The Shift Network Blog

5 Common Colors & the Hidden Messages You’re Sending When You Wear Them
Arden Reece
By Arden Reece
Expert Color Practitioner

The effect that color can have on us (and others!) is often underestimated and taken for granted...

But I bet you can you think of a time when you put a color on, and it completely changed your mood — or even your entire day.

Maybe it was a blouse whose color brought out your skin tone and made you look like you were “just glowing.”

Maybe it was the blue-green gemstone in a necklace or ring that somehow soothed you.

Or perhaps it was that pop of red lipstick that you put on that instantly made you feel sexy and strong.

However, what you may not know is that the colors you select can not only help your true essence and natural beauty shine, they can also subtly impact others’ perceptions of you.

(And later in this article I’m sharing a special recording where I’ll help you discover how to identify one of your own unique essence colors — your “approachable color.”)

Here are some of the known effects of 5 common colors and the hidden messages you may be communicating to others when you wear them:
 


Pink

Pink is a lightened version of the red-violet hue, leaning towards red. It comes in a variety of values and saturations from soft pink to vibrant bright pink, and it can convey a variety of meanings when you wear it.

When you wear lighter to softer pinks & roses, you are conveying the following message about yourself:

  • Sweet
  • Nice
  • Feminine
  • Charming
  • Friendly
  • Tender

 

When you wear the more vibrant and richer pinks, you are evoking the following feelings:

  • Sexy
  • Sensual
  • Flirty
  • Beautiful/Captivating

 

Universally, pink conveys intimacy and nurturing. In fact, many hospitals and prisons have found that pink is good at calming people in agitated circumstances... there is a lot of research supporting this including the use of pink lighting.
 


Blue

Blue is the most popular color worldwide. There are many colors that are derived from the hue known as blue. And each of these blues, whether they are lightened, muted or shaded, has a different feel and meaning to them.

Research has shown that most individuals consider a lighter blue as “peaceful” and “tranquil” where the darker, deeper blues can be considered “depressing” and “sad.” There is a range of meanings depending on the saturation and value of the hue.

When you wear blue, it can say this about you (again, depending on the value and personality/saturation of the blue):

  • Steady, Loyal, Trustworthy — deep blues
  • Diligent, Traditional — navies
  • Elegant — dark or rich blues
  • Calm, Peaceful — tinted or muted blues
  • Refreshing — bright and clear blues
  • Tranquil, Secure — soft and muted blues

 


White

White signifies a variety of meanings throughout the world, from wisdom, to purity and cleanliness, to evoking feelings of the spiritual nature. In fact, white is worn at many funerals in Asian cultures and I love that sentiment; I’m not one for having my friends and family wear black to mine — white is my request!

In environments, white sand, snowy landscapes, billowy clouds and even interior decor evoke the following feelings that envelope the user:

  • Ethereal, Awe-inspiring
  • Blissful
  • Light, Bright
  • Cool
  • Crisp
  • Clean, Modern
  • Spirituality

 

When it comes to wearing white, you want to wear the white that matches the whites of your eyes or other dominant feature such as hair or teeth. Layering various whites from head to toe will create a look that best communicates the adjectives in the words above. Depending on the style and cut, when you wear white, it can say this about you:

  • Spiritual, Goddess (think chiffon, flowing wraps and scarves)
  • Crisp & Sharp, Together, “With-It” (think crisp white cottons, jeans or unique shapes)
  • Modern & Chic (try minimal & sophisticated design)
  • Pure & Innocent (think dresses & tops with eyelet fabric or embroidered details)

 

If you have white hair, make sure the whites you wear match (there are various tones of white hair from gray/white, soft white to green/white.) And just one the thing on white hair: to most it evokes age and wisdom, but it’s also coming into it’s own and is considered cool and modern. So if your hair is white, then it’ll look best on you in a style that is modern and chic.
 


Gray

When we consider gray in our environments and in nature, we think of stormy gray clouds, solid marble, industrial steel, cold concrete and other man-made structures. Gray is serious, calm and collected. Even the stone hematite has a calm, cooling effect when you hold it — it is known for it’s strong, grounding energy.

With our wardrobes, gray can take on similar, yet also very different, meanings. When you wear gray (or silver), it sends various messages about you, depending on the value (light gray to dark charcoal) you wear:

  • Serious, Corporate — a good neutral dark gray without warmth or coolness
  • Professional, Classic — medium + dark charcoal grays
  • Cool, Modern — light-medium to silvery grays
  • Solid, Sophisticated, Timeless — neutral grays
  • Non-Committal, Neutral — light grays

 


Green

Green... the color of hope, health and luck. For many of us, we think of nature’s bounty from grass to trees to the good-for-us food we eat. It nourishes our bodies and gives us the air we breathe through photosynthesis. Green sits right in-between yellow and blue in the visible spectrum and is considered a secondary color since yellow (sun) and blue (water) create green (grass.)

Depending on it’s chroma and color personality, it can go from deep forest green to army green and olive to grass green, sage or even mint green. There are lots of varieties from cooler emerald greens to warmer yellow-greens. It’s nature’s neutral and a great color to add to your core wardrobe. (I offer four neutral palettes which include the right green for you based on if you are Warm, Cool, Silver-Warm or Silver-Cool.)

Along with being a great neutral, green is wonderful to add to your wardrobe or home. It pairs beautifully with denim/navy, blue, aqua, tan, white/ivory, and gray or black. For a peaceful home office, try mint green.

Add a green accessory such as jewelry, a scarf, tote or shoes to add a pop of color... green brings life and hope and helps you feel connected to the planet (no wonder it’s used for eco-friendly themes.)

So, what does wearing green say about you? It *could* mean you are celebrating St. Paddy’s Day, the color of the "Emerald Isle" (aka Ireland.) But, in many countries, it could convey that you are full of life, healthy, and/or environmentally aware... all great meanings in my book. In the U.S., it also stands for luck and money so it could be a great color to wear when you’re asking for that raise or investment.

In addition, research has shown that green is the most restful color to the eyes...we are refreshed and soothed when we surround ourselves with green and it is a wonderful color to have around for concentration or any sedentary task.

Green is also very healing and that’s why you’ll see the green cross worldwide to identify pharmacies and health centers. Since ancient times, green stones have been known to promote healing. Malachite and emerald are two that work incredibly well.

Emerald is known to increase the life flow of energy throughout your body and malachite promotes harmony and combats disease. It’s important that you use therapeutic grade stones as it does make a difference.

How to Find Your “Approachable Color”

While the information above reflects common perceptions of colors, you also have your own set of exceptional colors... ones that are unique to you.

When used correctly and in harmony, they can bring out your true essence and natural radiating beauty.

And one of these is your “approachable color.”

This color — specific to you — will actually encourage people to approach you and find you more friendly, and it’s just one of the colors which will draw people to you.

Listen to the following audio (and see the accompanying graphic) taken from one of my online courses, to discover how you can find your approachable color....

Your approachable color is just one of the powerful colors in your unique personal palette that I teach (other “essence colors” include restful, soul, spirit, vulnerable and trusting). These specific colors can dramatically change your life — from the way you feel about yourself to the way people see you and those you attract into your life.

It is my personal mission on the planet to help people see themselves as a work of art, and I hope you will take what you’ve learned here to do exactly that.
 

PS — If you'd like to receive profound insights into the art and science of color — including how color affects your mood, expresses your essence and radiance, and the best color palette for you — I hope you'll download my free hour-long audio: