Spring is here and you’re probably thinking it’s time to bring out the pastels in your wardrobe, but I wear corals over winter and I couldn’t care less what colors people think I should wear and when.
Pretty, isn’t it? But how does it make you feel?
Color acceptance has changed a lot throughout history. Blue was once a feminine color, associated with the Virgin Mary, symbolizing holiness. Not long ago, however, it was considered a color for boys. A thought that grows smaller every day, as the equality of genders becomes more popular.
But I’m not here to talk about politics or religion, am I? No. I’m here to chat about how to wear – and use – color with awareness. It goes beyond slimming effects and timeless basics, so let’s get started!
Warm vs. Cool
Those considered warm are tones of red, orange and yellow. While cool colors are blues, greens and purples. Simple, right? No. We can also find warm and cool shades of the same color. And you know what I’m talking about if you’ve already tried to find the red lipstick that suits you best! – I’m an orange red myself.
Warm colors make us think of warm things, such as sunlight or fire, and that makes us think of what keeps us warm, cozy and comfortable. Cools almost give us the impression of actually being cold, and cold is lonely, lonely is sad. Do you see where I’m going with this? Obviously I’m not saying cool tones are bad, it was just an example. It may not seem like it on a daily basis, but color has a lot of influence on our mood. The way I use this in my favor is by trying to balance things out with complementary colors – blue+orange, red+green, yellow+purple –, and you can do that with outfits, home decor, anything you’d like.
Starting with my personal favorite, Blue. It’s a calming color that evokes intelligence and wisdom. It’s commonly associated with purity – when lighter –, loyalty and trust – in darker tones –. When dressing to look serious and hardworking, navy is definitely a good choice.
Green is generally used in environments related to health. It’s also associated with nature, therefore, fertility. If you look around, you’ll realize green is used in a lot of signs, that’s because we link it to safety. Green and blue are both seen as colors that express cleanliness.
Being the brightest color, Yellow is the color of happiness. It’s warm, reminding you of sunshine and making you feel energetic. It can, however, be overwhelming, so I wouldn’t wear it top to bottom – just like I wouldn’t paint a whole room yellow – but the mustard yellow sweater is becoming my new obsession.
You wouldn’t think so, but Orange is actually mentally stimulating. Orange reminds you of summer and tropical environments, it’s a fun and young color. It’s highly associated with healthy foods, being the color of a lot of fruits and vegetables. In some cultures it means bravery and courage.
Red might be the color of love and passion, but it’s also the color of warning, being used to express prohibition or caution. If you want to attract people’s attention, red is the color sure to do that. You should be careful how you use it, because it could easily stop indicating vitality and strength – positive – and become an aggressive angry color – negative –.
Pink is romantic and caring. It’s delicate, sensitive and innocent. Usually seen as a girly color, it’s actually one to evoke comfort and acceptance. To wear pink in your favor it’s simply a matter of choosing the right shade. Pink has been a trend for a while and it’s all about the one that suits you best. Particularly, I love a pink and grey combination.
The color of nobility, Purple has been linked to royalty for ages, and it also symbolizes authority and power. Very popular in fantasy, it expresses mystery. It can be associated with confidence – which goes perfectly with Kilgrave, from Jessica Jones – but could bring out depressive thoughts and feelings in some people. Light purples such as lilac and lavender can be calming.
While not always considered a color, but the absence of it or the mixture of all depending on the field of study you go for, White is achromatic – meaning without color – and reflects all light. It’s associated with purity and peace, and it’s usually related to good things. Black is the opposite. Lacking light, it means bad things, negativity and death. Be aware that this is the common use in many cultures, but not at all a rule.
Instead of reflecting, black absorbs light, and that is the simple explanation to why black is slimming and white isn’t. When an object reflects light, it appears larger. Black can be very powerful, though. In an all black outfit, you are the focus, you stand out, ergo, the little black dress. Grey stands between black and white, commonly associated with confusion and shadow. Because it’s not as extreme as the two latter ones, it becomes quite practical, moderate, on a daily basis. To be more versatile, it can be infused with other tints, changing its hue – I find blueish greys more interesting –, and choosing the right one makes a great combination with other colors.
My favorite combinations
navy + grey
orange + blue
grey + pink
black | grey
What are your favorites? Do you ever think about their meanings when you choose colors, randomly pick one or stick to your favorite? Share, please!