October 4, 2010

Color Commentary

I may often dream in black and white but I live in color. I've consciously chosen entrepreneurial ventures that have allowed me to surround myself with a wide range of beautiful hues and patinas.  During my years as a Fashion and Personal Image Consultant, one of my jobs was to advise people on how to make an impact and present the best of themselves for career success.  I was trained in the classic "Dress for Success" and "Color Me Beautiful" theories which I subsequently railed against because those philosophies seemed one dimensional, structured and left little room for personality or creativity i.e. in professional settings, to seem authoritative and competent, always wear a dark, conservative suit OR everyone falls into one of four seasonal color palettes.  Just when does one get to express individuality in these concepts?

I recently read a special report on the Monster.com website entitled "What the Colors of Your Job Interview Clothes Convey" by Monster Contributing Writers, Gladys Stone & Fred Whelan and while I agree that how you dress in professional situations has an effect on how you are perceived, I'm not sure I completely buy into the whole thought-process that certain colors elicit specific visceral perceptions.  I would like to think that we are beyond labeling an individual as stable or trustworthy simply because the blue suit was the only one that made it back from the dry cleaners in time for the interview. Granted, I do believe that colors have the power to evoke certain emotions and I will say that some colors may be considered overdone in certain business milieus.  I'm not advising a professional wardrobe of circus colors but as a former Corporate Recruiter, it is my opinion that how a person is regarded in interview situations has much more to do with how substantive the interviewee is including relevant experience, credentials but most importantly, attitude. I say wear that tailored black jacket with a crisp red shirt if that is who you are and you are comfortable in it. Being the authentic YOU is what gets the job.

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