A Few Suggestions For The Red-Curious…

J.Crew silk-cotton shirt in cherry print

Tell me you’d be able to resist that print. I couldn’t. This cotton-silk blend popover shirt is very lightweight, and a little bit sheer. Depending on your comfort level you may want a camisole underneath (or you can wear it underneath a sweater or jacket). But that print! Whimsical without crossing too far over into Twee. Also available in a sweater.

A lot of people tend to shy away from red in their wardrobe, and until recently I’ve been one of them. But I’ve been dipping a toe in here and there, and am always amazed at the impact that red adds to a look. Red works well with just about any other neutral, and plays nicely off other colors too. I often find a strict red/black combo too harsh, but just by adding in some white/ivory or another tone (the print above cleverly does both) the look is softened. Even if you don’t want to wear red near your face or in large chunks, an accessory or accent in red really makes an outfit pop. We’ll count burgundy and russet tones as “reds” for the sake of this exercise.

Pendleton plaid tote

Pendleton plaids always make me a bit nostalgic and there’s lots to like in the Gap + Pendleton collaboration. Plaid is a big trend for fall but if you’re wary of the Lumberjack Effect, this plaid tote is a nice alternative for more casual days. Love those colors!

duster cardigan warm red

Here’s a long cardigan you can wear while the weather’s still mild. This russet red is gorgeous, and would look great paired with denim, camel, brown, grey or even pink or aubergine. (Check out the colors in the tote above to see what I mean.)

red leather camera crossbody bag

If you prefer red in limited doses, here’s a small-but-mighty leather camera bag. Holds a wallet, phone, lipstick, keys and compact with room to spare. Perfect for those dashing-around-running-errands days.

red ankle strap suede pump

A red or burgundy shoe can be a surprisingly versatile option. This d’Orsay style in suede has a comfortable block heel.

Burberry wool and silk check scarf

Scarves are always a nice way to incorporate some red into the mix. Burberry does such good ones. This ombré effect scarf isn’t inexpensive, but is currently marked down.

chunky Carnelian and silver necklace


And here’s a stunning chunky Carnelian and silver strand necklace. It’s also marked down.

I’ve been narrowing down my travel wardrobe for Japan, and it’s looking as though red will be my primary accent color. I’ll post the wardrobe next week once I’ve finalized my choices.

Is red a player in your wardrobe?

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  1. Red is a huge player in my wardrobe. I love red with black. I love red! But with my fair coloring, it has to be the right red. A red with blue undertones. I’ve got red sweaters , skirts, blazers, jackets, heels, flats, my beloved red leather Longchamp bag and my nails are always manicured in either OPI’s Big Apple Red or Dutch Tulips! Surprisingly, I look horrific in red lipstick!

  2. I carry a red handbag much of the time. And red is a good color for me. I used to wear red dresses and loved them. Lately, I haven’t found a red dress which would work for me, but I would not rule it out. I do have a burgundy v neck cashmere sweater which I enjoy in the wintertime–if it ever gets cold enough to wear actually feel like wintertime here in Texas. I don’t have any red shoes, but I am on the lookout for the right pair of red flats.

  3. I’ve always liked red, but I’m one of those redheads who doesn’t look good in any reds. Now that I’m in my 50’s and actually have a little time to think about what I want to wear and what makes me feel good, I’m finding that red pops of color are my friend. I bought a pair of red casual pants last year that were on the burgundy side and I think I wore them out, lol. Now that I know I’ll wear them, I’m on the hunt for red//burgundy jeans. And I have my eye out for the right red bag.

  4. I love red, and there are many good reds this year including a dark red somewhere between the pure primary colour red, which can be too harsh, and burgundy, which can be too muddy if it veers into maroon.

    If you find red and black too harsh, red looks smashing with a dark grey (I am still mourning a moth casualty, a loden overcoat in oxford grey)…

    I love that shirt but am not usually one for prints. My favourite red tops are my red and black narrow-striped cotton tops, but the colour combo is a bit hard to find.

    Red or burgundy socks are lovely with black or dark-grey jeans…

  5. I love to pair red with brown and with dark caramel tones for fall. I think it is a nice contrast for a pale skinned blonde. Black and red are too harsh for me, though I love that drama! I have a whisper light red wool scarf with a line of metallic threads thru it , also in red that adds a perfect pop when I look in the mirror and feel I am too dark or neutral or otherwise dull!

  6. How fun; – for our month long trip to Scotland and England I had just decided to add an EF red merino sweater and a red/gray stripe top to my “gray & black” packing list. And with it goes the gray Hermes ‘Aux Pays des Epices’ scarf. I can live in black, but a pop of color can energize a travel wardrobe.

    1. A bit of bright colour will also spark your photos, especially if the weather is very grey, which it can be. If you are going there now the days will be very short, especially in Scotland. It is VERY far north of where I live in Montréal. And the knitted kind of warmth is essential in cold, damp climates.

  7. I have always kept red in my wardrobe and gals to see it back. Prefer true red for my coloring but can’t turn down burgundy. However, I’m not sure what the emphasis is on J. Crew in the last several blogs. I find their clothes not well made, not long lasting and for an average body, the arms run very very tight. I wear a medium or large Eileen Fisher depending on the style and a 12-14 in other designers. My arms are neither thin nor heavy.

    1. Hi Jan, I’ve found a few good pieces at J.Crew recently, especially the pants (Teddie and Martie). I’m also trying to show some alternatives in response to readers who either aren’t into Eileen Fisher or feel it’s out of their budget. Don’t worry, still plenty of new EF on deck for upcoming posts… 🙂

  8. I used to love a certain shade of red with blue undertones, but as my skin color is changing, it’s more challenging to get it right. I do like to see red paired with camel, leopard, black. Marvelous. You look great in reds!!

  9. Okay, now I am mad 😉 I just bought that darling camera bag from J. Crew with my initials. I am so excited!! Thank you for your amazing posts! Love your blog and you!!

  10. Love that cherry print! I bought a navy & cherry print skirt on sale at Talbots a few weeks ago. It has a flippy hem & I do love the cherries, even though I’m not a big wearer of red. I do like oxblood/burgundy, though, and have been hunting for a bag in that color. The leading contender so far is a Brahmin tote in leather with crocodile accents, at a reasonable price; Coach has a good looking one too, but at nearly $700 I don’t think I love it that much!

  11. I love red, and as a fair brown-eyed blonde look good in it, especially in the darker, brown tinged red (such as garnet). I recently discovered poppy red ( i.e. red with a tinge of orange) and have made it my accent colour for the upcoming Spring/ Summer (here in Australia). I have a tote and a cropped cardigan in that colour, which will work well with my mostly black and white dresses for work. I also like red casual flat shoes, which team up well with jeans and Breton tees. I have a couple of red dresses, which I love but feel a bit too conspicuous in, other than for special occasions. Love your blog; it’s probably my favourite out of the dozen or so that I follow : )

  12. Red lips and nails! I have a pair of red, kitten heel pumps that I wear with all black (regular wardrobe color scheme – it is my column of color). I also like to wear all black (all the time-ha ha) with a cherry red sweater and leopard shoes….double sassy!

  13. There are tons of red in my closet, from my floor-length wool coat to my v-neck tees! Just recently on a blog someone was experimenting with “poppy red,” olive green, and black, and that post sent me shopping in my closet to happy effect. As for your cheerful cherry print, I’d wear it as a scarf myself.

  14. A great post! I love to wear red. I also love cherries…they are a cheerful fruit, if there’s such a thing. I have a small collection of cherry art, dishes, jewelry, and scarves…love the shirt and sweater!