Have you ever walked into a friend’s new living room, looked at the cranberry red or vintage grey walls and thought, ’Great colour, but it’s not me’?
Experts believe that this is because, apparently, we all have a particular colour palette that we belong to and feel our best in.
Even though we may not be consciously aware of it, the language of colour is primal and has helped us understand much about the world around us. It’s very possible that the sight of a red traffic light evokes the same sense of caution it did in our ancestors when they saw those poisonous red berries. Historically, colour has been a strong mode of communication and one that we can use to our advantage.
The marketing industry certainly has, as picking the right colour is big business in product branding. Research reveals that it also has a significant impact on sport and choosing uniforms for teams as studies show that red-kitted teams actually experience more victories.
So can dressing ourselves and homes in the right colour really have such a powerful effect on our mood, confidence and even our level of success? According to colour expert Mandy Griffiths, co-founder of itsmycolour.com, the effect can be profound. In her former HR role, Mandy conducted many interviews and noticed the way candidates presented themselves. ‘They all wore the same black or grey suit and white shirt. There was nothing memorable in that,’ she says.
This is the reason Mandy believes colour is so special. ‘We’ve made colour less ordinary as many people choose to dress in neutral tones, yet people are more drawn to colours and particularly to the palette they belong to. By wearing a tone that innately lifts your mood, you look better, feel more confident and others will perceive this and respond to you more positively.’
Mandy believes that the reason we don’t go for the colours that suit us best inside and out is due to the interference of external influences such as fashion or our current environments. ‘It’s important, regardless of what colours seem to be in fashion, that you bring your own tones into what you wear,’ she says. ‘We all have styles that we aspire to but they don’t necessarily suit or flatter us. Many of my clients, for example, come in with a very specific idea of what colour palettes they want to belong to, but, on the wrong person, certain shades just don’t work. They can draw the colour out of their skin and make them look less energetic and vibrant.’
Our environment can also play a vital role. Mandy explains that it’s all about giving ourselves permission. ‘If the dominant tones in our working environment are grey, then grabbing attention with a bold colour can feel too daring. Or if a friend told us that red doesn’t really suit us, we might choose not wear it despite the fact that, in the right shade, it may be an amazing colour for us.’
Apparently, choosing our colours is a similar experience to choosing our home. Mandy says, ‘It’s all about what suits our personality and where we belong. The colours we wish to express ourselves in reveal as much about our personalities and moods as the words we speak. So next time you want to dress for success and impress at that job interview or date, what colour would you wear?
Tell us about your favourite colour and how it makes you feel on twitter using #mycolour.