Shirt maker Haines & Bonner commissioned image consultancy Color Me Beautiful to explain how the colours people wear affect individuals' mental attitude and how they are perceived by their colleagues.
Pretty in pink
If you want a promotion, under no circumstances attend the meeting in a pink shirt, it says you are unimportant and lack confidence. Pink is definitely not management material.
When you want to attract the opposite sex make sure your shirt or tie has an element of red in it. Red sends off signals saying you are exciting, upbeat and confident. Be warned though, red can also make you come across as domineering, bossy and threatening.
Bold in black
Black portrays a mysterious and sophisticated image, which is probably why so many people wear it. Black gives a bold impact and keeps people at a distance, giving the wearer the appearance of being aloof. People will not open up to you in black, so do not wear it if you are conducting an interview.
Whiter than white
Pure, clean and fresh is what a white shirt says about its wearer. You may also be perceived as futuristic and optimistic. It works well as a strong contrast against dark shades, such as with a navy or charcoal suit, to give an aura of authority. Be careful though. If you do not have much time for personal grooming white is not the colour for you because it shows up every little mark.
A blue shirt says you are peaceful, trustworthy and thoughtful. It is ideal to wear when you are giving a presentation, but a no no when you are meeting new clients and want to project an image of success and confidence.
Lilac is a great colour for business people to wear because it projects confidence and individuality. Managers should wear it when they want to be seen as diplomatic, unselfish or creative. Take heed though, if you are feeling depressed lilac will only make you feel worse.
A tie with yellow in it or a bold yellow shirt is sure to cheer you up even on the most miserable days. It is a positive colour but it also gives the impression that you are impulsive, so it is not the best colour to wear if your job requires you to be a safe pair of hands. If your work is slapdash, yellow could draw attention to the fact.
This was first published in August 2002