What are pink and yellow doing

Black, blue, pink or yellow? Which colors you really make a career with - and which ones you don't

“Clothes make the man”, we already know that much thanks to the article “Put on Success - Tips for Clothing in the Workplace”. But did you know that your choice of color also has a major impact on your effect and thus on your success in your job? Colorful or monochrome? Subtle or gaudy? Warm or cold? We'll tell you today which colors are particularly popular at work - and which ones you should keep your hands off of.

1. Headless or stylish: colors define your "image"
2. One color, one meaning: The theory of colors is as old as humanity itself
3. "Successful" color choice: This is how you create your "brand" as an employee
4. The basics of color theory: colors and their meanings
5. To wear or not? How is your image influenced by color ...
6.… blue?
7.… black?
8.… gray?
9.… white?
10. ... green?
11. ... red?
12.… brown?
13.… orange?
14.… yellow?
15.… purple?
16.… pink?
17. Colors: an important part of your "employee brand"

Headless or stylish: colors define your "image"

We humans love to be in Drawers to think. This reduces the complexity of everyday life and arranges the chaos of our (thought) world into a manageable number of clusters. Whether that is a good thing or not is an open question. It's just human. And so it just happens that we ourselves people like in Drawers stuck. There are the "lazy" and the "hardworking", the "nice" and the "conceited", the "stylish" or the "fashion sinners". In good German we put a stamp on our counterpart - a so-called "image“.

Reading tip: “Not those who perform are promoted. Rather…?"

Like it or not: Everyone has an image. It is now your own choice whether you leave this to chance or consciously Self-marketing actively shape and thereby help your career on the jumps. With the image “hardworking, committed and intelligent” you are more likely to be promoted than with the stamp “lazy, very nice, but a bit stupid”. You are now wondering what this image is supposed to have to do with colors? Quite simply: yours outward appearance makes at least 50 percent Of your image, if not more. It also shapes what is sometimes so important first impression - which can be changed later only with difficulty.

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A radiant smile and self-confident body language are of course important factors, but also based on your clothes and the ones you choose Colours the other person appreciates yours Competence, sympathy and trustworthiness differently - completely unconsciously, in a matter of seconds and above all: lasting!

One color, one meaning: color theory is as old as humanity itself

Colors have always had a great effect on people. The lush green of the forest, the deep blue of the sea or the bright yellow of the sun: colors shape our surroundings and thus also (unconsciously) our emotional state. That is why the developed early Color theory, the different Colours appropriate properties ascribes.

"He [Goethe] now reads us about colors, says that they lie in our eyes, so the eye demands the harmonies of colors, like the ear of tones."
(Charlotte von Stein)

The meanings ascribed to the colors can as well as the understanding of the harmony or disharmony of different hues cultural differences have and of course have continued to develop over the millennia. Nevertheless, a dark blue and rich green have a calming effect on the body and a bright yellow or aggressive red stimulates. And - as already mentioned - completely unconsciously.

"Successful" color choice: This is how you create your "brand" as an employee

Colours affect our lives always and everywhere. Companies spend a lot of money on the perfect design of their products so that they look particularly healthy, tasty or eye-catching in the supermarket. The color of the walls in your home determines whether you feel comfortable, and a company's logo can be about it Success or failure determine.

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What the companies have already understood and implemented in their corporate identity has so far passed many employees by: Colours shape the perception of a brand and thus you image. After all, everyone is Workers his own little "fire". So why shouldn't he also create a CI and thereby actively shape his external perception?

The basics of color theory: colors and their meanings

As mentioned earlier, everyone owns colour one or more Meanings. These can be culturally, religious or scientific. Blue has been proven to have a calming effect on 83 percent of the population. At the same time, in many religions it stands for the color of the deities; in oriental countries, for example, the windows and doors are painted blue in hope of the gracious attention of the gods. Giving away a blue flower, on the other hand, symbolizes romance, love and the longing for faraway places as well as wandering.

"There are harmonies and contrasts hidden in the colors that work together by themselves."
(Vincent van Gogh)

Are you confused now? So what should you orientate yourself on? dress usually acts on the unconscious level. So if you are looking for the perfect color for your "image", you should look at the scientific, psychological or sociological research orientate. To stick with our example, blue is known to have a calming effect on the body and mind. You radiate calm, security and self-confidence. So blue is a very good choice for your business outfit. Perhaps for this reason it is the favorite color of men, at least when it comes to their clothing.

You can find more statistics at Statista

And “woman” also prefers to touch Blue and classic black. But what about them other colors? Why do so few employees dare to turn to green, yellow or red? And do white or gray have any special meanings? Or are they the “colorless” among the colors?

You can find more statistics at Statista

We are now bringing some light into the darkness for you and clarifying the - for you Business outfit relevant - Meanings of the colors on. So: which colors should you wear at work and which ones do you prefer to avoid?

To wear or not? How is your image influenced by color ...


Let's stay with the color blue for a moment. As already mentioned, it has a calming effect, it shines Security, competence, trustworthiness and self-confidence out. But be careful: this only applies to a muted dark blue. With light tones you appear more youthful, but at the same time you lose a lot of the positive effect of the color blue. Even strong tones, such as a radiant royal blue, should only be used very discreetly at work, perhaps in the form of a scarf or tie.


