Whether we like it or not, it’s true to say that our appearance has a powerful effect on how the world sees us. But what we don’t always consider is how colour itself affects not only how we look, but also our confidence and mood.
Helen Venables, Managing Director of House of Colour, the expert colour and style consultants, explains: “Colour plays a huge part in the impression that you make on the people around you. If you are wearing the right colours in business and in your personal life, you can ensure that you will be more memorable, look brighter and healthier and that you will feel more confident.”
So why are so many of us still drawn to wearing neutrals and black? “There is nothing wrong with wearing neutrals, as long as you are wearing the right neutrals for your skin tone. It is easy to gravitate towards colours which we’ve been wearing all our lives. Many of us rely on black as our go-to colour, a colour which we believe looks good on everyone. The truth is black only suits some people (winter season), and can make people who are other seasons appear tired with dull looking complexion. If we wear the colours that suit us, then we will look and feel alive, energised and more visible which in turn will affect our mood.
“It is a bit of a chicken and an egg situation. By taking control and wearing the colours and styles that suit you, you can influence your mood from the beginning of the day and therefore also to some extent the outcome of that day, very often affected by how you get treated by others through the day.”
Venables and her 100-strong Colour and style consultants team argue that differentiating ourselves, being true to our clothing personalities ie what actually suits us and our character traits, and being memorable for all the right reasons is vital in an increasingly pressured world. However, she is at pains to stress it’s not all about wearing bright colours, but the right colours. “We all have our own wow colours that always look amazing when worn close to our face. Similarly wearing the wrong make up is a deal breaker. The wrong red lipstick will drain us but the right colour will make our complexion glow and our eyes sparkle.
So how does it work? House of Colour personal stylists use a selection of drapes to test what colours suits each client. Colours are compared with the pigments that sit underneath a client’s skin to determine which colours of clothing and accessories lift the face, and which ones are more unflattering. Styling is also a key part of the process to find shapes that flatter not hide and detailing that spotlights our personalities. And don’t be fooled into thinking this is just for the ladies. Venables says: “You will be amazed about how the right coloured shirt, jacket or tie can change the look of our male clients. But with either sex you will see the difference instantly. That moment when a colour lights up a face is often an absolute lightbulb moment that changes our clients and enables them to be far more visible in their workplace for all the right reasons.”