I often talk about adding more color to your wardrobe. In this article, I will be looking at how to wear red in many different ways with plenty of red outfit ideas.
Red, the color of love, looks fabulous year round – whether heading towards the festive season, wearing for a date, or pairing with fresh colors for a vacation (if you’re lucky enough to manage one this year!)
You’ll find plenty of my own outfit ideas and also how you can find your right shade of red.
How to wear red
The color red 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. No matter what your skin tone, there’s the perfect shade of red.
Red makes an impact. When you wear red, people will notice you. Red is also a very versatile color. Easy to combine with black, white, blue, camel and so many other colors.
I’m growing ever more fond of red and have learned to embrace the color for myself.
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!
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 outfit ideas from the runways
Red is always on trend no matter what the season. For winter and fall 2020, there was plenty of red on the runways. You can see more color trends in this article.
Alexander McQueen – Rodarte – Valentino
Red clothes to choose in stores now
Take a look below at some of the most stylish red clothes to choose. Continue reading for red outfit ideas, including colors that compliment red.
The perfect red top
Wearing a red top is my most used choice for wearing red. Nothing brightens my face and makes me come more alive than wearing red close to my face. I have several red tops in several colors that I wear with both pants and skirts.
You could easily wear the red top below with your white or blue jeans.
As the weather starts to cool, a cozy sweater is one of life’s essentials. Red adds a pop of color even on the dreariest of days.
Emma (above) matches her sweater to her booties.
Check out this similar sweater, jacket, jeans, booties, handbag and sunglasses.
A red blazer is a great option for adding style and color to even the simplest of outfits. Opt for an open, single-breasted or a belted style.
Caslon belted linen blended jacket
Have you chosen a new coat yet for winter? Rather than choosing a neutral shade, why not make a big impact with your outerwear this year?
Also, take a look at how to wear a coat.
Often you may wear a brighter color on top and a neutral shade on the bottom. However, a pair of red pants can really elevate your style.
Petra (above) opts for burgundy pants and pairs with pink.
Get her look with this similar blouse, pants, heels, bag, bracelet and sunglasses.
Alice + Olivia high waist zip cuff pants
A red dress makes a statement on its own. You could choose a red dress rather than a little black dress if you have a dinner or event to attend.
Harper Rose envelope collar crepe sheath dress
You could wear a red skirt with so many things you already have in your closet, such as your winter sweaters, t-shirts or shirts.
Jo (above) wears a fabulous red asymmetrical skirt and adds lots more red to her outfit.
Check out this similar jacket, skirt, pumps, bag, scarf, belt and earrings.
If you’d like to include red as part of your style but want to do it in a subtle way, red accessories are the way to go.
Red add a bit of polish to your look and red shoes can each outfit a lift. These shoes are stylish and comfortable.
Tory Burch square toe ballet flat
A red bag can give an otherwise monochrome or neutral outfit a lift. Or you could opt for a red scarf, necklace or earrings.
Kim (above) teams her burgundy dress and boots with a red box bag.
Check out this dress that you can wear with this similar pair of booties, handbag and sunglasses.
Kate Spade New York leather crossbody bag
Halogen diagonal rib cashmere scarf
Knotty crystal statement collar necklace
Tory Burch circle stud earrings
Colors that go with red
Now that you’re thinking about how to add red to your outfit, what colors should you wear with it?
Alison (above) chooses red and pink.
Recreate her outfit with this similar top, pants, sandals and necklace.
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.
Below are some great color combinations I found.
These color palettes have inspired me to create the looks below:
Red and white
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.
Renata (above) creates a flattering, elongating effect by wearing white and then adding a long, red cardigan over the top.
Check out this similar blouse, pants, cardigan, loafers, belt and sunglasses.
Outfit 1: Eliza J high/low fit & flare dress – Club Monaco moto jacket – Bella Vita cage sandal – Kate Spade New York leather crossbody bag – Jenny Bird hoop earrings – Madewell jacquard dot scarf
Outfit 2: Madewell pocket tee – Nordstrom Signature blazer – Alice + Olivia high waist zip cuff pants – Naturalizer pointed toe pump Nordstrom hobo bag – Set & Stones station necklace –
Outfit 3: GIBSONLOOK blouson sleeve blouse – Lyssé asymmetrical crop denim leggings – Naturalizer ankle strap sandal – Kate Spade New York leather crossbody bag – BaubleBar chain collar necklace
Red and black
Many of you prefer black to white and that is a great easy option too.
