Over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed something strange. At the grocery store, the gas station, and even walking into restaurants, people who would usually never acknowledge me were smiling, nodding, even drumming up conversations.
I’m by nature a very introverted person, but won’t rebuff a friendly interchange, a nod, or smile. But oddly, it seemed the amount of these encounters had tripled. I couldn’t figure out what the difference was. Had I done my hair different? Was I projecting an outgoing personality? The attention was weird, but not unwelcome. I just wanted to understand why.
The winter weather in Michigan is usually a bit wacky, zero one day and forty the next. On a warm (warmer than zero anyway) day, I had to exchange my artic wear for a lighter jacket, and the extra attention stopped. Just like that. Like a faucet being turned off.
My super warm coat is a stunning shade of pink, not fuchsia, but a nice, bright pastel. Most of my outerwear is normal earthy tones, tan, gray, and brown, so this was a huge change. I fell in love with it because of the feeling I got when I saw it, happy, warm, friendly feelings.
It got me thinking of the power of color in everyday life. How appearances influence us subconsciously.
I did some Googling and found color psychology is a thing!
First, I stumbled on Bourn Creative, which defined pink as a color of universal love of oneself and of others, friendship, affection, harmony, inner peace, and approachability.
I researched on and found a slew of marketing information. There are reasons why the Golden Arches are golden and the Target bullseye is red. Red encourages excitement, and yellow/gold symbolizes warmth and optimism. Green for John Deere tractors to tie it to growing things.
Now, according to the website, The Psychology of Color, personal preference plays a role. So, if you grew up being forced to wear olive green every day, and you HATE green because of it, then you may not feel the same instant attraction to the color, even if you are a farmer or someone who adore plants.
Men tend to prefer primary shades, and blue is the universal favorite across genders. Some colors are touted to help you get dates, study, or have more energy. Orange and teal are great for non-fiction book covers, while if you are trying to attract men don’t choose purple.
I don’t think any of these are axioms that work every time, but it’s interesting to speculate that your choice of outfit could influence your creativity, your feelings of wellbeing, chances on a job, or even a date.
I still love my coat and now that I understand The Pink Coat Effect, I may wear it more often or forsake it for my old brown backup on days I just want to blend.
How does color effect you? Do you have a favorite that inspires you? What about a signature shade? Comment below!