The power of colour: what to wear to stand out at meetings

First impressions are everything, especially in a business meeting. Research shows that people take just seven seconds to form their opinion when meeting someone new. What you wear is important to make a good first impression – and colour is also key as it conveys instinctive, subliminal messages.

If you’ve got an important meeting coming up at work, you’ll be sure to want to impress your boss. You’ve done your research, prepared your presentation and are ready to go. But what should you wear – and what impact do different colours make? We look at what colours to wear at crucial meetings.

Richard Branson Wearing a red top Speaking into a Microphone

Blacks and greys

Nothing will lend you more gravitas than black or dark grey. You only have to look at the suit colours in the Houses of Parliament to know this. These darker, more sober hues can project responsibility, professionalism calmness and control. You may arrive at a meeting almost too enthusiastic and talkative. Blacks and greys can temper your mood and keep anxiety at bay. Grey is the colour of neutrality, whereas darker greys are viewed as more business-like.


Blues exude a soothing, welcoming aura – ideal if you’re trying to forge partnerships with businesspeople. Colour psychologists say this hue is safe, trustworthy, tranquil, credible and conservative. A brighter shade of blue brings an air of eagerness and excitement into the room. And women are said to react positively to blue-based colours.


You’ll definitely stand out when wearing red, so this is definitely the colour to wear if you want to get noticed. If you wear red to work it can also uplift your mood. Bold reds exude an outgoing, confident image. However, it can make you look too assertive, and some people find the colour threatening – as it’s associated with aggression and intimidation. So if wearing red, be sure to choose the occasion wisely.

  Richard Branson is one leading businessman who knows the uplifting power of red.


Perhaps a bit too informal for more high-powered meetings, but yellows are great for conveying positivity and warmth. Men are said to find yellow attractive, and it’s also linked to happiness.


If you feel like you’ve been coming over as overbearing in the office recently, it could be time to change your image by wearing white. White suggests simplicity and innocence, according to colour experts. Just make sure you’re not wearing it to a business dinner with gravy on the menu…


This colour is not always liked by other people, but it’s associated with emotional balance, friendliness and dependability.  It’s also linked with renewal and harmony, but can alternatively suggest naivety or jealousy.

Bright pinks

If you want to shock and inspire your audience – bright pink is definitely the colour to wear. A softer shade of pink is more subtle and stimulates energy in the body.


This attention-grabbing shade is recommended at sales meetings, not least for sparking creativity and emotion. It implies wealth and quality, and suggests to clients that you’re a successful person.


Orange is a warm and vibrant colour and can imply that you’re an extrovert and a risk taker. In business, orange can give the impression of affordability – but avoid wearing too much orange as it can also suggest cheapness.


Posted by Ashleigh Sharp


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