Why Hues do not lie and Tints do not cry? The Endless Shades of Fashion!

Replete with tongue-in- cheek humour, Neeti explains the colour fundas. She tells us, “No, no colours aren’t plotting against you, but yes, they definitely are a scheming lot!” Take a walk in the maze of the fashion world, with our Fashion Guru. She reveals the fundamentals of colours, in her weekly column this week, exclusively for Different Truths.

Ever wondered why too many days of grey skies without any sunshine make us feel so low and depressed?

Why do the fresh-just- washed-by- rain ‘greens’ energise us so much, just by looking?

Why is the smiley-face- stress-ball you have been squeezing to relax, ‘yellow’?

Ever wondered why the curtains of a hospital are ‘green’? The nurses and doctors wear ‘white’ coats?

Ever wondered why the Godfather wore ‘black’ and most official wardrobes are in shades of ‘blue’?

Why do we always imagine baby girls wearing ‘baby pink’?

Why do ‘red lips’ and sensuality go hand in hand?

Yes, today I am talking about the power of colour! That silent element of Fashion that speaks the loudest!

Let me begin by sharing some interesting facts.

Here’s an interesting trivia! In London, when the Blackfriars Bridge, made of black ironwork, was repainted a green colour, suicides declined more than 30%.

Ever notices how many fast food restaurants use red, orange, and yellow? These colors attract customers and make food look better! Red also stimulates appetite! These colors encourage a person to linger in the restaurant for longer and thus consume more! Food plating is a concept that is really picking up, as, if the food has been presented aesthetically and artistically, we always feel tempted and eat it!

Mmmm….Hungry for more?

Let me satisfy your appetites with the colour fundas for Fashion!

Think about that day when you walked inside the showroom of your favourite clothing brand. Imagine yourself walking to the shirt section and the first thing that strikes your eye will be colour! Even before we look at the cut/silhouette of the style, our eyes notice the colour. Remember the endless times you got disappointed on not finding the color you wanted and this did not purchase that article?

I’m sure you can relate to such situations! This just stresses the importance of colour in our lives. But you will realise, that we often don’t think twice before picking a colour from the wardrobe or of our accessories! More often than not, it happens to be an unconscious decision!

It’s high time we stop letting our focus on colours take a back seat and consciously understand which color speaks what language, making us more conscious while choosing how we want to appear to this judgemental world! The more we understand the power of colours, the more we present ourselves to the world, the way we really are!

I always feel, “Sometimes they whisper, sometimes they scream but colours always make a statement!

So to begin with, the basic question is, how do we see colours?

We perceive only the reflected colours. Thus, red is not ‘in’ an apple. The surface of the apple is reflecting the wavelengths we see as red and absorbing all the rest. An object appears white when it reflects all wavelengths and black when it absorbs them all. Simple, right? I’m sure you studied this in school!

Focussing on some more colour terminologies, before I move on further, here are the three basic properties or traits that we always refer to:


The name of the colour is called as hue. It is with this name that it’s named in the colour wheel. Example, red, yellow, orange, blue…are all hues!


The darkness or lightness of a colour is called as ‘value’.

As we keep adding white to it, it becomes lighter, and is called ‘tints’.

As we keep adding black to it, the value gets darker and it’s called ‘shades’.

Umm reminded me of a certain Mr Christian Grey from 50 shades of Grey!

Okay now let’s not get distracted but move to the next important aspect of colour.

Intensity or Saturation

Is it possible that two colors have the same hue and value but still they look different? How can this happen?

Well, this is due to this third property called intensity. Intensity refers to the brightness or dullness of a colour.

Okay, let’s do a small exercise.

Open your wardrobe and take a quick glance at your clothes. You will realise that, you naturally gravitate to certain colors in Summer- like whites, beige, pastel tones, blues, greys, lilac, peach, lime green, light yellow, etc.

Your winter wardrobe, would have more of browns, maroons, olive green, red, orange, rust, ochre yellows, navy blue, black…the list goes on.


This is because of the fourth important aspect of colours called ‘temperature’.

Now don’t go running for a thermometer! It’s all about cool and warm colors.

Cool colours: (like green, blue, violet) are associated with water, sky and foliage. They are calming, unassuming and they appear to recede. So they make one appear less heavy.

Warm colours: (like red, orange, yellow) are associated with the hot fire and the Sun. They psychologically suggest emotion, energy, passion and warmth while optically appearing larger.

Now you can be more conscious while choosing the colour you want to wear to work today!

Color Wheel

Color Wheel

Having touched upon the basic aspects of colour funda, let’s quickly understand the colour schemes! No, no colours aren’t plotting against you, but yes, they definitely are a scheming lot!

We don’t usually wear one colour outfit and accessories and makeup! That would be so boring! Most of the times we mix and match colours of our ensemble and then also try and wear accessories like ties, scarves, jewellery, footwear and bags that would look good with that outfit!

If we know about these schemes we can plot and scheme on our own to work out the best combination that suits our skin tone and the occasion.

Color schemes

Color schemes

So the next few sessions will be talking about the power of individual colours and next week we begin with black, white and greys!

So catch you in a colourful mood soon!


http://www.empower-yourself- with-color- psychology.com/color-white.html


http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/how-to- look-your- best/what-colors- say/

©Neeti Banga

Pix sourced by author.

Neeti Banga

Neeti Banga

Neeti Banga, a fashion professional, is currently a faculty at her Alma Mater, NIFT, New Delhi. Her poems and short stories have won national and international awards. These are published in various anthologies. Her Poetry anthology, 'The Dewdrops...a journey begins', with two co-poets is a best seller. Wild, nomadic and romantic at heart, her gypsy soul finds solace in expression through painting and writing. She is penning her short story collection and her debut novel.
Neeti Banga

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