3 Colors You Should Never Wear on a First Date

Avoid wearing these colors on a first date

Avoid wearing these colors on a first date | iStock

Getting ready to go on a first date is both scary and exciting. Besides deciding where you’re going to eat dinner, another important decision you’ll need to make is what you’re going to wear. Your clothing style as well as the color choices you make can have a great impact on how your date responds to you. Colors can elicit a range of emotions, says research psychologist Richard G. Lewis in the book Color Psychology:

Based upon fundamentals in color psychology, with years of research by color psychologists, the characteristics of certain colors have been identified to cause an emotional response in people. This was done by studying the response from hundreds of thousands of test subjects around the world in order to isolate how certain colors make us feel. The effect that color has on human emotions can be profound…Throughout history color has always been associated with the emotions found in humans; we can be described as “green with envy” or “feeling blue.” Researchers also believe that color is perceived not only biologically but emotionally and can instigate actual physiological reaction patterns within us.

Colors can affect not only how you feel, but also the feelings of others, so you’ll want to choose your outfit wisely. Here are three colors you’d be better off avoiding.

1. Yellow


Yellow Minions | Universal Pictures

If you want to kill the mood, wear yellow. It’s a bright and sunny color that makes some people feel happy, but it probably won’t help you score a second date. You’ll be easy to find in a crowd, though. The color yellow is quite the attention getter, and very hard to miss. Designer Jennifer Bourn points out that this is why the color is often used for children’s advertisements and products, school buses, and taxis. We’re pretty sure you don’t want to be associated with any of these. Yellow is a stimulating color — but not for the reasons you’re hoping for. Yellow is a cheerful hue, but not very romantic. Research by color psychologist and branding expert Jill Morton also found that people sometimes associate yellow with egoism and betrayal.  So unless you’re the live entertainment at a kid’s party, stay away from yellow.

2. Orange


Orange | Nick Jr.

A study conducted by researcher Joe Hallock at the University of Washington found that orange was rated the least favorite color by both men and women. Roughly 30% of female respondents and 33% of male respondents said they disliked the color. Furthermore, study participants associated the color orange with being cheap or inexpensive.

Hallock notes that respondents generally seem to have a love-hate relationship with the color. In another study some participants describe the color as fun. Hallock asserts this may be due to the color going out of style (the other study was conducted in 1951), but another explanation for this contrast could be that individuals often feel differently about a color depending on the context. Designing a room with an orange chair might be fun and edgy, but wearing an orange shirt, not so much.

3. Brown

brown shirt

Brown shirt | iStock

Brown is not such a popular color when it comes to dates or job interviews. A survey found only 1% of women and 4% of men would wear brown on a first date. Brown was close behind orange when men and women were asked to name their least favorite color. Roughly 20% of women and 27% of men did not like the color brown. Color researcher Judy Scott-Kemmis asserts brown is a color thought to represent stability and structure, but it is also associated with someone who lacks spontaneity (a Career Builder survey came to the same conclusion). If you want your date to think you’re boring and lack a sense of adventure, brown is your color.

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