Thursday, May 23, 2013

What do Colors mean?

Let's start with Key # 2 to The 5 Keys to Dressing Well

Complement your own Personal Coloring

What is the first thing you remember about what someone wore for an event? It’s usually the color, isn’t it? Color is so powerful that its impression stays with us, long after the other characteristics of a look, are gone from our memory.
We usually go for color first when shopping for a garment. Color is the essence of light, its varying wavelengths enable us to see the different colors of the spectrum. 
Color is one of the tools we use to communicate not only who we are, but how we are feeling at the moment. When we favor one color over another, we are telling a story about not only who we are, but how we feel.

Most of us, just intuit colors, our relationship with them is quite subconscious. We cannot put it into words, we just feel that we need to wear a certain color. Let’s try and understand what is behind our color choices, and see if we can be more conscious about them, so that next time if we are feeling low in energy and have a big day ahead of us, instead of going for plain black, or blue, we will choose to wear red shirt, and use the color to modify our emotional state for the better.

Color can dramatically affect moods and emotions as well as influence certain physiological reactions. Interior designers and artists have long understood the feelings that certain colors evoke personally and culturally. “Colors like features follow the changes of emotions” Pablo Picasso.

Culture is very important when it comes to our interpretation of colors and their social meaning. Each culture has its own set of traditions and history and thus the significance of color can vary greatly. I am going to talk about the meaning of color, in an emotional and visceral level, which is in some ways independent from culture, and applies to all. All “positive” , “negative” and “neutral” associations below:

Red:  Excitement, passion, intensity, stimulation, creates very strong emotions and is an attention grabber, proven to cause blood pressure and heart rate to rise. Visceral, disturbing, defiant, aggressive.
Orange:  Friendliness, vibrancy, energy, social, playfulness, attention drawing. Intrusive, common.

Yellow:  Warm, alert, creative, cheery, optimistic, radiant, expansive.  Increases metabolism. Eccentric.
Blue:  Is very popular and one of the basic neutral colors. Calm, soothing, peaceful, encourages trust, loyalty, lowers pulse rate and body temperature, and if used in interior spaces creates productivity. Cold, depressing, melancholic.
Purple:  The color of wisdom, wealth, luxury, extravagance a royalty, exotic and rich. Color that symbolizes a spiritual connection. Esoteric, marginal.
Green: The color of Nature, health, tranquility, creates a calming effect, relieves stress, and helps healing, soothes the nerves, comforting, consoling, increases oxygenation, openness and bonding. Common.  
White:  Pure, clean, innocent, celestial, spiritual, gives us a sense of space, of limitless abundance, amplifies.  Sterile.
Black:  Sophisticated, powerful, elegant, authoritative, confident, stable, firm, hard and secure. Empty, mourning.
Brown: Dependable, steady, reliable, stable, grounded. Boring, Stingy.
Pink: Sweet, gentle, tenderness, soft.  Effeminate, bland.
Gray: Protective, safe, secure, passive. Negative, old. 
These are just a few of the associations or emotional/psychological meaning we give to colors. Think about yours.
  •  Do you have a favorite color?
  • Check your closet: What is the color/s that are more prominent in your wardrobe?
  • Do you usually tend to choose the same color/s? Which are they?
  • Why do you choose those colors? What emotions do they evoke on you? Maybe they remind you of someone? Something?
  • Does your favorite color match your eye-color? Hair color?
Take notes!

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