How can I use colour in my working wardrobe?
Taking the plunge and adding a splash of colour will help to brighten up your working day, and some colours could even give you a career boosting advantage.
- Have you ever wondered why across the globe you generally see police in blue uniforms? It’s the colour that most conveys trust and order, so if you want to assert your authority yet still remain approachable in a work situation, then a navy suit worn with a blue shirt is the perfect attire. Be careful though as any colour combination worn too often will make you seem predictable.
- If you want to appear non-threatening and accessible then try a little pink. Paler shades are best to suggest your gentleness and approachability. In terms of being taken seriously at work, then it’s the men who can get away with wearing pink far more than the women. On a man it shows self confidence and creativeness, but on a woman it can be seen as too girly and damage confidence in your professionalism.
- Job interviews and promotion pushes are key times when you want to portray confidence and assertiveness. People are far less likely to argue with you if you’re wearing red so it’s perfect for when you want everyone to sit up and listen. Red is also great for giving you an artificial boost of energy, so is ideal for the morning-after-the-night-before or at the end of the week when your energy levels are flagging.
- Yellow is the ideal colour to wear if you’re fun and lively and really want your personality to shine through. We’re not talking head-to-toe, a yellow tie or cardigan is enough, however you may want to remove it before a meeting you’re not hosting as you wouldn’t want to unnecessarily distract anyone’s attention.
- If the office manager or events co-ordinator is badgering you to be involved in some ‘exciting’ extra curricular activity for which you have no desire to participate, you may want to experiment with shades of green. As a form of workplace camouflage, green (particularly the olive and pine tones) helps you blend into your environment so you can stay away from any unwanted tasks.
- The colour purple is great because it looks good on everyone. It is however best avoided in formal work attire unless you deliberately wish to appear non-conformist. It’s best left to those who work in one of the creative industries, where being seen as artistic and individual is a major career plus.
- And finally…black. If you’re a lawyer or accountant and need to exert your authority, wearing black will help you to appear professional. Be careful though as, depending on your skin tones, black can have a vastly differing affect on your appearance. Catherine Zeta Jones, with her deep colouring, will be able to carry off head-to-toe black whilst Kylie Minogue, with her soft skin tones and hair colouring, will need to break it up with the addition of a colourful shirt and accessories.
Remember that your working wardrobe should not only flatter your natural colouring but also your body shape and individual sense of style.