Color science is a field that’s kind of fascinating, especially since it’s not a huge one (researching my post on what color outfit is proven to make you feel happy was way trickier than I’d thought it would be). After I connected with the Pantone Color Institute’s executive director, Leatrice Eiseman, to find out how the group decides on its storied color of the year, I knew I had a very exciting new name to add to my (virtual) Rolodex. Next time you’re feeling bummed or want to be extra persuasive, be smart about what color you’re pulling out of your closet.
Yellow, orange, or other vibrant warm shades are good if you want to feel happier.
Blue and blue-greens are smart for fighting stress.
Red “is the obvious choice, but pink is more subtle” if you’re heading out on a date or have seduction on the brain. A red-purple works too.
Dark green, navy, charcoal, aubergine, or chocolate brown are all good color options to command power, whether at a work meeting or trying to convince someone to see your side of the story. “Darkening any color always adds empowerment,” she told me.
Peach or rose are good for making friends. “A softer, more approachable color reaches out and engages people, [instead of] overwhelming the other person or feeling too aggressive.”
The best color to wear if you want to make a good first impression (like at a job interview or meeting the new dude’s parents) is more personal than a hard-and-fast equation. “There’s on magic bullet answer for this question,” Leatrice explained. “Wear a color that makes you feel more confident, no matter what it is, and the feeling will spill over to anyone meeting you for the first time.”