of well-being. In the book Mind What You Wear: The Psychology of Fashion, Karen Pine highlights research from Adam Galinski, a psychologist who was the first to coin the term “enclothed cognition.” Psychology Today reported that this key-phrase initially referred to the improvements made in “a person’s mental agility when wearing a white coat.” The white coat, such as a doctor’s coat, “primed their brain to take on the sharper mental capacities they associated with being a doctor.” So essentially, psychologists believe we become what we wear.
Colors carry such a strong connection with a person’s well-being that there is such thing as “Color Therapy”. This process has been around for ages. In ancient Egypt, Greece and China color therapy played an important role in medical practices. “Color halls” were used to treat and heal people. These were rooms that were each painted different colors in an attempt to treat sickness. Color therapy at the core is all about understanding the power color caries and connecting particular colors to a persons’ life to assist with mental, physical and emotional ailments.
Now that you’ve been given an in depth look into the strong presence color has in our fashion choices, will you be making any style changes?