How to wear red – your comprehensive guide on wearing the color of love!

by Sylvia

How to wear red over 40 | 40plusstyle.com

I often talk about adding more color to your wardrobe. One really fabulous color to add is red. The color of love.

This color is especially good for women with a warm skin tone like myself, as it brightens up your complexion and makes you shine even more.

However, even if you have a cooler skin tone, you can still wear this color and look amazing.

There are many ways to wear red. You can can wear red in a subtle way by wearing a red accessory or you can make a bolder statement with the color. Whatever your comfort zone with the color red, there is a way to add this color to your wardrobe for everyone.

Let’s explore all the different ways on how you can wear red!

The easy way to wear red – combine with one other color

Wearing a bold color like red with just one other color is your easiest option and one of the nicest and easiest options by far is to pair it with white. It’s also one of my favorite combinations.

Red with white

How to wear red with white - donna karen red skirt | 40plusstyle.com

Red and white looks chic and understated. If you don’t want too much red close to your face, combine it with a white top. This is one of my favorite skirts and it combines with a lot of my tops like this white top from CK Calvin Klein.

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White capris with a red top | 40plusstyle.com

You can do the reverse if you do like to have red close to your face as I do as it brightens up my complexion. Same sophistication, just slightly different.

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wide leg white trousers with a red and white striped shirt | 40plusstyle.com

White and red works well in a print too.

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White dress with red accessories | 40plusstyle.com

Red is the perfect color to make a white dress more interesting and vibrant.

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how to wear a short dress over pants - red top and white pants | 40plustyle.com

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For more glamour add a bit of gold into the mix!

How to wear red | combine with white! | 40plusstyle.com

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firstdaysinsrilanka-4

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Red with black

How to wear red | red and black printed dress | 40plusstyle.com

Many of you prefer black to white and that is a great easy option too.

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Red with blue

colorblocking (2 of 5)

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Red and blue is another versatile combination. Instead of a skirt, opt for some great blue jeans!

Red with purple

redandpurpleflowers

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More unusual is red with purple, but it is actually a really good combination as this look shows.

Red and gold

kittenheelsover40

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Adding a third color

Most looks are even more interesting when a third color is added. You can do so with an additonal garment, a print or an accessory.

Red with blue and white

marine look with red, blue and white | 40plusstyle.com

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A very traditional and always chic combination is red with blue and white. It creates a marine look that is always in style.

Red, white and black/gray

Pattern mixing in red, cream and black | 40plusstyle.com

Black and white always works well with red and creates a more graphical look.

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whitegraydress (1 of 2)opt

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leggings (4 of 4)opt

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winter outfit for the snow

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Red, fuchsia and gray

how to combine red - wear it with fuchsia and gray | 40plusstyle.com

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A more unusual combination for an arty look.

Red with camel and brown

mom on the go outfit

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A more sophisticated and chic combination, especially if you add some animal print into the mix.

Red with camel and white

how to wear red - lots of ideas and inspiration | 40plusstyle.com

Similar to above but now with white added into the mix for a slightly fresher look.

dressingforwarhol

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Add a print into the mix!

Adding a third color will often make your outfit more interesting and dynamic. This will be further enhance if you add some print as well. You can do that within your clothing or with an accessory or shoe.

Red with yellow / mustard and brown and animal print

40 ways to wear red: | 40plusstyle.com

The animal print shoes make this outfit more special.

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redskirtwithsemituck

One of my favorite looks. Camel with red look super chic and the yellow makes it more funky. The animal print belt makes this outfit hip and modern.

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Red, camel, white and animal print

white skirt animal print belt

Great for casual lunch!

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Red with white, green and yellow

creatingwardrobecapsule (1 of 2)

If you like a bit more of a color splash, you can play with the primary and secondary colors. This look is playful, fun and fresh.

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Make a statement with head to toe red

Sometimes you just want to stand out and nothing shows more confidence to the world than an all-red outfit.

red calvin klein silk dress

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reddressandjacket

More red looks here.

Wear a beautiful print with the color red

Red is not just for solids, it looks great in many prints too.

