Ever wonder why black is the formal color for attire in funerals? At a day of mourning and sorrow and grief, black is the appropriate color for the theme of the occasion. Black is associated with death and all things goth. Black can also mean power and authority, but we’ll look into that later.

gettyimages-6321830761You look at a politician and notice that they’re usually wearing either red or blue ties. Why is that? What’s the significance of the color and how much of an impact is the message it can convey?

In truth, the use of color for the occasion you dress for, has a great impact in how you’re perceived by others. Just how you would normally wear a suit at a job interview or sales pitch (the message being professionalism and attention to detail), the color combination also sends a message at a subconscious level.

Physics tells us that colors are a combination of mixed frequencies that blend by the time it reaches the eye. Depending on the lighting, the rays also mix with the colors to give a different tone and so forth. It’s a very fundamental subject in the branch of optics.

Psychology, on the other hand, tell us that colors are associated with moods and themes. If you’re feeling down and depressed, you could say that you have the “blues.” What about if you’re excited and full of joy? If you could express that feeling with a color, you could probably call it a pink or an orange.

When it comes to style, we know that attention to detail is important. If you want to be perceived as sharp and focused, your style must say it in that first impression. So within that scope of details, what colors you wear will set the tone for your message.

How is color the tone for your message? Let’s use the word “stop” as an example. You can yell it out loud as a message of alarm. You can use it in a softer voice for a plead of mercy. You can say it out as a normal order to a subordinate. As you see, you can use the same word in so many ways that spans different meaning to it. With color, you set the tone to the overall message you’re trying to get across.

With that in mind, we can benefit from using this mind trick to our advantage. Let’s take the basic colors and see with what mood they are associated with and how we can use them in our style.


Earlier we had stated that black is proper for funeral since its associated with death and goth. It can also be associated with luxury and power. We normally wear black in everything from shoes, slacks to suits and ties. It’s a basic statement piece to say that you’re above the rest.

Courtesy of David Ball
Courtesy of David Ball


White represents light, innocence and purity. That is why you see brides walk down the aisle in a white dress. They are declaring their purity to the groom and everyone around. Although we know it may not always be true, it stills convey that message that makes everyone in attendance play along.


Red symbolizes intensity and flare and everything extreme. You see them at stop signs to signal a strong alert, as it should be. Just how fire blazes through and takes down everything in its path, wearing red makes everyone perceive you as that dominant force.


Blue is associated with the sky and the ocean. They’re tranquil and calming and soothing. It’s the exact opposite of red. Another trait about the sky and the ocean is that you can trust that it’ll always be there and do exactly what it always does. In that, it builds a sense of trust and consistency. It’s probably a good idea to wear a blue tie to a job interview.

Courtesy of May Lee
Courtesy of May Lee


Green represents nature and abundance. When we see a field full of green grass we would normally associate it with prosperity. A fertile land with an abundance of life. This is why our US currency is in green and why banks use this color in the majority of their advertising. So with this in mind, don’t wear green when you’re negotiating for a lower price.


Yellow is mellow. It is the color of light and it represents a cheerful and energetic mood. It portrays happiness and hope in a way that catches people attention.

Courtesy of Reuters
Courtesy of Reuters


Purple represents elegance and creativity. It is a complicated and rare color. Kings and royalty use this color in their outfits and palaces. If used correctly, purple sets a majestic presence to you and everyone around.


When you think of planet earth and all its minerals and fertile land, you either think of green or brown. Green represents fertility, while brown represents substance and durability. The earth is firm and strong, and so wearing brown will portray that you’re tough and will stick around through all conditions.

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