Walk around various offices in Kenya and you will find most of us wear shades of black, brown, grey, white and sometimes blue, to work.
Colours make an impression and send out non-verbal messages of all sorts, whether you actively went out to make that impression or not. Here are some tips of what colour can do for you.
There is no rule that states that colour is a no in and for that matter out of the workplace. So take a chance and experiment. Once you start wearing more colour, there will be no stopping you.
Black and Red: They are colours of authority and assertiveness. Worn separately or together you will appear powerful and in charge.
White: Denotes purity and freshness. It can be quite a hard colour to wear in its purest form, but everyone needs white in his or her colour palette. Experiment with the different shades of white, ivory, cream, and pearl.
Brown and Beige: These colours are earthy and friendly. They are an excellent alternative to black.
Navy and Blue: These are by far the most popular colours for most men. They are conservative and authoritative. Darker navy and lighter blue shades are great colours for shirts and tops.
Green and Yellow: The colour of nature, green gives out a reassuring message. Certain shades of green have a calming effect. The brighter shades of green are best used either for casual wear or as an accent colour (a spot, a stripe or a check) in a tie. Yellow is a friendly and approachable colour. Graying men and women should however limit their use of yellow as an accent colour.
Pinks and Purples: A man who wears pink is compassionate, confident and comfortable with his masculinity. All women need some pink in their wardrobe to bring out their femininity, whether it is in some underwear or a pashmina. Pink is great for casual shirts or tops worn at the weekend. Purple in its purest form, shows creativity as well as sensitivity. Give it a try in a tie, sweater, shirt for men or a pashmina/scarf for ladies, and you’ll be amazed at the effect it has on others.
The Colour Test
Use Scarves, tops ties or any other garment that you can easily hold near your face. If necessary, you can also ask for help from someone with a sense of colour.
1) Sit in front of the mirror (ladies, no make-up on) – natural day light is preferred.
2) Hold each of the suggested colours in turn under your chin and look at the result. Does the colour show on your chin? Does the colour make your complexion change?
You will know the colour is right when:
? Your skin appears smoother, fresher and younger; lines and blemishes are minimized.
? Your eye colour is enhanced
? You notice YOU more than the colour
You will identify the wrong colours when:
? Your complexion looks uneven in colour
? The colour stands out more than YOU
Source: Henderson, V. Henshaw, P.Image Matters for Men and Colour Me Beautiful 2006 Hamlyn.
Carolyn Makana is an image consultant with Rolyn Image Consultancy. To get in touch with her call +254(726)742255 Email: email@example.com.