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The symbolism of colours in fashion

Colour choice is not trivial. Like an unconscious message, each colour has a hidden meaning. Research from the Institute for Colour Research conducted in collaboration with the University of Winnipeg ahs shown that consumers need only a maximum of 90 seconds to rate a produce and that colour counts for 62 to 90% of the result.

Other research supports this and shows that colour has a great influence on our perception of a brand and how we behave in front of it. Colour is a purely visual component, one that we assimilate naturally and remember more easily than we do with shapes or descriptions. So what is the symbolism of our colour choice?


Blue is a primary colour. There are a range of tones and a range of evocations. Light blue tones feel fresh, whilst darker ones feel cold. Saturated shades like ultramarine blue exist alongside unsaturated sky blues.

It is a well loved colour globally and one of the most common colours in fashion. The colour evokes the sky, water, sea, space, air and travel. In dark tones it radiates truth, trust, loyalty, intelligence and security. In lighter tones it has a more dreamlike quality, associated with wonder, freedom, fantasy and youth.


Red is a result of mixing magenta and yellow, and is another of the world’s most popular colours. It is both warm and bold, shouting out from a silhouette like a manifesto.

It is a symbol of love, warmth, sensuality and passion. It is powerful and dynamic and is a call to action.

In the paler, pink versions of red, we evoke softness and soothing.


Yellow is another primary colour. Some designers use it in their collections to enhance the complexion of their models.

It gives an impression of warmth and light. It is the colour of good humour and joie de vivre, symbolising logic, personal power and humour.


Green results from mixing cyan blue and yellow. Pure, bright green is restful for the eyes.

It is the colour of hope and good luck. It invites calm and rest and is a symbol of growth, health, freshness and nature representing stability and balance.

Not everyone will pull off a full outfit in green, but it mixes well with more neutral colours, beige, persimmon. We send a strongly positive message when we wear it and it shouldn’t be moderated.

Crédits :  DR