I recently relinquished the keys to what I like to call my "single girl apartment", and moved into my fiance's home on the opposite side of the DC metro area. The first thing we did together as I settled in was to repaint the living room and dining room areas from a dark orange to a light blue-lilac tint.
We both joke that I've now put a softer, more feminine touch to his previously, so-obviously masculine "bachelor pad", but we both agree that the resulting effects of this color change has been tremendously transformative, both aesthetically as well as psychologically. Not only is our living room much more bright now, but it also radiates a significantly more calming and relaxing feeling as well.
Which raises the question: do you regularly make appropriate use of colors when it comes to your clothes?
Politicians do it all the time (e.g., wearing a blue or red tie for debates), and marketing folks strategically use it in advertising (e.g., people are more likely to buy products in red or orange packaging), so why not incorporate colors into your daily wardrobe as well? On one hand, it can lift your mood, and on the other, it could also convey who you are to others.
Here are four common situations every DC gal is likely to encounter in her daily life in our nation's capital:
- For a meeting or presentation: As modern women, we'd like to think that we'll still be taken seriously when wearing a pink suit to a business meeting or presentation -- but the reality is, many board rooms and organizations are still very male-dominated, where first impressions can be made within seconds. Research has dubbed blue (from medium to darker hues, such as royal blue and navy blue) as the go-to color in corporate environments, as it makes the speaker look trustworthy, loyal and intelligent. Use this to your advantage!
- For a professional or alumni networking event: Many people tend to wear black or neutrals like gray or tan to professional events, but I think this is an area that women can be more adventurous in their color choices and still convey memorable messages about themselves and who they are. Maroon, burgundy and crimson are darker, deeper shades of red and purple -- they can be just as sophisticated as black, but also communicate that you are a thoughtful, determined and ambitious person. White is also a great, powerful choice for women.
- For a first (or second, or third) date: There's a reason why red is the unofficial color of February for Valentine's Day -- it is commonly associated with strong emotions such as love and warmth, as well as excitement and intensity. In fact, a study by two University of Rochester psychologists showed that men will (subconsciously) feel more attracted to women when the red color was present during their encounter -- and why not? The British Heart Foundation has reported that women simply feel more confident and powerful when wearing red, so whatcha waitin' for? Go get 'em, girl!
- For a charity or creative event: I love that the creative community in DC has blossomed in recent years, and a charity event (such as a fashion show!) is the perfect time and place to experiment and wear a color you normally wouldn't wear. Yellow and orange elicit feelings of positiveness, fun, and optimism, while green can project perceptions of dependability, agreeableness and diplomacy. Pink (my personal favorite!) is also a great choice, as it lets people know you are feminine, nurturing and friendly.
Considering the weather has been so cold lately in DC, are you wearing any specific colors today to brighten and warm up your day?