Colour your career


Choosing what you wear to work every day can change your mood and your day. Find out what your hue is doing for you in the office …

Change the colour of your day.

Unless you work from home in your pj’s, or wear a uniform, we all have to choose what were wearing to work. So why are we drawn to certain colours on some days? Could dressing in the morning be more than a simple act of getting ready for the day?

It may come as a surprise but the act of picking out what we wear has a great deal to do with how we feel, both physically and emotionally. Colours can match our mood or be used to mask how we really feel. Colours can also be used as a tool to achieve certain goals, or simply to catch the attention of the new guy in the accounts department!

So here are seven top colours and how to use them.

1. Black. Its no accident that black is the most popular colour worn in the workplace. So why is it the main ingredient in the corporate uniform? Black is the absence of light. It absorbs all emotions (including negative) and allows us to be emotionally clear. There is no sense of humour in black, no colourful sense of fun and it enables us to concentrate on the task at hand. At work we behave in black and yet there is a sophistication and mystery to black that is unparalleled by any other colour. We make decisions in black, it is refined and serious and in a suit it can translate into sexy determination. Black is a colour of power and influence so its good for impressing and closing a deal.

Wear black when you want to be taken seriously and when youre on deadline. Black is also good for meetings with senior management and when you have an important presentation.

2. White: With white, of course the opposite is true. White reflects, and contains all the colours in its bright luminosity. White is pure and white is fun. White is the perfect compliment to black in its ethereal ˜goodness. White is often used to break up other colours, to inject some light into the darker hues. White is also a very spiritual colour “ it says peace and tranquillity, however the relaxing nature of white is best used in moderation, controlled by a darker counterpart. White-on-white is best kept to the laid back scene of the yoga class or the beachside.

Wear white when you want to solve an issue or conflict at work. White is also good when you want to lighten the mood in the office or create a sense of balance in the workplace.

3. Red: Watch out everyone if you choose to wear red to work! You are either channelling the passion or have a plan of attack and are loading all weapons. Red is strength and energy with a dash of fire. We are attracted to red in the closet if we want to be noticed or to charge the batteries. No need for coffee if you wear red! But beware, it can often absorb the energy of those around you along with their attention. So best to steer clear of this alluring hue if you are intending to go under the radar at work, but its great if you are running a seminar or focus group as the focus will certainly be on you!

Wear red if you need a confidence boost or are facing a challenge at work. Red is also great if youre asking for a raise in salary or a promotion.

4. Yellow: Bright cheery yellow is the colour of fun. NY cabs, the smiling face of a cartoon sun, the beach … yellow is the undeniable happy colour. Like red, yellow is used to attract and absorb but in a less aggressive and more optimistic manner. Again use it sparingly, the sunny disposition of this colour can be too intense in the workplace set against the seriousness of the dark suits. Yellow is best used in moderation as the super visibility of this colour can be annoying and lead to excessive tiredness in the wearer and those around her. Lets face it no one would like Big Bird in their office for a whole day. So keep this colour to more subdued shades like lemon and cream.

Wear yellow if you are feeling great about yourself and life “ its very infectious. Yellow is also a colour of personal power, so it can be good to wear when you need to take a stand.

5. Brown: What comes to mind when we think about chocolate, tea, cakes, bread? Comfort, a little indulgence? Same are the effects felt by wearing these colours to work. As colours seen around us daily in nature, these earthy tones are calming and perfect in the workplace as they are soothing and nurturing like a warm cup of hot chocolate… without the guilt. We are drawn to these colours for warmth and to calm us. Brown is also very grounding, so if youve been under stress “ reach for the earth colours.

Wear brown if your work life has been hectic and you feel overwhelmed. Its also a colour which engenders trust and nurture, so it can be effective if you are meeting new clients.

6. Pink: Lets revisit that pink cashmere that you just had to wear this morning. Feeling like you need a hug? Pink, is the mum of the colour spectrum, it gives you the little piece of sweetness you need to get through the day, particularly in its softer shades. Pump up the volume with hot pinks if you want channel pretty and savvy. We dress little girls in pink for a reason, as the quintessential girly colour, pink is by far the most feminine and pretty of all the colours but also a social and fun loving colour and a great one to wear if you need a pick me up.

Wear pink if you want to project a softer you to your colleagues. Pink is also about receptivity, so its a good shade to throw on if you want to attract money and opportunities.

7. Blue: Another popular colour for work, blue says professional and organised. Blue is less strident than black. It has a more sensitive quality. Blue is good if you want to be efficient and look it. Blue is also a top colour for sales. Research has shown that self help books with blue covers sell many more copies than other colours. Blue is the colour of the sky and the ocean and can have a tranquil effect too.

Wear blue if you want to communicate well or you want to have a creative ideas day. Blue is also good for reflection, so if you have some problem solving that needs done, this is your colour.

So next Tuesday you wonder why that grey sweater just isnt doing it for you, have a think about how you are feeling or whats on the agenda for the day …
Big meeting in the morning – going for that promotion? Reach for the red instead. The colours we put on are more important than just keeping up to date with whats in the mags, they can, to quote a famous chocolate bar: ˜Change the colour of your day.

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