Colour v Mood

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February, 2022 Colour Colour Analysis  

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Does the colour you wear influence your mood or does your mood influence the colours you wear? In the dull, uninspiring month of January, this is a question I am often asked.

I became aware of this dilemma over 15 years ago. While studying for my NLP practitioner qualification, I met a lady from House of Colour. She always looked healthy, energised, happy and inviting. Interesting because the course was over a series of weekends and many of us often appeared a little jaded by Sunday mornings!

From talking to her, I realised that when I felt tired, lacking in enthusiasm for the day ahead, I leaned towards dull, darker colours and often dressed in black. I would pay little attention to dressing for those around me absorbed instead with how I felt and therefore reflecting my ‘can’t really be bothered’ thoughts. In return, I would experience a quiet day in my hot desking corporate space, and few people bothered to interrupt my unwelcoming appearance. And, consequently, I would come home in the evening just as fed up as I had started the day in the morning.

Then, thanks to my newfound HoC friend, I discovered how different the days were when I chose great, vibrant colours that suited me. My mood changed almost immediately. I found a spring in my step, even if I had an uninspiring desk bound day ahead in the office. Colleagues came to chat, and I would enjoy a laughter filled and productive day!

Extra effort when getting dressed at 5.45am was too much and I didn’t bother. However, realising that there was a lot to be learned about the beneficial impact of colour, I had my colours ‘done’. Wow! What a revelation! Who knew??

For some time, I had realised that dressing to look my best meant I felt on top of my game and energised when facilitating a course or having a coaching session with a director. That was a no brainer because it gave me a visible confidence and sense of success which I would then convey throughout my day. It did though require effort and until I had my colours done, I did not always get it right!

The colours that I looked great in were those where I felt confident and alive. Those that did nothing for my complexion did exactly the opposite. Did I want to look old, tired, grey faced and blotchy skinned? You will know the answer to that! Yet it took some adjustment. I held lots of assumptions about black being a slimming, trendy colour to wear, in a casual style I would appear current and approachable. Wrong!! I even remember thinking I’d still wear my ‘blacks’ not least because I had a wardrobe almost full of it!

As a blue spring, I could however see that I looked healthier, younger, slimmer, more relaxed and approachable in colours that were bright, splashy, clear, light and warm. I started adding accessories such as scarves, necklaces, shoes and handbags in colours that lifted my outfits.

I have never looked back and wish I had discovered all of this so much sooner. But, as the saying goes, better late than never. Now I love empowering others with this knowledge. It does not only bring visibility and success; it brings happiness and an inner joy.

Now my mantra is ‘dress to influence your mood.’ It really is the only way!

Ellen Peters, House of Colour Thame

ellen.peters@houseofcolour.co.uk