Do you wear red very often? It's a tough color to pull off next to the face for most people. You really have to have the right coloring. Let's see how to wear red in the most flattering way, for every complexion.

Tina, here.

I rarely wear red. It's just so loud. For me, anyway. So why I bought a pair of red pants in Paris is beyond me. It was January. It was cold and dreary. Like maybe it is today in your part of the country. And it just seems like Parisians wear red. I also bought red shoes, and that makes perfect sense, right? (Red shoes are in my 12 Items Every Woman Of Style Has In Her Closet, and you can download it for free when you subscribe to the blog!) But the red pants were out of character.

Every now and then, usually in January, I get a little antsy to do something I don't normally do. It keeps me young and keeps people guessing. So, the red pants.


I do love them. But who can wear red and who can't? It's about two things: your hair color and your skin tone. Wearing red next to your face looks best when you have darker skin tones, like brown and olive (I do not). And red looks amazing with brown hair, and grey hair. But if you have very pale skin, red next to your face can be too shocking. Same with light colored hair. Red can look so harsh on blondes. What about black hair? My personal opinion is that there is too much contrast between the red and the black, much like with red and blonde hair. An exception would be black hair with dark skin or olive. Picture Catherine Zeta-Jones, who often wears red with her dark hair and olive complexion. (Side note, as we age, our complexions fade, so it's best to soften your jet black hair and go a little browner.)

Now, what do you wear with red?


Not black. And we could end it right there cause I'm sure that's giving you plenty to stew on for the rest of the day. These two colors next to each other is just too Dynasty. Too Georgia Bulldogs for a regular ole Tuesday. Now don't relive all those times you wore red and black and posed in pictures and such. It's in the past and it's a new day! A new year even! Time to take bold steps and start wearing red with these 3 colors exclusively: grey, brown and white (or ivory).

How To Wear Red - With Grey


I'm not a color theorist and I haven't "had my colors done" a la Color Me Beautiful. Remember that? Sometimes our clients do ask about it, and our typical answer is, if you were a "spring" 20 years ago, chances are you aren't anymore. Because your skin and hair have changed.


You know why red and grey go together? Let's say it all together, because grey goes with every other color! Which is why Christian Dior had his salons painted grey, to better showcase all the gorgeous gowns.

How To Wear Red - With Brown


Why does brown look better with red than black does? Because black acts more like a primary color than it does a neutral. Ok, ok, we all remember that black is not even officially a "color," but I said it "acts" like one when you pair it with bright colors like bright red or neon pink. (oh hi little bunny!)


On the other hand, neutrals like brown, grey and white tone down black, and also primary colors like bright red.


If you see me wearing these on Valentine's Day, cite me for a hallmark holiday wardrobe violation. That's when you wear the hallmark holiday's theme colors. Everyone thinks it's goofy to do that, just so you know. Red pants aren't goofy, just wearing red on Valentines' Day.

How To Wear Red - With White Or Ivory


White clothes make all clothes look pretty.


We'll do a post soon on why anyone, any size can wear white and not look a size larger. This has been a misconception we've fought for years. It's a falsehood that got its traction when so many bad white clothes started appearing in stores, and shoppers bought them not knowing they were the wrong white clothes. And when you saw them wearing those bad white clothes, you vowed not to make the same mistake. We can help. And we will....more coming this spring on that!

Insiders, you can shop these outfits in our latest Vault...and you can dress like a Parisian in red pants, too!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you'll wear something out of the box. Just follow the rules 🙂