Colors You Wear and the Messages They Send

The colors you wear in a professional setting are about so much more than mere fashion or style. Colors send subconscious messages that affect your mood and energy level. Colors also affect others that interact with you. The colors we choose for our business attire send a strong message. You want to select the colors that portray confidence, sincerity and reliability. Navy Blue What is the one color that absolutely breathes success? Studies show that navy blue is the best color for a suit to wear at work and for a job interview, because it inspires confidence. You are more likely to get the job when you wear navy blue to an interview than any other color.

Red Red is powerful and strong. It shows you're not afraid to stand out, and it gets attention however, too much red may create a flurry of mixed messages in the corporate world.

Beige Even in summer I recommend, the darker the color, the more powerful the look. If beige is the predominant color in your outfit, you may look drab or understated. Instead of beige, ivory makes a better business statement.

White All white is too stark so add a little color to the outfit. Women, avoid white shoes. Crème/ivory shoes look better.

Green Dark green, such as emerald will look powerful and sophisticated. Avoid the yellow

based greens such as khaki and lime green in the business environment.

Pink Pink is not just for women anymore. Men may wear a pink or salmon shirt as a communicator color. Women can wear pink to soften a strong, dark-colored suit.

Purple Dark purple is elegant and projects authority. Purple in some cultures represents death and bereavement.

Yellow Yellow can be a cheerful choice especially in the winter and you will be perceived as having a sunny personality. Avoid the color mustard.

Brown Brown is NOT the new black as many fashion magazines are saying. You can accent your brown suit with blue, pink, ivory or yellow.

Orange Peach is a better choice and blends well with other core colors. Bright orange is not appropriate in the corporate world. Peach and soft to medium orange are good communicator colors.

Black Yes, it looks classic and sophisticated but black may also be perceived as depressing, unimaginative or dark-spirited. So, add a little color to your black outfit.

Plain Garments Versus Patterned Garments Plain garments will always appear more business like than patterned garments so build your core wardrobe around tailored, one color items and add the patterned items in your shirt or blouse.

Everything you wear, say and do adds to the perception of your value or detracts from the perception of your value. Your are the message.


Gloria Starr, President and Founder of Gloria Starr International. Established 1983. Areas of expertise include executive presence, image, business etiquette, manners, communication skills and leadership excellence.

Ms. Starr has been recognized by the United States Government as a consultant of extraordinary ability and talent and ranked in the top 5% of consultants worldwide. The Society for the Advancement of Consulting awarded Ms. Starr "Excellence in Consu...

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