40 ways to wear red - wearing red as a print | 40plusstyle.com

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Wearing a darker red – burgundy or oxblood red

If you prefer your red to be more muted you can also opt for a darker red like burgundy or marsala (which is actually the color of the year!). Here are some color palettes for wearing burgundy.

how to wear burgundy red | 40plusstyle.com

Here is how you could appy the Curtain Closed palette.

how to wear oxblood red

This is how I recently wore it.

The comprehensive guide on how to wear red | leather jacket | 40plusstyle.com

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Do you find it hard to wear red? Try accessories!

If red is normally not your color or you are afraid to stand out, then opt for a red accessory. It often really brightens up your outfit and adds extra interest.

Wear red sunglasses

Adding red through accessories like sunglasses | 40plusstyle.com

Add a red hat or some red lipstick

pattern mixing and playing with red and black hats in white, black and red | 40plusstyle.com

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Add a red bag as a color accent

pantsstyle (1 of 1)

Look how much more fun and interesting this outfit is with the addition of a red bag!

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Grey dress with red accessories | 40plusstyle.com

Adding red accessories is also a great tactic when you want to wear clothes that are not necessarily the best color for you. Wearing the gray without the red would be too bland for me.

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Add a necklace with a red color accent

Wearing a pendant featuring red | 40plusstyle.com

Sometimes all you need is a red necklace or pendant.

Making a printed dress more interesting with a red necklace | 40plusstyle.com

Add a red scarf

Adding red with a scarf  - 40 ways to wear red! | 40plusstyle.com

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Add some red shoes

Wearing red with camel and cream | 40plusstyle.com

I wear my red shoes a LOT. It’s so easy to make a neutral outfit more interesting by adding some red shoes!

Are you looking for more new and creative ideas on to wear red?

If I like to get more ideas on how to combine a certain color and create really interesting combinations, I go to colourlovers. This tool allows you to see many color palettes immediately and will give you lots of ideas. Just search for red in the colour palettes search box and you will instantly get lots of different options.

Here are some great color combinations I found.

Color combinations for wearing burgundy or marsala | 40plusstyle.com

Another way to get inspiration for a great color palette or the colors for your outfit is to look at an image that you love. I was struck by this image from Yoox. This image actually inspired this article!

Wearing red with peach and orange | 40plusstyle.com

I just LOVE this color combination and feel that it’s the most current and hip way to wear red right now. So I took this picture into Colourlovers and created a unique color palette from this image.

a color palette for wearing red with peach | 40plusstyle.com

This color palette is the main inspiration for the shopping options I will give you today as I feel this combination looks chic, modern and special. I’m very tempted by many of these items, but I actually think I have the building blocks available in my closet to create this look, so stay tuned!

how to wear red with peach and orange | 40plusstyle.com

I hope this guide on how to wear red has given you some inspiration to wear this color! Perhaps you like to give it a go if you don’t normally wear it. Or you may try to wear it in a different combination from what you normally do.

Here is what is available at Yoox right now. Use as inspiration and shop your own closet. If you do like to buy something and this list is outside your price range, I’m sure similar items will be available in other stores too.

I would love to see how you wear red in a new way this week so I invite you to show me your best red looks. No old looks, but just the ones that you wore this week. If you are on Instagram tag your looks with #redstylechallenge and #40plusstyle, feel free to upload your image to my Facebook page, tag your photos with #redstylechallenge and #40plusstyle in Twitter or send to me by email to sylvia [at] 40plusstyle.com. I will highlight some of my favorite looks next week!

Do you like to wear red? What is your preferred way of wearing it?

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Sabina @Oceanblue Style

The headline totally caught my attention Sylvia because I love red. Your choices here are so fabulous and I seriously love them all. Whether its white, camel oder green. I got a black and red vintage dress, red patentleather slingbacks, wedges like you and my most cherished find: Adidas sneakers in nude and red. 🙂 Have a great day! Sabina | Oceanblue Style

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Sylvia

Enjoy your reds Sabine!

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ramani wittatchy

I like to wear red with other colours like gray, blue, black. So good advice for me. I/m very grateful….thanking you..Miss Sylvia…

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Lynda

I love all your articles, but this is my favorite to date, probably because I love red so much and feel it is a color that works well for me. Your combinations have opened a new vista for me. I have trouble thinking outside the box with color combinations and I’m excited by your choices. Love it, love it, love it! Thank you Sylvia!

