Back in my teens, I remember my mother telling me that I should wear more red. She said it would look great with my red hair. My reaction? No way.
Red clothes would clash with my hair, not look good with it. Is my Mom out of it, or what?
Quite the mature response, don't you think?
My mother was a beautiful, stylish woman; an artist and a fantastic seamstress, but what did she know? Not much, thought I when I was 19.
Just a few short years later when I was out of college, it dawned on me: my mother was not only wise and kind, she really did know what she was talking about when it came to clothes. I went so far as to request that she design and sew some unique dresses a la Diana Ross, for my extremely short lived music career. The dresses were awesome. I was not.
Mom had also pointed out to me that most red dresses in the magazines were modeled by girls with red hair. And she was right!
And now I wear red.
As a stylist, I've always loved the look of red with black, grey, or camel. I also advise my clients that used sparingly, red is probably the most chic and sophisticated way to pop a classic. As an example, see the red top with classic trench and fun hat in the photos.
That said however, if you tend toward a more trendy or dramatic way of dressing, by all means choose a red dress. And if your closet is full of mostly neutrals, a red coat could be fun and a great change of pace for you.
But, if you are a classic kind of gal, it's probably best to stick with a neutral color coat and just add a knockout red scarf, top, handbag, belt or shoes.
And please note that the right shade of red can make all the difference. Fire engine red can be tricky. It's extremely vibrant and eye catching, and thus it makes a real statement. We just want to make sure that the statement it's making about us is indeed true and that we are completely comfortable drawing attention to whatever red thing we decide to buy.
It's also important to wear a truly flattering shade of red near your face. In my experience, almost everyone looks good in a deep winter red... some might call it a bordeaux color. It's a bit more subtle, more sophisticated, and for most of us, more flattering. Others would look better in a clear, true, ruby red. It too is vibrant, but certainly not as bright as fire engine.
The bottom line
If you like red and it makes you feel good, you should definitely jump on this bandwagon and ride it.
On the other hand, if you're not all that excited about red, skip it. There are plenty of other beautiful colors out there this year, like teal blue and some gorgeous shades of green.
As a matter of fact, I recently shopped for a client who chose a luxurious green sweater from Eileen Fisher's new fall collection at Nordstrom's. It was the prettiest shade of green I've seen in years. It had a lovely draped cowl neckline to which we added a simple coppery necklace and some classic hoop-style earrings. The whole look was fabulous on her and she knew it. She loved it and it loved her back.
Who needs red?