Colour Your Workwear: A Guide

Last Updated May 19, 2010 11:58 AM EDT

Here's a few more notes on how colours and tones resonate with your skin type, your eye and your hair colour and how choosing the right colours to wear will enable you to give your working wardrobe some positive direction.

Choosing those colours that suit you will, if really understood, enable you to buy clothes that are well-coordinated with the added benefit of making efficient use of your budget and save time spent shopping, which isn't everyone's cup of tea.

There are some rare individuals who have terrific colour sense and really understand what suits them well. But it's not that easy for everyone. The understanding of what really works in your colour palette is the key to deliberately choosing those clothes that will bring results for you.

Colour is often thought to be a fluffy thing, but it actually has a deep impact on how people react to you. For example, red has the highest vibration of all colours: the eye sees it before any other colour as it reaches the retina faster than all the others. It can also cause aggression as it raises blood pressure, quickens the pulse and makes you breathe faster.

Wearing red in business meetings, whether for ladies wearing a red jacket or for men choosing a red tie, is a strong statement and can rev up the proceedings more than you may expect, so ensure you've chosen the appropriate moment to wear it.

The appropriate colour worn close to your face, man or woman, gives your skin a lift, brings out the tones of your own colouring to its best advantage and a sparkle to your eyes. Choosing a colour that drains you can, at worst, make you almost invisible and even make you look unwell.

Why will you suit some colours and tones better than others? It will depend upon your overall colour type. The easiest way to explain this is in terms of seasons; where do you fit -- are you a summer, autumn, winter or spring type?

If your skin tone is warm, that is, with yellow tones, freckles, or it's very pale and devoid of any pinkness you will most probably fit into either an autumn or a spring -â€" that is, a warm category. If your skin tone is cool, with some pink in it you will be classified as a winter or a summer where you are best served by wearing cooler blue-influenced colours.

If you have black or Asian colouring, the same applies. If you have black skin with copper highlights you will suit deep warm colours â€"- autumn, and some dark skins are almost blue in tone, therefore suit deep cool colours, and will fit into the winter category.

For winter and autumn types, high contrast is often a good way to demonstrate visibility and power â€" such as white shirts and deep, rich blue ties with a dark grey or navy suit for a winter man, and for an autumn lady, a cream top and dark teal trousers or skirt would show definition and a powerful contrast.

For the blonde summers, paler colours are more appropriate, and mid grey in suiting is as dark as it should get, similarly for springs.

The next question to ask is whether you are deep in tone, or light. Do you have blonde hair or dark brown hair, dark eyes or paler, say, blue eyes? If darker and with a warm skin tone you will fit into an autumn category, and if you are paler you will more likely fit into a summer category as your skin tone is cool. As you can see this is a complicated and diverse series of tests, but handled professionally it will certainly find all your wow colours and help you to stand out from the crowd.

For a free ebook on understanding more about colour choices send an email here.

(Pic: Team Dalog cc2.0)