Regardless of your age, sex and occupation, there are certain cases and circumstances where you should consider carefully the choice of the colours you wear. This is especially important when you opt for the bright and bold colour red. Knowing what does wearing red mean is a life-hack that will help you to dress up appropriately for every occasion and to avoid confusing situations of being overdressed. Remember, a red lace dress or a red lipstick is not always a perfect choice, and there are scientific explanations for that.
It is scientifically proved that a woman wearing red is assessed as more attractive and sexual by males rather than wearing other colours (Rochester). Red is a colour of energy and power, it works perfectly for job attires highlighting the leadership and enthusiasm. But on the other side, red is a colour of passion and danger, so that the extensive use of it may cause people to understand you wrongly.
In this article I will give you very useful tips where you should never wear red and how to wear red in order not to be too bold and confusing for others.
What does the red colour mean?
The psychology of red is very contradicting. In fact it is a very emotionally intense colour (Color Wheel Pro) and the warmest colour. I grouped the various meanings of red into two separate categories, which are positive and negative in terms of people's perception when you wear red.
First of all, red is a colour of fire, it is associated with heat and warmth. Because of too much warmth it is also associated with danger, that is why stop signs, high voltage signs, traffic lights and fire equipment are all in red.
Overall, red is a colour of extremes. It is the colour of super-hero strength and power, the shade of extreme love and passion. This is the reason why the famous district of sex shops and brothels in Amsterdam is called Red Light District.
Despite all positive meanings of red, you should be very careful not to attract the negative ones and make them connected to your outfit. And here I'll open you up the secret how to do that.
Advertising - Continue reading below
Shades of red
Red is not a single colour, there are plenty of shades of red. And each shade is perceived differently. Bright red such as Scarlet, Lust, Spanish red are very eye-catchy and are associated with love, passion and power. Dark red, like Carmin, Maroon, Burgundy are more calm colours and are safe to be worn almost everywhere. These are the colours of maturity.
How people perceive you when you wear red?
The answer to this question has been found in following experiment (Washington Post). A numbers of volunteer women had been shown a picture of a woman wearing a strapless dress digitally coloured either red or white. And they'd been ask to assess whether the woman in the image was interested in sex. Interestingly, the majority of women who saw the red dressed woman agreed that the woman in red was sexually receptive.
So, according to the survey, a woman wearing red can be perceived as open to sexual advances (Washington Post). Indeed, this can be used in favour of women when attracting a male, so this is a perfect colour for romantic dinners and dating. However, wearing red can be misinterpreted in certain cases. And, moreover, red can provoke sexual rivalry in women and alert a danger. Because of this explanations, red is not encouraged to be worn in the below five places.
Five places where not to wear red
1. Job Interview
Job interview is the second step towards getting a job offer. It is a chance to introduce yourself personally to your potential employer, and so the way you look plays a crucial role in this stage. If you outfit for a job interview is all-in-red, you may look very provoking for male interviewers and rivalry for females. So, say no to a red dress and a red lipstick for a job interview.
If you still want to use the power of red to show the interviewers your leadership qualities and willpower, opt for conservative designs or mix the red with neutral colours such as white and other pastel colours. And try to avoid short hemlines and skin-tight fits altogether (Job Search).
The article 5 Steps To Create An Essential Wardrobe For Work With Victoria Beckham's AW 2014 might be very useful for creating a suitable attire for a job interview.
2. Wedding ceremony and party
You should have heard that white is a "no-no colour" for a wedding ceremony unless you are a bride. But what about red? It is still a debatable question, but I would suggest to avoid wearing red. If it is too bright and bold, such as scarlet red, you could attract to much attention and make the bride feel uncomfortable. Check the theme of the wedding, if it is all in pastel colours, far from the red shades, better choose smooth colours. But if there are more people going to wear red (you can check it by chatting with other invited guests) or the bridesmaids' dress colour is red, you are free to do the same.
Advertising - Continue reading below
3. Meeting partner's parents
When meeting your boyfriend's or partner's parents, the rule of thumb is to dress conservatively. And it does not really apply only to the first meeting. Very eye-catching clothing, such as red dresses, mini skirts, open shoulders are not the perfect choice. Better opt for classic dresses with bright accessories.
The overall opinion and tradition is that bright colours and especially red are disrespectful at a funeral. It is not a strict rule to wear all-in-black ensemble at a funeral, you can also dress into grey, dark blue, dark brown and these types of shades. Remember, that "If you wear red, most people will assume that you are happy that person is gone" (Dress forms).
5. Examinations / debates
Some surveys has shown that red in competition situations, such as examinations or sport events leads to worse performance (Rochester). It all depends on who is assessing you: if it is a woman, your red outfit can cause a rivalry effect by the examiner, if it is a male, the exam results might be higher.
So, dear ladies, red is a powerful colour and we should use its energy to send messages to the people surrounding us. But to make the messages clear and to avoid misinterpretation, red should be worn tactically and not everywhere. And while wearing red, you should express a good taste and sense of style, not to look very vulgar or aggressive. Remember, that red is already a statement, so the rest of the outfit should be a complimentary to that. Work on developing your personal style and if you do love red so much, make it your signature staple.