Psychology of Colors and Emotions | Percival Menswear
The Science of Color: How Color Affects Your Mood
Our lives are filled with a cacophony of colours, so much so that it’s easy to overlook how they may affect your mood and even your subconscious impressions. By understanding the science of colour and colour psychology, you can make clothing choices that can have the best impact on your mood and the moods of the people around you.
What Is Color Psychology?
Colour psychology is the study of how colours can affect emotions. Psychologists, artists, clothing designers, and marketing professionals are all interested in colour psychology.
A major part of colour psychology is understanding the emotional associations people have with different colours. Some of these associations are universal and some change depending on your culture. On an even more individual level, a person might have specific memories and life experiences that impact how colours affect their emotions.
A woman might wear a red dress on a night out to portray confidence and sensuality. The marketing team of a meditation app might choose a blue logo to portray a sense of calm. The feelings we associate with different colours greatly influence the way we experience the world.
Colours and Their Associated Emotions
While individual experiences may shift your perspective of different colours, psychologists, designers, and marketers have all found trends in the associations people tend to make between certain colours and emotions.
From a calming blue to an infuriating red, here are some ways that the colours we wear can impact our moods and the moods of the people around us.
Red is a colour that invokes very strong emotions. When someone is angry, we say that they are “seeing red.” When someone is in love, others will often comment that they are looking at their significant other through “rose-colored glasses.” Red is associated with:
Red brings with it a lot of excitement, sometimes that excitement is positive, sometimes it is negative — either way, red brings undeniable energy to all that view it but its energy is undeniable. Fire trucks, stoplights, and other emergency services are red so that they catch your eye while you are out on the road. Valentine’s Day cards are bold and red, showing love and attraction.
Wearing too much red can cause some unconscious intimidation to the people around you, but simultaneously, it can also energize those around you by subliminally communicating dominance. Red has a long history, and it is the oldest colour ever created by artists and can be seen on the walls of prehistoric caves.
While red can mean anything from first love to the violence of war, orange is a bit more simple in its scope of emotions. Orange is associated with:
In short, orange is the colour of a successful extrovert. It brings together the energy of red and the joy of yellow. Orange is a colour that brings people together, increases their appetite, and gets the conversation going. If you are looking for a pop of colour to wear that will positively impact the people around you, orange might be a good choice for you!
Yellow is a colour of joy and positivity. Its effects in design and marketing are widespread, and for good reason. Yellow is associated with:
- Joy and happiness;
- Hope and positive thinking;
- Curiosity and the pursuit of knowledge.
Many companies, particularly fast-food chains, use yellow in their logos to promote feelings of joy, contentment, and nostalgia. However, if you are looking at incorporating yellow into your wardrobe or home decor, make sure you use it sparingly. It can have a very strong impact on people, and in large amounts, yellow can be visually exhausting.
Green is all around us. Every blade of grass, tree, and houseplant brings this colour into our lives. Green is associated with:
- Restfulness and peace;
- Growth and rebirth.
Green is often used by brands that want to be associated with health or with organic products. But the meaning of this colour can change because of cultural influences. For instance, if you are in the United States, where money is green, then you may associate green with greed or finances.
If you want to invoke feelings of nature, serenity, and peace, and you don’t like bright colours, then incorporating a deep, forest green into your wardrobe can be a great place to start.
Blue is found in nature just as much as green is. From the sky over our heads to the oceans and lakes, blue is everywhere. Blue is associated with:
- Tranquility and calm;
In addition, a 2015 study found that shoppers associated companies with blue logos with ethical and sustainable practices more than those with green logos. To take a lesson from this study and apply it to your wardrobe, you should use blue to calm the people around you and invoke feelings of dependability.
Navy blue is excellent for professional situations because of its neutral look, but if you want a brighter blue you can wear ties or shirts in your preferred hue. You can also incorporate navy blue into your casual looks to create a calming influence for yourself or the people around you.
Purple rarely occurs in nature, so throughout human history, it has been seen as a very special colour. Purple is associated with:
In ancient times, purple dye was very hard to come by, and so purple items were very expensive. The colour became associated with royalty and with the church, and that association continues today. Wearing small amounts of purple, especially darker, deep purples, can convey an image of power to the people around you.
Black is an interesting colour because technically, it isn’t a colour. Black won’t be found on any colour wheel. It is the absorption of all different types of light, so it is really all of the colours combined. Black is associated with:
- Sophistication and high-class living;
Black is a complex colour. In Western cultures, particularly in North America, black can be associated with death or evil. However, many associate its simplicity with sophisticated items, from tuxedos and limousines and the logos for high-end jewellery. In addition, many marketers have used black to make powerful statements in contrast with brighter colours.
Black can be a great choice for clothing because of the positive associations it has. If you are trying to make an outfit more stylish and sophisticated, adding a nice, black jacket or workshirt is a simple way to do so.
White is a colour that means very different things in different parts of the world. In many Eastern cultures, white is worn for funerals and mourning periods. However, in the West, white is associated with:
Wearing white can also help to promote feelings of peace or it can help to convey good intentions.