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7 Surprising Things Your Outfit Colour Says About You

Here’s why purple might be off-putting and blue could land you the job.

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Blue says "hire me"Photo: Shutterstock

Blue says “hire me”

Navy blue is considered one of the best colours to wear on a job interview. According to a Career Builder survey of 2,099 hiring managers, interviewees wearing blue were considered team players. The colour symbolizes relaxation, loyalty, confidence and control.

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Red leads to romancePhoto: Shutterstock

Red leads to romance

Years of research suggest that crimson hues shouldn’t be reserved for Valentine’s Day. In one study, male participants were shown photos of women wearing various colours and asked how much they’d spend on a date with her. Turns out, guys said they’d drop the most cash on the ladies in red.

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Grey helps you blend inPhoto: Shutterstock

Grey helps you blend in

Feel like flying under the radar? Slip into some grey. Experts say the colour is subtle without being overly conservative, and elegant yet unassuming. That means you can keep an office-friendly vibe without defaulting to black.

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Purple can polarizePhoto: Shutterstock

Purple can polarize

Because violet tones rarely appear in nature, the colour purple can appear artificial. Historically, this made it the colour of royalty and power. Its elite status stems from the cost of the dye originally used to produce it. Mary Ellen Lapp, author of The Color of Success, told that purple could induce discomfort. Stay away from the hue if your goal is to put someone at ease, such as on a date or job interview. For a more agreeable look, try a plum shade.

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Black conveys authorityPhoto: Shutterstock

Black conveys authority

Head-to-toe black signals power and authority. The colour is both slimming and versatile: when worn on a date it is elegant and chic, and when worn in the boardroom it signals you’re the boss. Of course, black is also associated with mourning and sadness. The colour could even be linked to aggressiveness. One study of NHL teams found that teams wearing black jerseys get the most penalties. It’s unknown whether that’s because wearing the colour makes a player more aggressive, or that officials have an unconscious bias against black.

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Green sparks creativityPhoto: Shutterstock

Green sparks creativity

The colour green appeases our senses on a primitive level. It tells us that we are safe in a fertile, water-rich environment, above freezing temperatures, and with enough food to survive. Natural shades of green are calming and reassuring. One study found that the colour could even spark inventiveness. Participants were given two minutes to come up with as many uses for a tin can as they could. Before they began, half the group was shown a white rectangle, and the other half a green one. Participants in the green group came up with the more interesting, imaginative answers. Next time you need to inspire your team, go for a bold green print.

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White shows organizationPhoto: Shutterstock

White shows organization

In order to keep an all-white ensemble crisp and clean, the wearer must be at the top of his or her game. If you’re sure you’re the type of person who falls into this category, try it out on a job interview in a creative field, or to dinner with your parents. There’s no better way to show them you’ve got it together (through your style choices, anyway).

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Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest