Color Etiquette for Every Occasion

While we all know when to avoid sexy outfits like cut-off shorts and boyfriend jeans, the rules can be a little less obvious when it comes to color choices. While white must be avoided in wedding occasions unless you’re the bride, there are a lot of other occasions we must be familiar of the color etiquettes to keep your style fashion-forward at the same time appropriate. So, keep on reading to refresh our style and color rules.

Job Interview

gray dress with button down shirt

purple coat with classic shoes office blouse with skinny jeans nude dress with trench coat navy blue skirt with blazer and boots sheer skirt with black top

According to Pantone director color expert, Leatrice Eiseman, wear power colors on your job interview. This includes gray, black, and navy, but nothing too over-the-top. Though the shades of beige, burgundy, nude, and dark purple can be acceptable at times, pay attention to your outfit as it must look simple yet polished, and don’t look like you’re rushing to a cocktail party after your interview. Additionally, she says, “a touch of color in an accent is a good thing that makes you more memorable when many people are being interviewed. “

Wedding and Bridal Shower

navy maxi dress pastel tea dress with classic pumps pastel pink culottes with nude sandals pastel peach dress with necklace

One of the biggest color “don’ts” is wearing white to a wedding or bridal shower. However, did you know you should also stay away from red and black? Historically, the color red has had “vulgar” connotations, while black is somewhat of a downer for a celebratory event that usually takes place in the daytime.  According to Eiseman, wearing those colors “competes with the bride” on her special day, which is the last thing you should do as a guest. Also, bright colors will stand out negatively in pictures among a sea of lighter colors. So, stick to pastel shades or other conservative colors.

Holiday Parties

avant garde red dress with boots purple maxi dress with nude pumps orange dress with gold cuffs knitted red dress with gray boots festive and holiday outfit

Holiday parties are occasions to look festive. While red is the preferred color, you may go for bright jewel tones like sapphire blue, amethyst purple, emerald green, as well as other juicy shades like yellow and orange. This is the time to look creative and carefree on your looks so skip those office-like dress or pastel dresses if you like to look occasion-appropriate. Also, incorporate fringes, sequins, metallic, and other catchy elements to your look and make your holiday party a memorable moment.

Summer Garden Parties

bright green summer dress pastel pink dress off shoulder peach dress floral print skirt with white crop top floral print outfit with white blazer

Summer garden parties are one of the most awaited occasions for the season. While you may look breezy and chic in your summer whites, feel free to go for pastel colors and juicy shades to channel your summer vibe. Also, think of floral motifs on your outfits to blend beautifully with the scene. However, you may want to skip black, navy, and gray that will be a bit hot and sweater under the sun. Just save those winter colors for the other season and keep your summer style breezy and chic.

Cocktail Parties

sheer red lace dress purple sweet heart gown pastel pink flowy skirt with coat gray maxi dress burgundy lace gown with fur coat black cocktail dress with leopard print pumps

When it comes to a cocktail party, there are no “don’ts.” Just go for styles of dresses and gowns you’ll look best in, as well as the colors that flatter you. Eiseman recommends “wearing the color you love the most and that makes you feel most confident”—and we totally agree! Indeed, keeping your etiquette for every occasion makes your style more fashion-forward and appropriate.

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