Building colour confidence

Karen Haller 01
Karen Haller

Building colour confidence

Have you ever walked into a store having seen a colour you’ve fallen in love with in the window, only to find yourself walking out having bought your ‘safe colour choice’?

Well, you’re not alone. There’s no doubt we love colour. But sometimes we can find it a bit scary, unsure of what suits us, wondering what others will think…

I’ve been working with DoveUK on their colour confidence campaign, and the research commissioned highlighted around half of UK women (48%) wear just two colours a day, with a third sticking to black, grey or dark clothing every single day (33%).

“30% of women admit black clothing is a way for them to hide or not draw attention to themselves.”


51% of women choose black as their colour of choice for interviews, and it also topped the poll as their colour preference for dates. When asked why, 30% of women admit black clothing is a way for them to hide or not draw attention to themselves.

The results also show the positive effects colour can have on women, with nearly half (40%) saying they receive more compliments when wearing colour compared to black or white.

Embracing colour
So if you’ve been wanting to experiment wearing more colour and ways you can bring colour into your everyday wardrobe, here are my 5 top tips.

1. Wear colours that give the right first impression
This will depend on the situation. Within different job roles, your dress style and colour choices will vary dramatically. For example, wearing black as a teacher may be too authoritarian whereas colour is much more accepted in creative roles. However, don’t be scared to accent your outfit with colour.

2. Wearing a colour in the right tone
The key to always looking great is wearing a colour in the right tone. One of the most effective ways to look our best is by wearing colour tones that suit your colouring and personality. By wearing the wrong colour tone, you may look washed out or strained so to avoid this, test different tones to see which suits you best.

3. You feel and good great wearing the colour
Look in the mirror and hold the colour against just under your chin. If the tone is right for you, your face will glow. You won’t look drained or strained.  Wearing the wrong tone of colours actually creates dark shadows on your face – looking tired, drained and strained – and no one wants that.

By wearing the right tone of colour for your personality and colouring you will find you can wear less makeup. Listen out for people saying that colour looks great on you, instead of that colour looks great.

4. Just a splash may be enough
Sometimes just a splash of colour is all you need. The ideal way to bring in a dash of colour is through your accessories such as a scarf, jewellery, handbag, shoes, belt, and hair accessories. And if you wear a uniform to work or not confident in showing the colour, then wear it as your underwear colour.

5. Have fun!
Colour isn’t something to be fearful of. Do experiment! If the colour proportion, combination or placement doesn’t feel right then either add or take away until it does. Trust your instinct.

“40% of women say they receive more compliments when wearing colour compared to black or white.”

Colour can support the outcome you want
Here is a selection of colours showing some of their positive and negative psychological effects. To support how you are feeling, want to feel and how you want to interact with others.

Please note: The negative effects of a colour will most likely be felt by those interacting with you if you wear a tone that doesn’t resonate with your authentic psychological personality and suit your physical colouring.

 Soft Pink
Positive – nurtured and loved
Negative – weak, needy
(Magenta Pink can be seen as feisty, feminist)

Positive – optimism, confidence, self-esteem
Negative – irrational, anxious, emotionally fragile

Positive – peaceful, relaxed
Negative – stagnating, bored, lifeless

Light Blue
Positive – calm, open communication,
Negative – cold, distant, unfriendly

Dark Blue
Positive – knowledgeable, trustworthy, reliable
Negative – aloof, cold, unfriendly

Positive – energised, physical courage, passion
Negative – aggressive, defiant, angry

Positive – self-reflection, spiritual awareness
Negative – self-indulgent, ’navel gazing’, overtly introspective

Positive – fun, joy, sensuality
Negative – frivolous, immature

Positive – grounding, supportive, reliable
Negative – humourless, too serious, lack of sophistication

Positive – clarity, purity, simplicity
Negative – cold, puts up barriers, unfriendly

Positive – hides the personality, protection from other
Negative – Lack of confidence, lack of energy

Positive – sophisticated, elegant, emotional safety, creating protective barrier
Negative – cold, unapproachable, menacing, heaviness

Chance to win free personal colour consultation
Karen Haller has teamed up with Dove Invisible Dry partners to encourage women to let go of their trusty blacks and greys and inject more colour into their wardrobe.

Dove’s Colour Challenge is being held throughout June where 3 lucky UK women will win a bespoke colour consultation with me and a capsule collection made by designer Olivia Rubin. Working together for the ultimate colour confidence collection created to express your true authentic personality.

All you need to do is upload photos of yourself being colour confident over on for the chance to win.

*Statistics source:Dove Colour Confidence Poll conducted by OnePoll amongst 2,000 British women in May 2014.

Any media enquiries please contact: [email protected], Tel: 0844 875 1480

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