All too often the person we think we are is not the one we were born to be. I found that out for myself when I was 17 and got my red dress. I ditched my “grey mouse” colors and it changed my life.
Lynn discovered that the colors and styles she habitually wore didn’t necessarily enable her to look better or to achieve the results she desired. She learned that the colors she wore were sabotaging her goals. They were wrong for three reasons.
The first reason had to do with the psychological impact a color bestows. Some colors bestow credibility or authority, while others diminish or destroy these qualities. Pastels speak of softness and femininity; however, they also suggest demureness and shyness. Attorneys need to look as if they will fight for you and your rights. They need to radiate confidence, strength and high credibility.
The second reason has to do with a “rule” that all artists know about, and it has to do with focal point. There can be only one focal point per painting, and humans can have only one focal point as well. The focal point is always the face. When Lynn wears garments that cause her to blend into her clothing, her clothes literally “wear” her instead of Lynn wearing them. When the face and garments are viewed as “one” Lynn violates the age-old artists’ rule: “One focal point.” Lynn’s focal point is no longer her face alone, it is her pink jacket and her face.
The old wives tale says that bold colors will wear you. The reverse is true. Colors that match your superficial appearance and cause you to fade into them actually “wear” you. It then becomes difficult for people to focus on your face. Their eyes will dart back and forth between your face and your garment, because they are registered as one.
There was actually another important disadvantage with the pastel pink Lynn wore. It took the luminosity from her face and made her look as if she were wearing thicker makeup or heavy powder. Lynn’s face also looks smoother in the fuchsia jacket.
Garments and accessories are also important. Lynn discovered that her single strand of pearls added to her demureness and caused her to look passive instead of dynamic. Multiple strands and baroque pearls convey much more authority. Lastly, Lynn found that tailored jackets looked more polished and professional than loose-fitting ones that didn’t fall right. Ultimately they create a distraction to your message.
At the beginning of the workshop, Lynn commented that it went against her grain to think that she needed to dress a certain way for people to trust her or hire her. She said she wanted them to judge her on her credentials. “After all, I have a law degree and I’m very competent,” she bemoaned. By the end of the workshop she had different ideas.
How do you feel? Would you dress up more if you thought it would get you a promotion or a better job? Would you consider learning solid information about color if you thought it would boost your career?