Introducing Orange, the next colour in our Colour Psychology Style series. Hailed as the new ‘Millennial Pink’, ‘Safety Orange’ was seen up and down the catwalks for Spring Summer 18 especially within the New York shows like Tom Ford, Calvin Klein and Fenty Puma.

Dress: Missguided Shoes: ALDO

Many Psychologists believe that our emotional responses to colours stem from our learned experiences with them. However, it is also believed that the characteristics of colours evoke physiological responses. As you may know, colours are categorised according to wavelengths. Studies have shown that long wave-length colours like orange induce feelings of high arousal (Goldstein, 1942) which activates the ascending reticular activating system (ARAS) in the brain leading to increased heart rate, blood pressure, mobility and readiness to respond.

The aptly titled ‘Safety Orange’ most certainly gets its name from the use of the colour orange in uniforms worn by people working in potentially hazardous environments. In a study testing the visibility of safety clothing on the protection of personnel in highway construction, results indicated that participants detected another person significantly faster and from a father distance if they were wearing orange (more specifically red-orange) clothing (Turner, Simmons & Graham, 1997)

Whist it may not be your intention to emulate the style of construction workers, this research suggests that the colour orange literally has the power to stop people in their tracks. It’s a show-stopping hue that you should definitely add to your wardrobe for those moments when you intend on making a splash and want all eyes on you.

In fact, when I was shooting this entire orange edit I did get a host of lovely compliments from passing-by pedestrians that I am sincerely attributing to the attention-grabbing effect of the colour. This burnt-orange Kimono Sleeve Shift Dress from Missguided was one of my favourite pieces to shoot as it is true to size and has a subtle cowl neck front which I appreciate as any lower (which seems to be the norm these days) I felt, would have compromised the overall look. All-round, 10/10.

Do you have many orange pieces in your wardrobe? What are your general impressions of the colour?

 

Author

Shakaila Forbes-Bell is a Fashion Psychologist and writer who has been featured in Marie Claire UK, i-D, Who What Wear, All Walks Beyond the Catwalk, Fashion Bomb Daily, The Voice Newspaper, Gal-Dem, Black Matters US and more.

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