Nadine (above) wears her red dress with black boots and accessories.
Check out this similar dress, boots, handbag, wrap, beanie and sunglasses.
Outfit 1: Fraiche by J wrap dress – SPANX faux leather leggings – Børn bootie – Kate Spade New York leather crossbody bag – BaubleBar chain collar necklace
Outfit 2: BLANKNYC fringe trim suede moto jacket – BB Dakota belted jersey midi dress – Børn knee high boot – Nordstrom leather minaudière – Jenny Bird hoop earrings
Outfit 3: Julia Jordan puff sleeve jumpsuit – Coconuts by Matisse slide sandal – Nordstrom leather minaudière – Tory Burch hoop earrings
Red and gray
Gray is a softer option to black and you may find it more flattering. It’s the perfect neutral to wear with red.
Erika (above) wears a red blouse with her gray skirt.
Steal her look with this similar blouse, skirt, pumps, bag, belt and sunglasses.
Outfit 1: Eileen Fisher midi shirtdress – Kork-Ease slingback sandal – Ted Baker London shopper – DESIMTION layered tassel earrings
Outfit 2: Madewell pocket tee – Romwe waterfall cardigan – Wit & Wisdom crop skinny pants – Naturalizer sneaker – Longchamp top handle bag – Jenny Bird hoop earrings
Outfit 3: Topshop crop funnel neck sweater – Chelsea28 bias jacquard skirt – Munro bootie – Nordstrom leather crossbody bag – Jenny Bird hoop earrings
Red and shocking pink: Red dress outfit
Once considered a fashion faux pas, wearing red and pink together is now a modern pairing.
Shanna (above) wears a red and pink print dress with red heeled sandals (and red nail varnish).
Check out this red and pink dress that you can wear with this similar pair of sandals and hoop earrings.
Outfit 1: Harlyn floral dress – Zella high waist leggings – Sanctuary sandal – Thacker crossbody bag – DESIMTION layered tassel earrings
Outfit 2: VERO MODA wrap top – Alice + Olivia high waist zip cuff pants – Tory Burch square toe ballet flat – Kate Spade New York leather crossbody bag – Tory Burch hoop earrings
Outfit 3: BLANKNYC fringe trim suede moto jacket – Halogen crewneck sweater – Boden pleated skirt – Sanctuary sandal – Kate Spade New York leather crossbody bag – Jenny Bird hoop earrings
What color compliments red: Red and burgundy
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. Team with a brighter shade for an on-trend look.
Psyche (above) wears her burgundy with tan shoes and gold accessories.
Get her look with this similar sweater, moto jacket, trousers, mules and scarf.
Outfit 1: Bernardo belted long coat – Caslon dolman sweater – Zella high waist leggings – Kate Spade New York leather crossbody bag – Tory Burch mule – Jenny Bird hoop earrings
Outfit 2: Halogen crewneck sweater – Halogen sweater skirt – Sanctuary sandal – Longchamp top handle bag – Tory Burch hoop earrings
Outfit 3: Treasure & Bond tie high/low shirt – Zella high waist leggings – BCBGeneration knee high boot – Kate Spade New York leather crossbody bag – Tory Burch hoop earrings
Red outfits for women: A capsule wardrobe for you
Below, you can see the red outfits together in one capsule wardrobe, which you can easily adapt to the weather where you are.
Red outfits for women: More examples on how to wear red
Below you will find even more inspiration on how to wear red with lots of my own outfits, including suggestions on the colors that go best with red:
Colors that compliment red: Red and white
A loose cropped red top from Stella Carakasi (similar here) which you can layer with tops underneath.
A refreshing red and white look for spring and summer.
You can also wear this color combination during transitional weather.
This is one of my favorite skirts and it combines with a lot of my tops like this white top from CK Calvin Klein.
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.
White and red works well in a print too.
Red is the perfect color to make a white dress more interesting and vibrant.
Colors that match with red: Red and gold
For more glamour add a bit of gold into the mix!
Red skirt outfit
All red outfits
Sometimes you just want to stand out and nothing shows more confidence to the world than an all-red outfit.
