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May 3, 2012 at 5:32 PMComments: 5 Faves: 1

What The Color You Wear Says About You

By Erin Froehlich More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Id and Ego Blog Series

In part one of my fashion psychology exploration, we covered the way our clothing choice can reveal our weaknesses and insecurities. But I don't want you to get the wrong idea -  there are a lot of positive things our clothing can say as well!

Clothing that fits well and flatters our figure, make us feel good and others view us a someone that’s confident and emotionally stable. A well-developed sense of personal style reflects our understanding of our self, our honesty and our comfort being us.

In general, our clothing offers subtle clues towards our personality and what we value - the jock wearing athletic clothes, the girly-girl in her delicate dress, the career-centric in their power duds, the rebel courageously running against the norm - every facet of our dress - style, cut and fit of our clothing, even the color we choose to wear  - is affecting our mood and communicating to others.

It's a subtle thing. It's not as though we become a whole new person with a change of clothes. However, when we think our clothes make us look smarter, or more creative or sexier, that perception changes the way we act and the people around us pick up on that.

Colors especially hold a lot of emotional connection with us.

What’s your favorite color saying about you?

wearing red fashionRed.

It’s the color that does best at grabbing attention. It’s associated with energy, movement and excitement.  Studies report our heart rate increases and we may even feel a little out of breath in a vibrantly red room. Other studies show men find women more attractive in red than in any other color. As Abby Calishc, Psy.D. explains “Red is a stimulant for men; it boosts arousal and makes them want to chase…” Just be careful, it can also make you look heavier than you actually are.

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10Orange. 

It has much of the excitement and energy of red, without the serious edge red carries. Orange is the color of fun and energetic days. It may not be the best choice for a serious meeting, but it’s a great color to wear when meeting new people. It gives off a sociable, inviting vibe. It’s a very uplifting color.

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wearing yellow fashionYellow.

It’s the color of happiness. It has feeling that is similar to orange, but where orange is wild open mouth laugh, yellow is more like a sweet giggle. The energy is a little lower and a little more calm (except with bright, primary yellow). Studies show that being around yellow promotes the release of serotonin (the feel good hormone) in the brain and may even help speed up our metabolism. Just be careful of the shade - you may want to stick with a pastel or golden yellow. Very bright yellow, like the sun, brings intense energy. (Think street signs and the lines in the road.) Studies show babies cry more and people fight more in bright yellow rooms. If you’re going to use it, use it in moderation.

wearing green fashionGreen.

It’s the color of nature. Being animals at our core, our brains are programmed with a need for green plants. In fact, when we are away from them too long, our mental, emotional and even our physical health can suffer. (Read more about this in my blog "Ecotherapy - Healing with Nature in Mind") Wearing the nature color brings the some of the same positive health effects of being in nature and has associations of abundance, fertility, fortune and harmony.

blue dress fashion

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Blue. 

It’s most people’s favorite color! Blue can either be calming or cold depending on the color. It has associations with dependability - which makes sense as many uniforms are blue! Applied to a home design, blue promotes calm and focus. Studies show weight lifters can lift more in blue rooms. Joe Lupo, a style consultant suggests that if you’re going to wear blue, go dark for work and light for parties.

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wearing purple fashion

Purple. 

It’s the color of royalty, wealth and wisdom. Purple actually helps stimulate the brain and is associated with mystery and authority. Overuse, however can repel people who may think you are just full of yourself or fake. Lupo suggests This regal shade draws out the creative artist within… Plus, because it's one of those colors that people either love or hate, wearing it sends the message wearing black fashionthat you're a self-assured free thinker.”

Black.

It’s the color of authority. At its best, it can make you look smarter, stronger, more confident – even thinner according to studies. At its worst, it can be intimidating, off-putting and is associated with evil and grieving. It brings about strong feelings so moderation is advised to avoid overwhelming people.

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wearing white fashionWhite.

It’s the color of purity. White has connotations of cleanliness, a blank slate. Wearing white can help rid ourselves of negative feelings and empower us to make a new start.

Researching for my Fashion 101 blogs, I found so many interesting studies, theories, and ideas related to fashion psychology, I could probably write a book on the subject – and believe me, THIS is theses are the very abbreviated blogs. I was tempted. It’s  just so interesting to look at a subject like fashion, which at face-value many would describe as frivolous or superficial, and to explore the science in it.

However, in the interest of keeping this rant from getting ANY longer, I guess the most important takeaway is that despite seeming somewhat trivial, how we present ourselves is both affected by our mind and affects our mind;  it both has the power to change our behavior and to change the behavior of other towards us!

Use that power wisely! :)

Sources:

http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/04/30/the-clothes-psychologist-is-in-2/
http://www.sixwise.com/newsletters/07/03/14/clothes-psychology-what-your-clothing-tells-others-about-who-you-are-and-who-you-want-to-be.htm
http://www.precisionintermedia.com/color.html
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2120233/That-womans-clothes-say-personality.html
http://www.gdotmoda.com/en/blog/what-cognitive-psychology-studies-reveal-about-fashion-140
http://www.lloydianaspects.co.uk/evolve/fashion.html
http://www.womenshealthmag.com/style/color-style?page=1

Photo Credit:

http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/tv/what-not-to-wear/before-and-after-pictures.htm
kk+, thang le,

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5 Comments

  • Guess today I'm roalty -wearing a purple shirt ;).

    These blogs are awesome, Erin. Never really thought about the psychology of fashion before, you made me think! My take on it is if you wear something that looks good on you, you will have a higher self-esteem in general. :)

  • Thanks, Bri! :)

    That's pretty much it. When we feel good about ourselves and the way we look, it shows. Same idea with the colors we wear.

    It's not as though we become an entirely different person when we wear red as opposed to blue. It's definitely subtle, but those associations we have with the color do eek over into the way we feel about ourselves and pull out the different aspects of our personality. If we think of blue as being calm and tranquil and we're wearing blue, we're likely to feel and act a little more calm and tranquil and people around us may pick up on that.

  • "I see a red door and I want to paint it black." I guess I like looking authoritative. Black has always been my favorite color. It has always felt special to me, not only because people do seem to take you seriously, but because you can also blend in with any group, hiding from the masses. Both of those things appeal to me. And, as you can tell by my picture, black is the color, not only of my clothes, but of my every guitar that I own. I used to put all of my video game characters in black, as much as I could. As a matter of fact, I was just playing Tiger Woods 2004 the other day with an old friend of mine and my guy was completely decked out in black: black hat, black shirt, black pants, black shoes, black sunglasses. It fits me better than any other color, and I love it.

  • I love to experiment with different looks. Head to toe black does actually make me feel stronger and more confident. I wear a lot of purple, own lots of red accessories, and I think I look best in blue or in green, but my favorite color to wear is probably white. Wearing it really does feel purifying. :)

  • Navy blue and light purple I like best.

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