Black is also one of the so-called "Competence colors". Black is the color of Authority, power, seriousness and coolness. It makes you aloof and mysterious. The wearer appears intelligent, dominant and ambitious at the same time. And black has another positive side effect: it does slimmer! Nevertheless, you should avoid too much black, because then the positive effect can quickly turn into the opposite and your outfit turns you into an apparent one power-obsessed egocentric. So use the opportunity to combine black with virtually any other color and look stylish and competent at the same time.


Even gray in all its shades is one of the Competence colors. It is especially popular for suits and costumes. But gray also shines on trousers, jeans, blouses or sweaters Experience, sophistication, humility and honesty out.

"We are not interested in the color of a gray mouse."
(Pavel Kosorin)

But that is exactly what can be fatal for you: Too much gray and too few “strong” colors such as black, blue or red can quickly appear a bit too cautious and therefore affect you low self-esteem indicate. You should therefore also skillfully combine gray.


White is a classic in the business world and, of course, especially in the form of Blouses and shirts to be found. The color white shines Purity, simplicity, humility and honesty out. You have a "clean slate" in the truest sense of the word - at least let your counterpart believe that. Too much white, however, is unpleasant. So that you don't “blind” your work environment, you should leave it with the white blouse or shirt. White trousers in particular are rather reluctant to be seen in professional life and are reserved for work clothes, for example by nursing staff.


Green is a beautiful color. It is the color of nature, the forest and hope. When it comes to clothing, however, green is considered to be rather difficult. If you choose the wrong shade, you will quickly find yourself as a alternative "eco" stamped. Otherwise, green mainly stands for Reliability, empathy and humility. So it's a rather soft color.

"And the holy green, the witness of the blessed, deep life of the world."
(Johann Christian Friedrich Hölderlin)

While aspirants for the career ladder should use strong colors, a muted dark green is for social jobs to recommend. If you want to score points with social skills, green is the color of choice for you. Otherwise, keep your hands off it in your professional life and save your favorite green clothes for your free time.


Red is also one of the "Strong" colors. Yes, red is the color of love. But it is also that of the medieval kings. So it's no wonder that even our Chancellor herself often and likes to wear a red blazer. Those who are self-respecting wear red. After all, the color symbolizes Power and seriousness, but also aggression. In fact, researchers have been able to show that seeing a bright red color increases a person's blood pressure and makes breathing faster. Even in traditional Spanish bullfights, the “muleta” - the cloth - is classically red.

"What you perceive as a red cloth, take as the red carpet."
(Erwin Benz)

It is controversial that the Taurus really reacts to it. But not that the color red catches the eye (the audience). Therefore, you should be careful with it so as not to intrusive to act. Rather use red for accessories such as scarves, shawls or ties to skillfully set accents.


You can get brown by simply mixing all the other colors in the water color box. Doesn't that sound nice? Usually it is not! The "mud color" is like that in leather textiles Jackets, belts and shoes just like Accessories like watches extremely popular - but that's about it. Although the color brown is currently experiencing a fashionable upswing, it should only be worn and combined by extremely stylish people. Otherwise you act quickly boring, unimaginative and somehow dull.

Tip: A good alternative to brown is beige. The ladies in particular appear competent and serious in the warm, light tone - but unfortunately still a bit boring. The art of combination is required here.


Orange is one of them alongside brown most unpopular colors of the Germans. True, the color can youthful, cheerful, fresh and stimulating work, but unfortunately a lot too quickly intrusive. Orange may be the right eye-catcher for a company logo, but unfortunately it is completely out of place for business clothing. At most, in particularly extroverted professions, social professions with children or in the creative industry, orange may be the right choice - but only maybe.


It is similar with the color yellow. It actually looks special too warm (sweet), nonetheless, it becomes too fast intrusive. Yellow stands for a sunny disposition and should the concentration promote. At work, however, you should at most choose a muted mustard yellow when choosing your clothes - if at all.

"The conscious mixture of the complementary colors› family (red), friendship (blue) and job (yellow) ‹results in the freedom that the self creates and feels."
(Peter Sereinigg)


Purple is the color of the Holy Spirit, Popes and Kings. Nowadays, besides pink, she is also one of the "Feminine" colors. As a man, you should keep your hands off purple anyway, and as a woman, you might also have an impact on it too feminineto really be taken for "full".


Which brings us to our last color: pink. As a man, pink and pink are taboo at work. To feminine and intrusive the shirt or sweater would work. A pink tie might be conceivable, but there are clearly better alternatives. And as a woman, please banish your favorite pink clothes to your free time. Too much sticks to the color pink (especially in combination with blonde hair) their reputation for stupidity or even lewdness.

Colors: an important part of your "employee brand"

Start today with your "fire“As a worker and rethink yours Actively shaping the image. This also includes your clothes and theirs Color choice. Create your own little "CI" and lay the foundation for one successful career. You can not only adapt your external appearance to your desired image from now on, but also your hard and soft skills, your website, social media presences, résumés, etc. In professional life, that is sometimes the case Appearance is more important than being. This is largely due to our subconscious, which judges people within a fraction of a second based on their external appearance, body language and the colors of their clothes.

So if you can't change this mechanism, how do you personally deal with it? Do you value your choice of clothes and colors? In your opinion, what are the dos and don'ts of colors in the job? We look forward to your colorful contributions in the comments!

Photo credit: Roman Samborskyi / Shutterstock.com


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