A modern day gentleman’s suit of armour – the business suit, is pretty much a standard design and shade. But did you know that you can actually spice up the rather drab and uniform look of the classic men’s business suit?
The Classic Business Suit
For centuries, the classic business suit has always been a light coloured shirt, matched with a subtle, dark coloured suit. The base colour of the suit is pretty much navy blue, mahogany brown or charcoal grey. It is almost never black – unless you’re wearing a Black Tie outfit, or if you are attending a funeral. As for the shirt, the acceptable colours are white, light blue or even light pink.
That is as far as the “rules” go. There is no mention of the tie colour at all. So selecting a tie colour becomes a personal signature, or a subtle message that you want to announce to the world. And yes, every different colour tells a different message.
The Red Tie Says “I’m The Alpha Male”
A red tie screams out to the world “I’m the boss”, the alpha male in the group, the aggressor. Basically, it is like the chest-beating gorilla, establishing his dominance to his group. At the same time he is also telling other males to stay away from his harem, or risk a confrontation with him.
Not surprisingly, this bright red colour actually takes the cue from nature.
Not surprisingly also, that politicians are one of the biggest fan of wearing red ties. It’s now the campaigning period of the US presidential race 2017. Every time you watch the presidential candidates debate, you’ll notice a sea of red ties… And no, it is not a coincidence. In fact, it is a carefully planned and executed attire. It is like telling the world “Vote for me, I’m the toughest and most dominant candidate of the lot.”
The Blue Tie Hints Of A Calm, Dependable And Reliable Leader
Blue is another popular tie colour of politicians and leaders in general. Blue has the effect of making people feel calm and assured. Elected officials and politicians like to wear blue to indicate that they are cool, calm and composed under the fire, and are capable of making sound decisions regardless how stormy the situation is on the outside.
Both red and blue coloured ties are two of the most popular power colour choices. It basically tells the people “I’m the leader. Follow me.“
The Purple Tie Shows “I’m Royal, And Beyond The Insignificant Arguments”
Wearing a purple tie does make one stand out from the masses, but not in a bad way. It says “I’m different”, but at the same time it also says “I’m not a threat”. It triggers the curiosity of the people around him, but at the same time it doesn’t raise their concerns about their safety in his vicinity.
Kinda reminds me of Jedi Master Mace Windu…
Now doesn’t he look like some kind of royalty?… While all the other Jedis are wielding green and blue lightsabers, Mace Windu is the only Jedi Master that wields a purple one. In fact, there is only one purple lightsaber in the whole movie franchise (as of 2016), and it belongs to him.
The Green Tie Says “I’m Fun Loving, And I Wanna Break Some Rules”
A common sight you see during St. Patrick’s Day celebration, but otherwise not a very popular choice of colour. While not exactly a statement of anti-establishment or a rebellion, the colour green does hint of an independent character. Independent enough to share his thoughts out loud, and not afraid to bend the rules a little in order to put his thoughts into action.
Just like the traffic light, green means go, get moving, do something, put your plans in action. The gentleman who wears green won’t stop “walking” just because the rest of the crowd has screeched to a halt, probably distracted by some street vendor peddling some miracle cure-all potion by the road side. The green leader will continue to move forward, bringing his flock to the destination without being side-tracked along the way.
The Yellow Tie Says “Show Me The Money”
In many Asian cultures, yellow is the colour of royalty, not purple. And yellow is a colour reserved only to be adorned by the ruling monarch. Not surprising, since yellow is the colour of “gold”, indicating wealth, prosperity and abundance.
Not an easy colour to pull off, since the yellow tie almost blends into the light coloured shirt. But against the dark coloured jacket, it stands out like a beacon in the middle of the dark and stormy sea. Not surprising that black-and-yellow combination is one of the two universal safety colours. The other combination is white-and-red.
So if you want to walk around town, and start attracting “wealth”, then the yellow tie is for you. It will definitely make you stand out from the crowd. You may not appear to be the most dominant alpha male in a bar full of potential mates. But you will definitely attract some potential mates on your own just by advertising “Hello. I’m rich. Wanna hang out with me?“
Creating Your Personal Brand Colour
Those of you who know me, you you’d probably know that I have a corporate colour that kinda makes me stand out among the crowd. The corporate colour of Solarex Imaging is orange.
That’s right, it has both the elements of the red and the yellow. So the orange is a little bit of the alpha male, and a little bit of the prosperity magnet. And that’s what makes Solarex Imaging so special and unique.
Base Colour Versus Highlight Colour
Before you go all out and paint the town in your favourite or corporate colour, do take note that there is a difference between what is a base colour and what is a highlight colour.
All the examples that was given above was based entirely on highlight colour only. The base colour still remains the same uniform dark colours of the suit jacket, like navy blue, mahogany brown or charcoal grey. With a large portion of the dark base colour, the small portion of the chosen highlight colour will jump out and catch the attention of the people around you. You want to make a statement, but you sure don’t want to shout at the top of your voice at everybody that you meet. You don’t want to appear rude, or *gasp* lunatic in front of polite company.
If you were to use your chosen colour as a base colour instead, you will end up overpowering the visual senses of the people around you, and quite literary flash-blinding them… Like this…
No, you will never catch me running around town wearing that… I definitely wouldn’t want to be compared to The Mask…
So choose a corporate or brand colour, announce it to the whole world. Break some rules and have some fun with it. Make it your identity, make it your brand. But whatever you do, please keep it to the highlights only. You definitely don’t want to end up looking like a clown.