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Sylvia

Lovely to hear from you Lynda and great to hear that this article has inspired you to try out new combinations. Mission accomplished!

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Dee

In US you have to be careful not to wear red white and blue, because you will look too much like our flag. No one wants to look like a flag.

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martine

I wear red +white +navy all the time in summer. Never bothered anyone.

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Suzanne

Wow! You do have a whole lotta red in your wardrobe.

I do think red looks great on blonds, which you’ve proven here.

I like it, but it needs to be the right shade for me with my hair. I prefer it in smaller doses.

bisous
Suzanne

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Sylvia

There are a lot of repeat items though, just worn different ways…..

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Patti

I’m crazy for the red with pink, and red with mustard! xo

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Sylvia

I’m going to try the red and pink soon! Hopefully I can add a bit of orange as well…

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Helga van Leipsig

What you do with your grey dress to spicy it up is wonderful.
Also a playful necklace, that suits you well 🙂

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Jodie filogomo

Red has been touted as such a power color—and I think, you prove it well! You really hit all the points fabulously! jodie
http://www.jtouchofstyle.com
ps…one of my faves that you just posted is the red necklace/bracelet with the black/white dress—easy & stunning!!

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Sylvia

Thanks for reminding me. I may as well include those recent looks too!

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Natalia Lialina

Truly inspiring! You look great in red, in all these variations, Sylvia! I don’t have many red items, but I want to add red shoes and red dress(es). Like Suzanne, I select certain shades of red for myself, usually on the warmer side. So many great ideas here, I certainly will be back for inspiration.

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Ana from Mrs. American Made

All fantastic looks, Sylvia!

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Elisa

Love this post Sylvia. You have amazing taste, and lots of styling creativity!

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Lisa M

Just this morning, I was thinking about red. My fall/winter wardrobe is much better than it used to be, but my summer wardrobe needs some serious help. I thought maybe I should just limit myself to black, white, and red as a way of simplifying for the summer. That would allow me to get some good summer outfits together without spending a whole lot of money. I haven’t done it yet — I do like my colors — but it is under consideration.

My favorite thing about red is that a little can go a long way in transforming an outfit!

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Pam@over50feeling40

You are such a great model for the color red. I saw several of your styles which have inspired me and of course had to pin a couple. Excellent post!

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Greetje

My goodness, this is an elaborate post. Thank you, very inspiring. I am deeply ashamed for using my red accessories so little. I have them, but I don’t use them. While I love red and red loves me.
I am going to make a point of it to incorporate more red in my outfits.

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Shelia

I love all the looks but I really love the red with white, green and yellow.

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Robert

Great article! Red is also one of my favorite colors. I love wearing bright colors during the summer there are so many combination to choose.

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Rita Palazzi

I love red, but I think that it’s not an easy color to combine. But it can be fabulous if worn as a dress. If you like to see my choice search the post The woman in red Capannolo’s dress.
Have a great day, Rita
http://www.notonlytwenty.com

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Gaby Mayr

What a great post, I love also red, but only as accessories.
Gaby
http://www.stylishsalat.com

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Silvia DiPierdomenico

What a great post! So helpful to see the many options with red.
After not wearing it for years, I just rediscovered my love of red with the purchase of a vintage red bib necklace and a black and red silk YSL blouse from the 80s.
My favorite look here is the red top with the blue skirt – blue and red and black and red are the combinations I feel most comfortable wearing.
http://www.beastofstyle.com

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Sherry Edwards

Yes, I do love to wear red. I don’t wear it much for work only some on Friday when we wear red until all our soldiers are home. I do prefer red for sporty type of activities. Also, red is my choice of colour on the weekend for going out or to parties. Not to church though. I don’t like red for my church clothes. I keep red for athletic, dressy, vacation or evening clothes.

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HEATHER OLDFIELD

IS a bright red long top, over a black top, ok for my sons wedding, a 2pm wedding. the brides mum is wearing bright yellow, im 56 years old with a warm skin tone.

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Sylvia

Yes a warm red can be a beautiful color for a wedding and will be good for your warm skin tone.

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