Are you wearing the right power colours to get ahead?

29 August 2015

Are you wearing the right power colours to get ahead?

Believe it or not, but if you want to get ahead in the boardroom, the colour of your suit can actually make a genuine difference to the way you’re perceived.

Rising through the ranks has obviously got a huge part to do with how hard you work and the quality of your work. No getting away from that one.

But don’t underestimate how looking the part can influence matters.

The truth is, if you want to be recognised as a confident, get-the-job-done kind of guy that deserves to be recognised, there are certain power colours that will help communicate those all-important character traits.

So, what are these specific power colours you need for the boardroom? Well, a lot of it depends on the environment you work in and the people you’re trying to impress.

That said, there are three traditional choices that have been worn through the decades and continue to be worn by those who want to get ahead.

Make sure at least one of the following shades forms part of your suiting repertoire.



If you’re looking to exude a sense of completely authority then black will most definitely give you the look of a man who’s in control. But although it’s the ultimate power colour, bear in mind that black can sometimes be perceived as overly harsh and assertive.

It’s also less versatile when it comes to matching with other colours, so your styling options are more limited.

A good idea is to take note of what the management is wearing. If black is the dominant choice for the decision makers, it could be wise to follow suit. If it rarely makes an appearance, maybe stay clear. Nothing worse than looking like you’re trying to out-boss the boss.

Charcoal Grey

The thing about charcoal grey is that it can give you an appearance of maturity beyond your years. This makes it a particularly good choice for younger guys looking to be taken seriously.

So, if you’re striving to be considered as a contender for promotion and don’t want your youth or lack of seniority to hold you back, this colour will give you an extra boost in the credibility stakes.

Charcoal grey can also easily be matched with a range of contrasting tones, particularly pastels, so a lighter shirt or tie will match up nicely.

This versatility means you can still pull off a subtle but unique style that ensures you don’t just blend in with the rest of your co-workers. After all, this is all about getting yourself noticed.

Navy blue

Highly fashionable and incredibly versatile, navy blue gives off an unmistakable air of professionalism while being easy to match up with a variety of other colours.

And sure, while this steely shade definitely conveys a sense of confidence and assertiveness, its modern feel also helps to create an image of openness and flexibility – important traits when you don’t want to appear overly bold and rigid in temperament.

In short, if you want to combine the persona of a team player with an ambitiousness go-getter, navy blue gives you the balanced look you need.

Making the final choice

Ultimately, it’s best to have a range of options in your wardrobe. Because while power dressing is defined by a traditional set of colours, it’s also important to be flexible.

The best advice is to take your cues off what management is wearing. After all, they’re the people you’re trying to impress. No point power dressing like a city banker if your boss is more likely to turn up a wearing light grey 3-piece.

Ultimately, the best approach is to work out what “success” in your work environment looks like, then suit up accordingly.

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