Psychology of Clothing Colors: White

The Meaning of Colors in Clothing – White

mens-suit-whiteWhen discussing colors, white often gets a relatively bad rap. It is referred to by many as being “the absence of color,” and thus not a color proper on its own. This being said, white is a huge part of men’s fashion, making it extremely important for fashion-forward men to learn more about how to wear it properly. That being said, we thought it to be necessary to dedicate an entire article to White – part of our series titled “The Psychology of Colors in Mens Fashion“.

Whether or not you consider it to be a true color, there’s no getting around the fact that white can either make or break an ensemble. The fact is, there’s a great deal of psychology behind why people choose to wear white, and even if you don’t think you’re approaching the color in a “calculated” manner, you likely are. The following are just a few important things to keep in mind if you tend to wear white on a regular basis, all of which can help you to streamline your ensembles.

The most important thing to bear in mind when wearing white is that it is most often associated with purity. Innocence and purity are not necessarily things that people actively set out to achieve by choosing ensemble elements, but there are plenty of reasons why doing so could be effective. For example, the purity of white is a major reason why the color (or lack thereof) is so often worn in business scenarios, as it can help to connote a trustworthy air that other colors cannot. Even if you feel as if you have no reason to accentuate your purity, you might find that doing so can be very advantageous in certain situations.

Another reason why white is considered to be the perfect tone for business dress is the fact that it connotes cleanliness. The starkness of a crisp white dress shirt simply can’t be beat, and is something that a lot of people consider to be their standby. That said, the importance of keeping white shirts and other ensemble elements as clean as possible cannot be overemphasized. Even with a small amount of dirt or stain, solid-white pieces can look extremely unattractive and cause practically any ensemble to all but all apart. Many people bleach their whites specifically for this reason, as a bright white shirt has the exact opposite effect of one that is faded and/or stained.

Wearing White Effectively
Aside from keeping your whites as clean and stark as possible, there are a few other things to consider in order to wear white effectively. Given the sense of “space” that white often conveys, it can be perfect for adding contrast to an ensemble. If you’re dressing for a formal event, white and black do play off each other perfectly. That said, the combination of white and black in casual dress actually creates a bit too much contrast, and thus should be avoided for the most part. White dress shoes (which for a while saw quite a bit of popularity) should also be avoided, as they tend to draw far too much attention to the feet.

White Ties Anyone?
White is a common color for neckties, but rarely are solid white ties worn. Instead, white is usually an accent color found in stripes, polka dots, or other classic necktie designs. Although solid white ties are rare, they do have its place in mens fashion. They are formal and elegant, and are therefore common formal tie choices for daytime functions. Also, white ties are mandatory dress for German Judges to wear to court.

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