What’s your color?


Christmas time is approaching and who knows what will be under the tree but there is a high chance that you will be opening a box or two with clothes inside. Everyone has their own style they rock and they want to look their best, but what color should you be wearing to accomplish that. We have all had someone say that classic line one time or another about how “you look great in that color”, everyone has an assortment of outfits but haven’t you ever wonder why someone says that about that one particular color. Sometimes someone will follow up with a comment about how that color brings out your eyes, hair, or goes nicely with your skin tone.


It just got me thinking about so many things. Is there one ideal color that looks good on everyone. I wouldn’t think so because of the fact that you may not even like that color. Are there certain colors for certain seasons of the year? Is the color you look best in your favorite color, if you like the color you have confidence and that must play a role in looking attractive. Do men prefer a certain colorscreen-shot-2015-08-28-at-12-45-33-pm_ntsx9x on themselves than a woman may, vice versa? What is the key to determining what is the most attractive color to wear?


I found a study done by some psychologists that examined what color looked best on one person compared to another. 10 white women and 10 white men, about 18-22 years-old were participants in this three-part study with six different colors to compare: yellow, green, black, blue, white, and red. In the first study each guy was photograph in every color t-shirt, those photos were then randomized and given to 30 women to rate (least to most attractive;1-10). Red and Black were the two most attractive colors with white coming in last. The possibilities the researchers came up with were that, it was just by chance red and black happened to look good on those people. The other scenario was that since the participants could see the color they were putting on that color made them feel more confident and their confidence made them look more attractive. They tried two more studies, the second one they digitally clothed the person so they couldn’t see the color and their facial expressions would most likely remain the same, but it still didn’t change any of the judge’s decisions as the results kept Red and Black a top. The third test they didn’t let anyone see the color of the shirt, they only had thscreen-shot-2015-08-28-at-12-45-25-pm_ntsx97e raters grade the participant’s facial expression but that still didn’t change very much. The conclusion of the researcher’s study was that the men looked more attractive in red and black and they back that up by saying how the person wearing the color is more confident because it displays manly attributes such as dominance. They also mentioned the favorite color aspect of their study and how the majority of the world prefers the color blue. They also explained how another study who have to be done to see what color men feel most confident in to see if there are more than just those two colors that represent attractiveness for males.


Another study done by Deanna Radeloff of Bowl Green University went into this study deeper with more confounding variables. Her 276 participants surveyed models with specific colors on and had to give reasoning behind why they rated them where they did only base on the color not the person. She performed a study in which she had six different model; different ages, sex, hair color, and some had to adjust their facial expressions. Every model had two different color polo shirts one that was recommended for the season and one that was not, this was based off of Cayghill’s color system. Everyone had a different color shirt and the chromas of each shirt were also varied. The results came down to about 270 random people who would come up to the booth at the state fair and choose between photos and check a box as to why. The results were across the board; 44% of the people selected all six of the recommended polo shirts dedicated to that specific season, 35% got 5 of the 6, 23% got 4 right, 17% selected 3, 9% were 2 out of 6, and .4% only got 1. All of the participants had favorite colors and those percentages were much a higher although for some color it only was higher for a particular sex; red and blue were the two favorite colors among the random contestants and that was supported by the research literature. In co357xnxcolor-wheel-warm-vs-cool-jpg-pagespeed-ic-poio0jqvgfnclusion to her study she found that the color of the outfits was what influenced the audience’s perception and was associated along with the attractiveness of the person.



I know that certain colors express certain feelings such as red relaying power and yellow portraying happiness, but everyone is entitled to feel confident in whatever they wear and in the first study that is what they were really getting at. They said how the person putting on that one color made them feel a certain way and that feeling made them look more confident and confidence is always an attractive trait. I relate the second study to a clothing catalog because of the use of the different chroma’s. You can compare a spring and winter clothing catalog by what color the clothes are, you might see a light green and white striped shirt in a spring catalog because those are bright colors but in the winter you may see a shirt with navy blue, midnight green and red.


Are you someone who has a specific color you look good in a like to wear occasionally or someone who is more go with flow and likes to dress seasonally?



Roberts, Craig. “Distinguishing between Perceiver and Wearer Effects in Clothing Color-Associated Attributions.” Evolutionary Psychology. July 01, 2010. Accessed December 01, 2016.

Radeloff, Deanna. “Role of Color in Perception of Attractiveness.” Perceptual and Motor Skills. August 1990. Accessed December 01, 2016.

Image 1

Image 2

Image 3


3 thoughts on “What’s your color?

  1. Gulianna E Garry

    Wow this is such fascinating topic. I never thought much about the color of my clothing, but now that I do I realize how much of grays, olives, and green colors I have in my closet. I have always loved earthy tones and I guess that is why I purchase so many clothes in that color. The reason I believe I buy these colored clothing is because of my eyes. Believe it or not, my eyes do change colors causing a more greenish look when I wear colors like gray or green. Here is an article explaining ones finds on the topic. Enjoy!

  2. Sarah Elizabeth Read

    Interesting post! I’m fascinated by this topic and I think it is more relevant than most people realize. There are many time when I see people wearing a certain color and I can’t help but notice how great the color looks on them. On the other hand, there are times when I see people wearing colors that somehow just don’t compliment their face. A speaker came to my hometown last year and actually talked about this very topic. She actually had a system of analyzing a person’s hair color, skin color, eye color, and somehow generating a palette of colors that are best for one to wear. If you were to look in my closet, it would be obvious how much I tend to gravitate towards grays, blues, and other dark neutrals. What this speaker found about me though, is that these are the very colors that I want to stay away from. She said my best color was a light blue–which was a color that I went home to only find a single shirt in. Later that winter, I found a light blue coat for a sweet deal online. I got the coat, and was shocked at the number of people who complimented how good it looked on me. I don’t live by this rule of colors because I like having freedom in what I wear, but I definitely think that there is something to this color theory!

  3. Anthony Mitchell

    So firstly, I like this piece quite a bit since I am interested in colors and how they send messages, whether intentionally or unintentionally. More specifically, I have given this some thought about how it plays out in boardrooms, meetings, conferences, and other professional settings before reading this piece that you did. I am glad you brought it up. if I could shift the conversation a little bit to narrowing down what you wear to professional settings for a second, I’ll share with you this piece (that I thought introduces the basics of what I’m saying):

    Depending on what you want people to think and feel about you when you enter a professional setting, the right color can send that vibe and share that message without you having to ever say a word.

Leave a Reply