What Colors Say

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Color Talks! Learn How Colors Influence Behavior

color influence clothes

What it says about you may not always be what you had in mind. Colors not only enhance the appearance — they also influence our behavior. It’s to your advantage to consider the responses to color, both physiological and psychological.

In London, when the Blackfriars Bridge, made of black ironwork, was repainted a green color, suicides declined more than 30%.

Notice how many fast food restaurants use red, orange, and yellow. This is to attract the customer to the establishment and to make the food look better. Red also has a positive affect on your appetite!

The colors of some restaurants are also bright inside, pleasing enough for a time, but designed to encourage you not to linger and move on, to make room for other customers and higher profits. To keep the customers the interior of the restaurant should be bathed in blue or green.

Color can affect the sense of temperature, size of a room, and how food appears. But restaurants and all places of employment need to understand the affects of color since yellow places of work cause grumpy, tense employees
The color pink is calming, that’s why you’ll see it in jails (no personal experience!) and Department of Motor Vehicle offices and hopefully soon in Post Offices. Some teams have even painted the Locker room of the visiting team pink for a tranquilizing effect

Ever think about what the color of your tie, or car or walls of your bedroom is really saying! Color is important since it gets an emotional response from people and can really effect how you look.


Here’s a list of emotional responses.

Because we are men and for the most part don’t care about color and all that, this list is useful. First, it tells you what your clothes are saying, at least in some crazy, subtle way.

Second, for the women in your life who think you’re not in touch with your feelings, this list provides emotions you can wear on your sleeve, literally. Or on your car, the walls of your home, the cover of Your next presentation, etc.

So reach deep down inside and pick a feeling. We’ll tell you how to express yourself in living color:

RED — Dominance, power, attention, sexual energy, health, determination, passion, persistence, excitement, strength


“I love red so much; I almost want to paint
everything red.”

— Alexander Calder

PINK — Upbeat, good health, calming, friendly, compassionate, faithful, femininity, calm


ORANGE —Happy, courageous, successful, enthusiasm, bold, adventuresome, friendliness, warmth, informality, welcoming, movement, energy


“Orange is the happiest color”
— Frank Sinatra

BROWN — Informal, reliable, approachable, relaxed, stability, earthy


YELLOW — Anxiety, alert, optimistic, confident, stimulating, enthusiastic, playful, cheerful, communicative,
expressive, intelligent


“Yellow is capable of charming God.”
–Vincent Van Gogh

GREEN — Relaxing, compassion, prosperity, prestige, growth, abundance, money, vitality, harmony, efficiency


AQUA — Motivated, active, dynamic

TURQUOISE — Refreshing, cool, imaginative, innovative, youthful

BLUE — Loved, high regard, knowledge, authority, trust, serious, responsibility, peace, social status, caring, good
health, tranquil, intuitive, happiness, calm, honest, loyalty, integrity

LIGHT BLUE — Peaceful, sincere, affectionate

INDIGO — Knowledge, power, integrity

PURPLE — Spiritual, passionate, visionary, regal, powerful, respected, dignified, luxurious


“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color
purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”

— Alice Walker, The Color Purple
(Simon & Schuster 1982)

LAVENDER — Romantic, imaginative, fantasy


MAGENTA — Outrageous, imaginative, innovative

GOLD — Illumination, wisdom, prestige, expensive

SILVER — Prestige, cold, scientific

BLACK — Elegance, authority, dignity, sophistication, seductive, mystery


“I’ve been 40 years discovering that the queenof all colors is black.”
— Pierre-Auguste Renoir

GRAY — Brainy, class, efficiency, sophisticated, confidence


WHITE — Virtue, fertility, clean, status, prosperity

A History of the Color Blue

Blue was a color that has signified power and beauty since Egyptian times.

Pastel blue was popular with Germanic tribes who derive a dye from the herb woad during the First Century BC through 5th Century AD. The Roman consider the color blue barbaric.

New processes made blue dye colorfast which gave it a prominent place in painting, heraldry and clothing during the 11th and 12th Centuries. Marco Polo reported seeing the color blue in Baghdad in the 1300’s.

During the 15th and 16th Centuries, Protestant reformers think that bright colors (especially red) are carnal! But growing trade with the rest of the world exposed Europe to the indigo plant, which produced a deeper blue. Indigo is one of the oldest dyes and made from fermented leaves of Indigofera plants, which are native to China and India. By the early 19th century Britain was the main supplier of the blue dye from its plantations in India.

In 1860 Indigo dye was first used for denim. The dye is why they’re called “blue jeans”! German chemist Adolph von Baeyer was the first to create a synthetic indigo dye that Sir William Perkin improved in 1856.

Colors can be divided into Cool and Warm Colors

Cool colors: (green, blue, violet) are associated with water, sky and foliage. They are calming, unassuming and they appear to recede. This is handy knowledge if you want to appear less heavy or you’re in the witness protection program.

Warm colors: (red, orange, yellow) are associated with fire and the sun. They psychologically suggest emotion, energy and warmth while optically appearing larger. Now you can skip the gym and still bulk up!

Use a color combo that doesn’t compliment your eye, hair and skin tone, and people ask if ou’re feeling okay — which, if it’s a good-looking nurse, is also a way of making color work for you.

Color tip: If you look washed out in yellow, wear a yellow shirt the day before you call in sick to go to the beach. Everyone will talking about how bad you looked the day before!

We’re not advocating a red suit for a job interview, but you can use this color code knowledge for casual clothes, and for bold tie colors to accent your face.

“How to Look Your Best” is comprised of several articles. Read these sections to see how you can project your best image.


Andy’s Color Coordination Chart!
Put up this useful chart in your closet, and make Color Coordination easy!
Only $22.99 Just one of the many items available from the Ask Andy Shop !

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Hang this in your closet to help coordinate the colors of your clothing. This is a great but easy way to instantly see what colors go with others. This high-quality poster, printed on heavyweight 7 mil semi-gloss paper using superior dye inks. Image size 16″ X 20″. Treat yourself or give as a gift.