Comfort helps performance
I think most of us are on board with the idea that dressing well can help us do better in a job interview, but could it also help us score better in an exam? Remarkably, yes it could. It comes down to two factors: self-confidence (helping to ensure we bring our ‘A’ game) and comfort (so we can focus on the task in hand). Studies have shown that how comfortable you feel in what you wear has a positive impact on your cognitive performance and helps reduce distractions.
Boost your confidence and comfort
One of the ways we can boost both our confidence and comfort levels is by understanding what colours – and shades of colour – suit our style, our body shape and our personality.
Colour impacts on a number of levels
Colour theory tells us that, as humans, we respond to colours on a number of levels. The most obvious is the visual or biological response, how the light from colours reaches our eyes and is interpreted in our brains. For example, bright colours will usually appear larger or closer to us, where darker or dull colours will seem smaller or further away.
Then we might have a psychological response to colours, often through years of association with a colour. The hint of a blue flashing light in your rear-view mirror and your sub-conscious is already planning your next move; you would respond differently if it was an orange or green flashing light.
A small step on from the psychological is our emotional response to colours. This could be a passion for pastels, because we associate them with the comfort of Grannie’s flowery blouses, to a hatred of purple because it reminds you of that horrible teacher from school with the purple tights. Of course, this varies with colour temperatures, tones and hues, so you might find there is one shade of purple you actually like!
We have a complex relationship with colour
Partly because of our complex relationship with colour, it becomes a memorable feature and the one we will refer to most frequently. “That red car you used to have…”, “Those silver sandals you picked up in Greece…” It also helps to explain the urban legends of the ‘little black dress’ and the ‘lady in red’ (both are feminine, confident and stylish but I’d bet the lady in the red is probably bolder!).
Colour can make you memorable or feel braver, or it can help you disappear into the background. It can make you look taller and slimmer, or like you’re a woman with the confidence not to give a hoot!
What about how others respond to colour?
For all of these reasons, colour is usually the top motivation for buying an item of clothing. But that purchase is based on how we respond to the colour rather than how others will respond to it, or if it will suit our skin tone, hair colour and body shape. To understand the responses of others, we need to step outside of our own reactions and see ourselves as others see us, through the eyes of a trusted friend or an Image Consultant. Yes, you might have picked a ‘statement’ outfit but is it making the ‘statement’ you think it is?
Understanding the colours that suit you will mean you have a wardrobe that you can be confident in, where garments will often blend or tone well with each other. You don’t have to worry about whether anything really suits you or feels comfortable; instead you can think ‘how bold do I feel today’?