The following comes from J.A. Shapira of He Spoke Style:
THE COLORS YOU WEAR SAY A LOT ABOUT YOU
Clothing says a lot about the man. Often what a gentleman wears is a direct reflection of who he is and what he does for a living. But it’s not just the type of outfit he wears. Just as the color palette used in property design can influence people, the same can be said for color in a gentleman’s wardrobe. There is a science behind color, and we see it every day. It affects how we behave, our thoughts, feelings, first impressions and even how we spend our money.
For instance, the color green has been scientifically proven to make us feel more peaceful. It also encourages us to feel healthy. This is why hospitals are often painted green. It’s calming and can cause even the most excited person to relax. That or consider what actors and musicians call the “green room.” It’s a place for actors to relax in before going on stage. It’s also the same reason many brands incorporate green into their logo. Since it makes you feel healthy, companies like Whole Foods have used the color green to entice customers and make them believe that Whole Foods is healthier than the competition.
Every color has science behind it and learning how the colors you wear influence those around you can have a direct impact on everything from how you’re perceived by others, right down to your bottom line.
In landmark cases, professional stylists, image consultants and trial experts are called in to help attorneys dress their high-profile clients or witnesses for trial. Most lawyers already know that since the color blue evokes trust, that having their client wear a blue shirt or navy suit can help sway the judge or jury in their favor.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. In some situations, certain shades of a particular color can cause the opposite reaction. This is because it’s not just color that people focus on. It’s the entire outfit that needs to be taken into account.
A Wall Street stockbroker accused of embezzlement and fraud isn’t going to fare well on the stand if he’s dressed in a shiny blue suit with peak lapels. Similarly, a notorious mobster isn’t going to look very trustworthy if he’s wearing a double-breasted custom suit in midnight blue with bold pinstripes. Proof that it’s more than the color palette when it comes to the overall effect.
How To Influence Those Around You With Color
Influencing people around you with color is easier than one might imagine. So long as you factor in other variables such as the cut of your suit, the fabric, texture, weave, pattern, and accessories, you can wield color like a weapon in the workplace.
Blues are exceptionally useful for job interviews, trying to close a new client or having to defend yourself against allegations (ahem…).
Grey is a mature color, a tone. Wearing it can give you a bit of an edge over your competitors if you’re a younger guy competing with experienced veterans. Adding a grey v-neck sweater or sticking with grey suits and ties can give you a tactical advantage in the workplace if you need someone to start taking you more seriously. It also shows people you’re unbiased. Like beige, it blends in and sets the tone that you’re not picking sides when it comes to interoffice politics and water cooler drama.
As mentioned, red is great if you want to draw people into you. It’s also a power color which makes warmer burgundy ties ideal for important meetings. Sticking with a deeper burgundy over a bright red will also make people view you as wise, educated and help earn you the respect you deserve.
There’s a reason wedding dresses are white. Because it’s a sign of purity. However, it’s also a sign of refinement. It shows people around you that you’re a straight shooter and one who prides himself on being organized and methodical.
It’s as formal as it gets. Black suits are power suits, yet they blend in very easily. It shows you mean business, but it can also show people you value loyalty and are respectful. After all, a gentleman always shows respect by wearing a black suit to a funeral.
Green is a perfect option if you need to keep your colleagues focused and calm. If you’re a doctor, a therapist, or even an accountant about to tell your client they’re broke, consider wearing some green.
If you’re in sales competing against colleagues for business and you have to watch a sales floor like a hawk ready to strike, wearing warmer colors will naturally attract people to you which can result in a fast sale.
Bright Colors & Pastels
Brighter colors and pastels are whimsical. They can help an older gentleman look more vibrant and young, which is useful if you’re trying to fit in at a tech company or impress a young mogul. Using cooler shades can also help make you seem more approachable. Unfortunately, this can often backfire in the corporate world by causing people to take you slightly less seriously. That’s why if you’re sticking with brighter colors and pastels, we encourage you to use it sparingly and focus on a chalkier texture so you don’t look like you’re ten.
Color is one of the best weapons in your wardrobe arsenal. Just as a power suit works in business meetings, often it’s the color of the suit that really closes the deal.