Have you ever stood in front of the mirror and wondered why the green shirt flattered you more than the red one? Or why yellow doesn’t suit you but you look amazing in every shade of blue?
Well, it’s simple – it comes down to science.
Colours are physical vibrations that we experience through their electromagnetic waves, and, thus, each colour has a slightly different effect on our bodies. Throughout our lives, colours gain certain associations in our minds.
Because they are quite similar for most people, the associations that colours create can be useful for many different purposes. Orange, for example, exudes a certain lust for life and encourages happiness & enthusiasm. Green represents peace and quiet, blue has a calming effect by slowing the metabolism and the colour red is often associated with passion and eroticism.
However, most colours have a myriad of associations – red can also be viewed as aggressive and high energy. These effects have something to do with the wave frequency that each colour emits.
Red, for example, emits a wavelength that is 390 – 450 cycles / second (Hertz) or 660 nanometers, which means red impacts our bodies at a faster rate than colours like violet and blue.
On the other hand, violet emits a wavelength that is 730-77 vibrations / Second (Hertz) or 397 nanometers, and consequently, takes longer to reach our eyes. Therefore, violet has less of an immediate, stimulating effect.
The effects of colours can not only be limited to our minds, but they have also been proven effective in helping heal our bodies.
For example, colour specialist Christiane Grübbel from the ImagoBerlin Academy explains that the colour yellow can be used to strengthen our nerves and solar plexus. Ms Grübbel went on to further detail the effects of different colours by explaining that the vibrations emitted by red can dilate our blood vessels and, therefore, is not recommended as a healing application for people with high blood pressure.
On the other hand, blue can lower high blood pressure because the blood vessels contract due to its calming effect. Additionally, according to Ms Grübbel, blue can sometimes help reduce anxiety and even lessen fevers.
However, one can not readily generalise such effects, as every person experiences individual sensations when confronted with different colours. For instance, while many people feel too energised to sleep in a room with red walls, others experience a pleasant effect from red and have no trouble drifting off.
But how can the effects of different colours be properly harnessed? Simply through your clothing, or are there other ways to use colour to your advantage? According to Ms Grübbel, you can also harness the healing power of colour through the colours you use to paint your home, the colours of your food, art & pictures.
At the end of the day, there are many different ways to use colour, it’s just about finding the right one for you.
So, if you’re preparing for an interview, should you dress in a specific colour to get the job?
We can summarise Ms Grübbel’s advice can as follows:
Dress in a way that makes you feel comfortable and represents who you are. Spend some time trying on different colours and examine yourself in the mirror. How does the colour interact with your eye, hair and skin colour? How does it make you feel? Ask your friends and family for their opinion, or seek professional advice.
In her opinion, the clichés of a being with either a Winter, Spring, Summer or Autumn skin-type are no longer sufficient to describe the wide and ever-expanding variety of human eye, hair and skin colours.
By way of example, ImagoBerlin, the Berlin Academy for personal style, works with 26 different colour types. It’s therefore clear that there’s no simple answer for what colours will suit you based on outdated stereotypes. But with some time, help and advice, you can figure out which colours will flatter and enhance your natural features.
What colours look good on me?
This is a fair question, and a lot of it depends on your skin, hair & eye colour. The most important asoect to consider is what flatters your skin.
Those with cooler undertones in their skin often look best in blues, rose pinks, purples and greys. Whereas those with warm undertones look great in olive greens, coral pinks, browns and other such earth tones. Those with neutral undertones can wear a wider variety of colours, but ones such as red, bright white, and sky blue flatter them especially.
The best approach is to follow Ms Grübbel’s above advice and spend some time in the mirror or with friends to determine what your skin undertones are and what colours look best with your hair & eyes.
Why not stick to the basics – like black, white & grey?
Monochromes were introduced by the fashion industry decades back and have always served as functional, effortless basics. But often, we hide behind inconspicuous clothing – colours such as black, grey, beige, dark blue and white become the staples of our wardrobe – they’re safe and easy.
But if you’re willing to explore the full colour-spectrum, you might be surprised by how it makes you feel & look.
At the end of the day, style can serve an important purpose – it can help you to conduct yourself in happier, more self-confident & resolute manner. This can be especially beneficial in situations that require negotiation, a dash of bravery or the ability to stand out from the crowd.
Your perception of the world and it’s perception of you will change as soon as you begin to wear colours that truly make you shine.
So why not give it a go? You never know until you try.
Translation by Cory Egitton, Zipjet
Original article in German by Michelle Madrigal, Zipjet