Red and brown
I love red with brown and (animal) print.
Red and blue
Red and blue is another versatile combination. Instead of a skirt, opt for some great blue jeans! A very traditional and always chic combination is red with blue and white. It creates a marine look that is always in style.
Red blouse outfit
A chic color twist on my favorite asymmetric pieces.
Red and purple
More unusual is red with purple, but it is actually a really good combination as this look shows.
Red, white and black/gray
Black and white always works well with red and creates a more graphical look.
Red, fuchsia and gray
A more unusual combination for an arty look.
Burgundy with orange
A beautiful color combination with the colors of fall.
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.
A chic floral jacket with jeans.
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
Comfortable and chic.
Add a red hat or some red lipstick
Add a red bag as a color accent
Soft green with red.
Look how much more fun and interesting this outfit is with the addition of a red bag!
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.
Add a necklace with a red color accent
Sometimes all you need is a red necklace or pendant.
Add a red scarf
Add some red shoes
I wear my red shoes a LOT. It’s so easy to make a neutral outfit more interesting by adding some red shoes!
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.
Below is a really helpful video from 40+Style stylist Ruth on how to find the best shade of red for you.
More interested in another color, I also have guides on
Do you like to wear red? What is your preferred way of wearing it?
Like this article on how to wear red? Save it on Pinterest!
Feature image by Nikki
Photos from Denton Taylor
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Sylvia, Your such a European dresser. It suits you!
Another helpful article – thank you. The color palette you created is GORGEOUS!
Hi Sylvia, I have a red cardigan/jacket made of 43% wool, 43% viscose and 14% polyester. It has pockets with a black pattern on the bottom of the jacket and sleeves.
My obvious choice was a black top and black trousers or skirt to match. However, I haven’t found the right fabric top to match it and wanting to consider other colours.
What do you suggest. By the way my colouring is more towards cool colours as I have black hair, brown eyes and brown tone complexion.
Hard to say but rather than going for the black as a base why not choose white or cream? I find that most outfits benefit from a third color thrown in.
You didn’t mention my favorite combination- true red with chocolate brown or camel brown! Love this!
I’m 64 and wear red tops all the time, all different shades of red including bright red, why are some of you ladies so scared to be seen in red. I have dark hair and light olive skin, red is very flattering on me, I don’t care if your 80-if you like it wear it. We have earned the right to wear what we like.
I wouldn’t say I’m “afraid” of red; I’ve just found that regular reds don’t flatter me all that much, but this article really broadened my ideas about it. And it’s always a great accent color.
I forgot to add that I color my hair a warm red-auburn. So I look good in a lot of the colors “redheads” look good in — citrus colors in summer, autumn colors in the fall, aqua and teal and grass greens…but black, “regular red” and purples don’t do me any favors up near my face. (“Red Hat Society” looks look terrible on me). Maybe someday, after I go gray, I’ll change my mind.
I absolutely love your pink red outfit! I don t wear redcthat often. But I can see that red accesoires are a great addition!
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.
Yes a warm red can be a beautiful color for a wedding and will be good for your warm skin tone.
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.
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.
What a great post, I love also red, but only as accessories.
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
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.
I love all the looks but I really love the red with white, green and yellow.
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.
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!
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!
Love this post Sylvia. You have amazing taste, and lots of styling creativity!
All fantastic looks, Sylvia!
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.
Red has been touted as such a power color—and I think, you prove it well! You really hit all the points fabulously! jodie
ps…one of my faves that you just posted is the red necklace/bracelet with the black/white dress—easy & stunning!!
Thanks for reminding me. I may as well include those recent looks too!
What you do with your grey dress to spicy it up is wonderful.
Also a playful necklace, that suits you well 🙂
I’m crazy for the red with pink, and red with mustard! xo
I’m going to try the red and pink soon! Hopefully I can add a bit of orange as well…
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.
There are a lot of repeat items though, just worn different ways…..
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.
I wear red +white +navy all the time in summer. Never bothered anyone.
The Dutch flag is red, white and blue… Great colour combination. I wear it a lot. Nobody thinks I look like a flag. Really, don’t worry about it. It is not an issue.
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!
Lovely to hear from you Lynda and great to hear that this article has inspired you to try out new combinations. Mission accomplished!
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
Enjoy your reds Sabine!
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…