The Colour Psychology Behind Staff Uniforms

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What Colour Uniform to Choose

Colour creates strong emotional feelings, whether you’re aware of it or not, so different industries naturally gravitate towards specific colours. Below is a brief explanation of the main colours and their psychological effects.


Hotel UniformsRed is associated with energy, action, passion and positivity. It immediately grabs ones attention and stimulates our emotions. It creates an aura of confidence.

Interestingly, studies have found that the colour red stimulates our appetite. As a result, it is often used in restaurants.  A word of caution, red can also be seen as an aggressive colour, so balance it out with another colour such as blue to create the right impression.

Red uniforms will often be seen on staff who need to be seen as confident and positive. The iconic Virgin Air stewards uniform is a prime example. Another industry who will prosper from red uniforms is the hospitality trade, due to its ability to stimulate appetite.


Blue WorkwearBlue represents trust, responsibility, relaxation, loyalty & reliability. As you would expect, it is also one of the most popular uniform colours as a result. Whilst blue has all the above attributes, it is also understated. It doesn’t stand out from the crowd, and yet still has the capacity to gather an emotional response. 
There really are few industries where blue would not be appropriate. Many tradespeople including plumbers, electricians and mechanics wear blue, as it is important to gain their clients trust very quickly. It also appears significantly in corporate uniforms, where a professional, trusted image is key. Beauty salons adopt blue uniforms to encourage a relaxed, soothing atmosphere. Nursing and care staff wear predominantly blue as the emotions it evokes are entirely linked to trust, responsibility and reliability, exactly the traits you would want from care givers.


Green Polo ShirtsGreen is the colour of nature, and thus is associated with growth, healing, renewal, balance, vitality, the environment and calmness.  Interestingly, green is also associated with listening and understanding.
Green is the perfect colour for anyone who works outside. Gardeners, landscapers, farm workers etc. Also anyone working with animals such as vets and zoo staff.  





Yellow T ShirtYellow is an incredibly positive colour. It represents optimism, enthusiasm, hope, creativity, friendliness, hope and cheerfulness.  It creates a strong psychological response and is often found in charity uniforms. Due to its links with hope, it is often used in charity campaigns, most recently the Stephen Sutton campaign
Industries which tend to gravitate towards yellow include, as already mentioned, charity workers, and anyone in the childcare profession.




Orange Uniforms

Orange represents comfort, warmth, fun, optimism, adventure, affordability and happiness.  Whilst it has similar characteristics to yellow, it is more closely linked to risk takers and adventurers. It is the ideal colour for those in the sporting and leisure industry.  Because it is often associated with affordability many lower cost companies have adopted it, including the airline giants Easyjet and the DIY superstore B&Q




Pink Beauty TunicPink represents tranquillity, femininity, warmth, caring and nurturing.  Pink has up until recently been associated with women, although now is becoming a popular uniform colour for men also, particularly in the corporate world. It is very popular with those working in the beauty and cosmetics industry due to its tranquil effects. 




Black Corporate UniformsBlack is often seen as a tricky colour as it has two meanings. It can be seen as negative and oppressive. However, when it comes to business it’s also stylish, glamorous, dignified and evokes feelings of security, authority and control. 
Black is a popular uniform choice. Those who protect such as the police and security guards use it, as do many retail and corporate companies who wish to attain that glamorous, stylish look.




Chefs Whites

White represents hygiene, cleanliness, efficiency and purity. When we think of white uniforms we tend to think of those in the medical profession, or those in the health and beauty profession. Also of course, white is widely used in the hospitality trade, particularly by chefs and waiting staff.





There are of course a multitude of other colours but this list covers the most popular choices. We appreciate that when placing your uniform order it’s tempting to pick the colour you like, but do take into consideration the psychological response to colours alongside the personality of your company and customers and whether that is being reflected in the colours you choose.


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