Does the way we as individuals choose to dress tell others how we feel? How we want to be heard? Our options and values? Personality? What do the colours we wear say about us?
Today, as I sit writing this, I’m in a café about a 5-minute walk from my small house in the south of Manchester. I’m wearing a vintage black Vivienne Westwood shirt belted into a pencil skirt. All black, does this really reflect my personality?
Maybe I am perceived as boring? Not an ounce of colour on me. But maybe I’m feeling careless and dangerous. Confident. Maybe you’re looking too much into it? Maybe this was the only thing I had that was clean.
There’s something very personal in the way people choose to dress themselves. This is something everyone does, even if it’s subconsciously. Even if you don’t enjoy fashion. Every piece of clothing, every accessory to an outfit has been put there because you subconsciously felt something and wanted to express this through the way you dress.
One of the most effective ways of dressing for expression that comes to mind is slogans on clothing. A statement piece I saw not too long ago was a T Shirt with ‘F**k Boris’ across it. An effective and immediate message!
Perhaps there are people who really didn’t feel any emotional connection as they got dressed in the morning and wore their outfit because it was easy. But this is rare. Do people wear a particular colour because they wanted to express something?
What do colours mean?
Colours actually have a really strong emotional effect on humans. Different colours have different connotations, feelings and emotions. Each individual may have different feelings surrounding a particular colour but each colour will evoke a different emotion.
The colour red evokes emotions such as importance, anger and passion. The colour purple has connotations of mystery and romance. Is this something that people are consciously aware of? Each colour has a completely different meaning to each individual but it should be used as a tool for expression and showing our personality.
Style illustrates my emotion
One of the most interesting and stimulating things I find about fashion is how individual style changes every day. Previously when asked about my personal style this is something that is very hard to describe and explain to those who do not know me. Classic and chic is a word my friends have used when speaking about my style.
I agree, but my style also differs frequently. The change in my style is driven by what I’ll be doing that day, the environment I’m in and also my feelings. Some days I can awake at 6am and spend an hour or more styling and accessorising my clothing and features, carefully putting together my style and illustrating the message I want to be heard that day. My styles are largely influenced by the 90s subculture and Dr Martens are my classic choice of shoe. Other days I roll out of bed throw on a vintage YSL t shirt and go to catch the bus.
With the style I spent an hour or so planning, I’m showing my confidence in experimenting with outfits and my strong influence from the 90s. The outfit I threw together in 5 minutes shows the tomboy and carefree attitude I felt when I woke up that morning. I’ve never been someone who enjoys bright colours. My colour of choice? Black. This is the colour I feel confident in and I feel it reflects on my sophisticated attitude when I want to be taken seriously. For a day when my style has been quickly put together. Maybe a lighter colour will be worn to show a more playful and careless lighter side to me.
So, what do the colours we wear say about us? How powerful and impacting your choice of clothing can be is important to understand. As an individual you hold the capability and power to show people your values, attitude, beliefs and opinions.
Each accessory added to an outfit adds deeper meaning to the narrative and personality behind your individual style. Making an emotional connection through your style is a special attribute that can feature in every day of your life.