Color is both a powerful tool for describing objects and surprisingly effective means of manipulation. Whether we are talking of makeup or clothes, bold or quiet colors—there is an undeniable influence that color has over us. Companies use colors strategically to energize, calm, intrigue or gain trust (and so on) from customers; and we likewise make the same unconscious choice when we decide what color to paint our room or what color of shoes to buy.
This is why understanding the associations we have with each color—and how they differ by culture—can help us choose our “power color”. Our power color is the color we gravitate towards and choose to wear for specific purpose, such as the color you wear to give you confidence in an interview or the color you wear to relax you on your day off.
Color psychology refers to the meanings we have of each color, as well as how the colors affect our moods and feelings and thoughts. In basic, and varied terms, here is what we associate and feel with each color:
Red-We find red stimulating and exciting; it is actually said to stimulate a faster pulse. It attracts attention, which is why we often seen red worn in “pops of color”. In some cultures, red also has a connotation of sensuality and love.
Blue-We find blue calming and peaceful in most respects, but it is often used by companies as a color meaning trust and sincerity. It is said to be opposite of red in that it can slow the pulse rate.
Yellow-We find yellow to be optimistic, cheer-full, and “sunny”. Companies sometimes use yellow to portray ruggedness and remind us of the outdoors. Despite a seemingly very positive meaning, yellow is a hard color on the eyes in terms of light reflection and may explain why people are more likely to be unsettled, and prone to outbursts in yellow rooms.
Green-We find green to feel reliable and successful. You won’t have to think very hard to come up with a few famous, globally successful brands that use green in their logo. Green is also associated with nature, and is one of the easiest colors to view.
Black- We find black to have very different meanings depending on its use. In some cases it is associated with mourning and death, in others it is seen as a slimming fashion, and further more in other cases it is felt to be an authoritative and power color.
White- We find white to be innocent, pure, clean and neutral. We often use it in environments where cleanliness is essential—such as hospitals, and during ceremonies relating to purity—such as religious confirmations.
Using this information, it is important to take into consideration that our personalities, life experiences and cultures affect and alter that list above. So if there is a color you resonate with—regardless of the generalized meaning—trust and use that color.
And just how to use your power color once you’ve determined it? Put on a red tie or red lipstick for subtle way to boost your confidence or energy. Buy a yellow bag or yellow journal for a cheer-full pick me up and creative energy. Try out purple eyeliner or a purple hair accessory to add a “feminine” and regal quality to your day. Sleep in blue sheets or wear blue pajamas to wind down for sleep. Whichever color you decide to incorporate into your day, make sure it’s in a place that you will see it. It feels like such a small aspect in your day, but once you see how what you wear prepares you for the day you want to have, you’ll never leave home without your power color!