Colours are the phenomena of visual insight. One cannot hear, taste or feel the colour, the only way to recognize the colour is to see it. A colour is a means of nonverbal communication and says a lot more than you can ever imagine.Colour is a fundamental consideration in the design process. Colour can also affect someone’s ability to concentrate or to focus well. Colour can also have an effect on the way someone appears to look in the clothing they wear. It is often the first element that is noticed about a design and influences how the garment or collection is perceived. Colour is often the starting point of the design process. Gender and personality are the most common factors for determining the type of colours a person will wear. Males are typically dressed in dark colours such as blue, black, green, gray, red, and brown. These colours are usually worn in various shades but they still consist of these primary hues. Females typically wear lighter colours such as pink, yellow, cyan, lime green, orange, and peach. Women and girls also wear the darker colours that are normally associated with men but men normally do not wear lighter colours associated with women.
The eleven basic colours have fundamental psychological properties that are universal, regardless of which particular shade, tone or tint of it you are using. Each of them has potentially positive or negative psychological effects and which of these effects is created depends on the relationships within colour combinations. Colours can warm up, cool down, make practical or impractical, create impact or camouflage. It has been determined by medical science that colour can influence the viewer’s hormones, blood pressure and body temperature. Every colour is having a positive as well as negative effect; negative effect shows when it is mixed with lighter or darker shade). Colour can have a profound effect on one’s mood as well as their level of energy. The psychological properties of the eleven basic colours are as follows:
Positive: Physical courage, strength, warmth, energy, basic survival, stimulation, masculinity, excitement.
Negative: Demanding, aggression, strain.
Positive: Intelligence, communication, trust, efficiency, modern, duty, logic, coolness, reflection, calm.
Negative: Coldness, reserve, lack of emotion, unfriendly.
Positive: Optimism, confidence, self-esteem, emotional strength, friendliness, creativity.
Negative: Irrationality, fear, depression, Immaturity, anxiety, suicide
Positive: Harmony, balance, refreshment, universal love, rest, renewal, reassurance, environmental awareness, peace symmetry.
Negative: Boredom, heavy, stagnant, blandness.
Positive: Spiritual awareness, containment, vision, luxury, authenticity, truth, quality.
Negative: Introversion, decadent, suppression, inferior.
Positive: Physical tranquillity, nurture, warmth, femininity, love, sexuality, survival of the species.
Negative: Inhibition, emasculation, physical weakness.
Negative: Lack of confidence, dampness, depression, lack of energy.
Positive: Sophisticated, glamour, secure, emotional safety, efficiency.
Negative: Domination, coldness, menacing, heavy, cruelty
Positive: Hygiene, sterility, clarity, purity, cleanness, simplicity, sophistication, efficiency.
Negative: Sterile, elitist, coldness, barriers, unfriendliness.
Positive: Serious, warmth, Nature, earthiness, reliable, support.
Negative: humourless, heavy, lack of sophistication.
The colours play an important role and one should think before adding the colours. Once the desired effect is achieved half the job is done! Contrast colours in clothes looks stunning and catches the attention in its own way and tones of the same colour also adds a lot of smartness and adds a chic feel.In viewing a design, colour often has an overriding visual impact over other design considerations. A garments message can be completely altered by the colour; for example: a severe cut can be softened if it is executed in a candy pink.
- Simply wear the same colour / shades of the same colour (that is, a suit/top and bottom) from head to toe. Create interest by wearing different textures .You could also choose a shirt in a brighter/lighter shade. Now youve created a vertical Line-slimming. This will also emphasise your face.
- If a person wants to look taller then he or she should wear a light colour from head to toe. Also try to match shoes to hemline colours.
- A person will also look taller when he/she repeats the same colour tones in top and bottom. For example medium top and medium bottom.
- A Person can minimize their upper torso when he/she wears a darker top and lighter bottom.
- A Person can minimize their lower torso when he/she wears a lighter top and darker bottom.
- A person can appear shorter / heavier when she/he wears a different colour in your skirt/slacks/trousers, hose / socks and shoes.
Be Colour Crazy
Be colour conscious right down to your toes. Sometimes you only need to change the colour to make it work! It will pay dividends. Our fashion colour choices say a lot about the image we are trying to portray and how we feel about ourselves. Care must be taken with the basic colour of the garments if unusual colour accessories are to be worn to advantage. Check the colour of the fabric against your face. Hair, eyes, and skin colouring must be taken into account, plus the occasion for day or evening wear. Generally, the smaller and the thinner person, the lighter the colour she should wear, with the reverse for taller, heavier types. The right colours can make your skin tone appear more even, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and dark circles and make you look brighter and healthier. While on the other hand wearing a colour which isn’t so good for you can make you look tired, dull and even ill. Create your own colour story without restricting yourself to just two or three basic colours. Choose colours which flatter and enhance you, not colours you have to work hard to wear to look alive. Only through experience will you become selective about colours and tones which compliment or do nothing for you.
The author is Faculty in Satyam Fashion Institute, Noida