The Colors of Success

Colors and wardrobe choices say a lot about you as a public speaker. What do colors mean? How do you make smart choices?
June 7, 2019

The color of your wardrobe has a lot to do with your success. As a public speaker and spokesperson, you should know what works and what doesn’t, and what colors say about you.

How you project yourself in a media interview is often as important as what you say.  The way you look, dress and move matters.  Today, print interviews are accompanied by web content and radio broadcasts are livestreamed.  So, there is no escaping being “on camera.

What  to wear for a media interview? 

1.  Look the part

Dress appropriate to the message, the interview setting and the organization you represent.  When in doubt, dress formally.  It is better to be overdressed than underdressed.

2.  Choose colors that suit your skin tone

Skin tones fall into two classifications: cool or warm.  Some colors make Caucasian skin look jaundiced but look rich and vibrant on dark skin.  Take the time to check your best colors. Chances are these are the ones that dominate your wardrobe, compliment your eye color or just make you look healthy and confident. 

3.  Understand the psychology of color

While the cut, style, and fit of your clothes are important, the first thing most people will notice is the color, which can have a psychological impact on the person looking at you. So,  it’s good to know the basic rules.

Blue: (royal blue, navy) credibility, trust, loyalty, wisdom.

Yellow: (canary, sunflower) bright, positive, future focused.

Red: (tomato, strawberry) power, love, passion.

Green: (spearmint, olive) clean, calming, natural.

Purple: (plum, violet, burgundy) aristocratic, lavish, spiritual.

Orange: (tangerine, marigold) energetic, vitality, productive.

White: (off-white, beige) hygiene, simple, clean.

Brown: (tan, chocolate) warm, serious, official.

Pink: (dusty pink, rose) feminine, soft, approachable.

Gray: (pewter, putty) sophisticated, authoritative. 

Make sure there is contrast among suit, shirt and tie, blouses and jackets.  Avoid checks, polka dots, chevron and herringbone patterns which can get psychedelic and distorted on camera.  Dresses are fine for women; solid colors are better than floral, busy textiles or animal  prints.  

4.  Leave the “bling” at home

Jewelry can be a distraction, avoid anything that moves when you talk or gesture.  Women: avoid pendant, dangling or large hoop earrings. And, leave the 8-karat diamond ring at home.

There’s much more to know about wardrobe and color selections.  Invest  the time to learn what suits you, and, if possible, hire a wardrobe stylist.

Links to Genius

For more on color psychology and color theory, visit the definitive source: Pantone at www.pantone.com.  Look for the Pantone Fashion Color Trend Report 2019/2020.

For more on successful speaking and presentation training, visit www.rosemaryravinal.com

Rosemary Ravinal

I teach business leaders how to shine on video calls and have more productive virtual engagement. As Founder/Chief Trainer at RMR Communications Consulting, I also help executives master the art of public speaking, inspiring presentations, and authoritative media interviews online and in person. My company’s services are available in English and Spanish in South Florida and elsewhere.

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Rosemary Ravinal

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