Business vs. Social Colors

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Research has shown that different colors can greatly affect moods and the way other people respond to us. It’s no secret that dressing the part is a part of working in an office and being taken seriously is greatly influenced by what you wear. Remember that the colors you choose should always be consistent to the situation you’re in, whether a work setting or a dinner out with friends.

Color Suggestions

Typically colors that are worn for business are more subdued or neutral. Blue is a great workplace color as it gives off a calming effect. Many link the hue to trust, intellect and stability – three things that you want your colleagues to think about you. Another color demonstrating stability is brown. Although often seen as masculine or dull, if a woman wears brown in the workplace, they will most likely appear both credible and sympathetic.

Try a light green, which gives off a sense of harmony. It is easy on the eyes and gives off a small amount of eyestrain, which is great for those who sit in front of a computer screen for several hours a day.

Black is considered a power color because it conveys a sense of seriousness and many consider it elegant or dramatic. For something more daring, opt for a black outfit with a dash of green or blue. White is considered a safe choice for a shirt, however in social situations and especially in the summer, it is appropriate. Stay away from yellow in the workplace and be cautious with red, as they symbolize both lack of energy and aggression.

Ultimately what colors you wear in your personal life versus your work life will vary. For social situations, a larger range of colors are acceptable such as brights, jewel tones and pastels – all of which should be worn only as accent colors in the workplace.

Outfit Ideas

Ultimately, contrasting colors seem to add a presence to the room, whether at a charity event or an office meeting. Neutral colors such as navy, black, gray and tan all work not only just at the office, but in general when someone wants to be taken seriously. This is because they match the classic and conservative business dress pieces such as suits and jackets that are typically worn in business settings.

Ultimately, no matter what the rules, it is important that you hold true to your personal style. Wear things that look good on you but within reason. Don’t continuously wear out of the box colors or patterns that may exhibit a wild or attention-seeking attitude. Stand out at work because of your success and work ethic, not because of the clothes you wear.

Whether we like it or not, colors do affect our moods and how people perceive us. While people may not always realize these perceptions, it is still better to choose pieces that work best and flatter you, not against you. Your mood can make or break a business relationship, so choose your colors wisely.


Published on Business

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