I’m a natural girl through and through. I love earth tones, subdued colors, being near water, and walks through nature. Whenever I shop, I choose neutral colors so they’ll easily blend in. Even my home décor reigns of beige, browns, and taupe colors. But there is something that makes me feel saucy and a little bit fiery, whenever I wear red nail polish. My hand gestures become grander while speaking, there is an extra sashay in my stride, and I feel that much more confident.
All this from a little splash of color on my finger nails?
But what is really going on here? The color red elicits this notion of sex. Studies show that women wearing red are perceived as more sexual than women who wear any other color. This is largely because of the deeply ingrained beliefs we have of equating the color red to sex. Did you hear about the French study of waitresses who earned more money from male tippers by wearing red lipstick? While I’d never suggest wearing something for the sole purpose of attracting a man, it’s interesting to note how guys respond to women when they wear red.
So how does this play out in the context of business and our careers?
Corporate style consultant Jacqui Stafford, says “Wearing a rich, deep color like red commands respect, gets you noticed and shows that you’re a risk taker. It sends a strong message. Wearing the same boring black or navy suit everyday is safe,” she says.
The color red is known to evoke passion, awareness, increased alertness, and focus. It stands out and demands attention. It’s even been proven that the color works to increase confidence in women. "The clothes and colors we wear have a real impact on the way we feel. The color red is associated with confidence and power," says Psychologist Dr. Gayle Brewer. A study showed that 26% of women reported feeling more confident while wearing red lipstick.
The colors we wear most often say a lot about who we are. Sometimes the comfort of wearing safe colors can be a clue into our inner psyche that we’re stuck in our comfort zones. It’s interesting how our subconscious can control something as little as what outfit we choose to wear for the day. Colors can make all the difference in how we’re feeling.
The most important part of wearing red is how you feel in it and to wear it for no one else or for no other reason than, it makes you feel good about yourself. Whether it’s red or something else, choose a color that you’re comfortable in and defines who you are on your terms. Sure, it’s just vanity at the end of the day, but if it helps to boost your self-confidence and your sense of self-worth, then it’s all good!
What colors do you feel your best in? Where can you add a dash of red to your wardrobe? Share your comments with me below!
Photo by: Andre Kohn, Vintage Valentino