I am honored to share this guest post by Mr. Derek Bbanga of Public Image Africa. Mr. Bbanga and his colleagues are based in Kenya and provide personal branding, image, communication, business & social etiquette, and presentation skills.
Influence Through Contrast
Color is a key component in what we wear, and contrast is the difference you see between any two colors next to each other. Mastering this relatively simple technique of the right contrast in the colors you wear could greatly influence your next presentation, meeting, interview, conference or sales pitch. Color doesn’t only affect how others view us but the contrast in those color combinations can also change impressions. Confused? Ok, here’s a quick and simple primer – there is high-contrast, medium-contrast and low-contrast combinations.
High-contrast refers to the difference between the clothes where one article of clothing is much lighter or brighter and the other is much darker. High contrast dressing (also known as power dressing) is used to create the greatest influence and to come across as powerful and in-charge e.g. a red tie with a white shirt worn with a dark suit. High contrast is good for politicians, CEO’s, if you’re leading a meeting or if you want to come across to your audience as authoritative.
Low-contrast combinations on the other hand are where there is a minor or no color difference between clothes e.g. brown shirt and brown jacket. This type of monochromatic dressing is considered the least influential especially in business. In some instances it may be considered a more fashionable look but in the business world it reduces your influence and can actually make you less noticeable.
A medium-contrast combination comes across as most friendly and approachable yet without completely diminishing authority. An example of this would be a light grey suit with a white or blue shirt.