So many of us have important things going on in the world of business. We start thinking of what to wear? Instead of that, I want you to think about WHAT COLOR TO WEAR?
Why? Because color can be POWERFUL! Maybe it’s a big day for you an interview, a networking event with business professionals or an important meeting at work and you just know you want to look amazing and feel victorious! People talk about color and image but is it really that important? YES! IT IS!
Here’s why! You walk in the room and suddenly you only have 2-7 SECONDS to make a great first impression! People judge constantly on our appearance and this determines if they even want to speak to us. Color is part of that which can be seen first which blends in or stands out in a room or crowd of people.
Color has been proven to have psychological effects on people subconsciously! From the color of the walls to reasons why we buy things of certain color to the clothes you wear and more! We react on multiple levels of association with colors. Studies have found that around 85% of consumers cite color as the primary reason to buy a specific product. I have done that myself if there are different color options you go with your favorite color right?
Color has so much influence in our lives:
- Color affects your mood
- Color reflects your personality
- Color has different meanings when you wear it
- Color may affect how you are perceived by others
- Color can leave a lasting impression
- Color can brand you or your company
- Color changes the look of your complexion on your face
- Color can grab the attention of others or go unnoticed
- Color can affect your sales or advertising in person & online
- Color is powerful in business if you know how to use it
There are 5 POWER COLORS:
- DARK BROWN
- DARK GRAY
We will dive into these colors and what they mean and how to wear them but before choosing a power color you should ask yourself these questions:
What is your purpose for your big day?
- Do you have an interview? The best color for an interview hands down is NAVY! It’s a neutral color and goes with all skin tones. Navy looks amazing on everyone and it comes across as trustworthy. If you don’t prefer navy, which you should, then go with dark gray which is also neutral and the second best color for interviews. Black can be cold and intimidating with high authority so not great for an interview. Best interview colors hands down are navy and gray.
- Are you meeting with a client? This depends on the message you want to project: trustworthy, conservative, dependable, power? All colors can work here but in business red needs to be considered very carefully. If you have a job in marketing, art, fashion or something fun or creative, then red may be a possibility because it’s different, grabs attention and works for those professions. It stands out! It shows you are empowered, take action, fearless and not boring!
- Are you a sales professional? Sales professionals are best POWER COLOR to choose Navy! Navy comes across as trustworthy and you want to close the deal. That’s your sales power color BUT, the best colors to wear in sales are lighter shades of blue, yellow, orange, and pink! These are happy, outgoing colors. If you are in sales where you have to wear more professional power colors then navy, dark gray and dark brown are better choices. I suggest pairing these power colors with lighter shades of blue, yellow, orange and even pink. Black can be intimidating and red is questionable depending on the audience.
- Some companies do not want you to wear a suit, they prefer you actually blend in with the client. Make sure you know these things. At that point you may not want to wear power colors but friendly colors if meeting with clients.
- I know a woman who was in pharmaceutical sales and every time she wore her red suit she would commanded the room. She was called in before the other sales reps, deal done, boom! That’s a great example where red is attention getting, powerful and it totally fit her vibrant personality. Think about the other jobs I mentioned as well such as fashion, art, modeling, marketing, acting, some sales positions, etc.… where this color is appropriate!
- Do you have a very important meeting with executives? If you have a meeting with executives absolutely go for the power colors except red, maybe? Although, there are a few instances where women have been known to wear a powerful red suit because they are the boss lady and can do what they please! Now that’s a presence! Color has been coming into the executive world little by little. Many women in NYC and DC even wear red and other colors even though they are around executives. Know your audience, company and the culture! That’s so important, this will provide insight if it’s appropriate. There are times when it will work or it may not be a good idea going for red. Red will also make you stand out. How do you want to be perceived? If you wear red, your personality has to match it by being bold and asking for what you want. All colors can be great for this meeting, just choose wisely by the meaning of each color.
- Are you going to a networking event? In this case do you want to blend in with the crowd or stand out? This is a networking event for business professionals. I wouldn’t suggest wearing black to networking events because it can be intimidating and then you wonder why nobody comes up to you, unless you know people there. If you want to meet new people don’t do black unless you already have a great up-beat personality and pair it with a pop of color! Go with navy, dark gray, dark brown or in some cases to stand out wearing red but do it with confidence and own it. If you wear colors 1-4 I suggest adding a pop of color to liven it up or stand out.
Some industries, companies and positions require and have a dress code that is professional to executive dressing in suits. These power colors are best meant for wearing this attire but not always. You can still be business casual and wear these colors. Once again it’s important to know your companies culture or if you are an entrepreneur understand who your audience is and how you want to be perceived.
Sometimes it’s best to blend in with the crowd and other times it’s better to stand out and show that you are different. Know when to dress it up or down. Regardless dress your best always! Even if you only need to dress business casual, show respect for yourself and dress the best business casual you have. You can also do this with nice accessories and make sure everything is crisp, clean and not worn out.
Next understand what mood you’re in and what message you want to get across with choosing your power color:
- BLACK: Authority, total power and can be intimidating depending on your personality
- DARK BROWN: Reliable, dependable and strong
- NAVY: Trustworthy and neutral. Great for any occasion. The top power color for interviews
- DARK GRAY: Conservative, sophisticated, logical & neutral. The second best color for interviews.
- RED: Powerful, energy and commands attention. Be careful using this in business.
Note: A great example of power colors is paying attention to the politicians. They always wear black with a blue tie = power and trust. They wear black with red = ultimate power of authority. They wear navy suits to come across as trustworthy and add the red tie for power!
Now let’s chat about your skin tone to know what power color looks best on you. Have you ever wore something that just didn’t work with your skin tone as it washed your face out or made your face look dull and showed every imperfection! We have all been there, done that!
Here is a breakdown of the colors and what skin tone they are COOL/ WARM/ NEUTRAL:
BLACK= COOL TONE: this cool tone will wash you out if you are a true warm skin tone. If you are cool skin tone then black is your ultimate power color.
DARK BROWN= WARM TONE: this warm tone will not look good or boring on a true cool skin tone. Brown is a warm skin tone’s ultimate power color. Choose a dark brown and look amazing.
NAVY = NUETRUAL: this true neutral shade goes well with all skin tones. Everyone looks great in it!
DARK GRAY = NEUTRAL: gray is another great neutral color and goes well with all skin tones.
RED = WARM: Ultimately red is a warm tone BUT, depending on the shade it is cool and warm. A warm skin tones best red is an orange-red. A cool skin tones best red is a blue-red (the color of a bright cherry red)!
If you are a warm skin tone and want to wear black like everyone does, then wear a warm color next to your face. It’s important to know your skin tone so you know what colors look amazing on you or it can wash you out, show imperfections, make your skin look dull, etc.
Pair these power colors with a pop of color to liven up your outfit. Something that fits your personality, mood, sends a message, makes a statement, uplifting, or gets you noticed! Color has meaning, it’s powerful, use it as a tool to make you feel good.
I hope this blog helps you find your power colors to wear in business and when to use them. Any questions please feel free to contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org.
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