Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

Dress to impress with the right colour

pop of colour can change your outfit. Why not shake-up your look and opt for a colour that you wouldn’t usually wear? The colour of our outfit can reflect our mood and personal style. We tend to have preconceived ideas about colours. You might see blue and think of the sky, for instance, or green with grass. You can use these associations to your advantage when trying to capture a certain look or mood in your outfit. Get creative!

 

Aesthetic

It’s very unusual to choose one colour and wear it all the time, with the potential exception of black. However, if you think about your personal style, what colours pop into your head? They may just be your favourite colours, but are there any that you specifically like to wear?If you get into a style rut, and feel a dreaded, “I have nothing to wear” escape your lips, why not play around with colour? Try something different and get out of your comfort zone.

If you want to feel confident, choose bright colour that a confident person would have no trouble being noticed in

I usually wear dark or jewel-toned trousers, because I think they look flattering on me, but wearing them so often meant I got bored. I decided to wear a pair of pastel jeans. They’d been hiding in my wardrobe for years, but when I put them on, I felt as excited as I did when I first bought them. They felt new.

You don’t have to stick rigidly to one particular style lane. Think of an adjective to describe the style you’re looking to achieve on that day. If you’ve ever watched Ru Paul’s Drag Race, their descriptions of outfits are fantastic inspiration. Then think about what colours you associate with that description and pick items in those colours. It’s about the associations that you make, not that anyone else makes – craft your own personal style!

 

Mood

Have you heard of “colourology”? It’s the scientific study of colour, and been in existence for thousands of years, across many cultures and industries. Colour is scientifically proven to have an impact on your mood.

Wearing a colour that encompasses how you want to feel can trick your mind into feeling that mood. If you want to feel confident, choose bright colours that a confident person would have no trouble being noticed in. If you want to feel relaxed, go for more muted colours and calming pastel tones.

There is a reason why many high-flying professionals dress their part impeccably – their clothes impact their mood and mind-set. This is known as “power dressing”.

 

Body

Show off your favourite parts of your body by using colour. We’ve all heard that black is flattering and hides a multitude of sins, and this is because it is a dark colour that absorbs light. It draws less attention and makes any uneven lines on the fabric look shadowed. Rather than thinking about how to “hide” things, think of it as an exercise in distraction.

Interestingly, bright colours can also be used to distract attention, but the trick is to wear bright colours in pattern form. When you wear a pattern, people notice the pattern itself rather than what is underneath it. I own tartan trousers that are bright red and tight, so you can see the curves of my tummy, but the tartan pattern is so bold that they are actually incredibly flattering and have a slimming effect.

Confidence can be learnt and the first step is always the hardest

You can still wear pale colours, but be aware they are less forgiving. They can be used to show off your figure, and look great for pieces that have a flattering silhouette. Bright colours demand attention, so wear these on places you want noticed.

If you’re not feeling especially confident, it can be tempting to get into a style rut and just wear black. Instead, an approach I have seen used within the fitness industry is to have a go at dressing “for the body you aspire to”. Studies have shown that women who work out in bright, tight clothes felt more motivated and satisfied with their progress on their fitness journeys than those who wore baggy, dark clothing, even though neither group was happy with the way their body looked initially. It can be a daunting task to dress boldly. You might feel vulnerable, but confidence can be learnt and the first step is always the hardest.

 

Balance

We all know that certain colour combinations don’t work. You can usually spot if the colours aren’t working.

Outfits that stick to one colour can be incredibly stylish, but so can multicoloured looks. Use colour shade stories to create the look you desire. A colour story might be an outfit of pastels, or a combination of muted jewel tones. A helpful tip is the rule of three; focus your outfit on having no more than three colours, and an outfit shouldn’t look overwhelming.

Colour can create contrast. There’s a risk with loose, layered clothing that there won’t be enough dimension. Breaking up an outfit with a contrast colour, such as black with pastels can work fabulously.

Colour can be an amazing tool for confidence and creativity. Use colour to express your mood! Don’t fear going out of your comfort zone. And, finally, enjoy having fun with your new (and maybe even improved) style!

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