Red. Can You Wear It?

February has us seeing red all month long with Heart Health Month and Valentine’s Day. But due to it’s popularity, I receive numerous questions about the color all year long. So, with love in the air, I thought this would be an ideal time to talk about my favorite color, answer some common questions and help you embrace this fabulous color and say “YES!” to wearing red.

1. Is Red Your Personality?

Red is my favorite color and I wear it in numerous ways; either as an accent color or dress, pant, coat, top, shoes or scarf. However, in nature, as in business and life, red can be an emotionally intense color.

A woman wearing a red suit stands out in a crowd of grey, black and navy.

Red is associated with blood, fire, energy, desire, power, danger and love, all at the same time!  As such, our brain and eyes are drawn to pick up the color instantly, which means if you are wanting to stand out and boost your confidence, then red should be your color of choice.

On the other hand, if you’re hesitant to call attention to yourself and prefer not to be noticed, then I don’t recommend you wear it as the focal point of your outfit. You will not project correctly. 

What do I mean by project? Well, while you may not realize it, people can tell if you don’t feel good about what you’re wearing. The way you walk and talk as well as the your non-verbal body language, will communicate this. However, if you really do like the color, choose to wear red as an accent as opposed to the focal point and feel great about it. REMEMBER: Your subconscious will project, so this is a color where your feelings must align with your outside image.

2. Are You Wearing The Right Shade?

Color blocks showing examples of warm red and cool red

Perhaps your issue with red centers around its various shades.  This is where having a color analysis to determine your palette is helpful.  Don’t worry if you haven’t done a full analysis (yet). You can still figure out the best red for you and your skin complexion.

Red comes in two shades: warm and cool. Look at the warm and cool red side-by-side. It clearly shows how warm red has more yellow as its base while the cool red has blue.

People who look best in warm reds also look better in warmer colors like browns, oranges, yellows, and rust.  Think “fall” tones. People who look better in cool reds also look best in jewel tones like magenta, royal blue, bright purples and black.

You can hold swatches or a blouse in both shades close to your face, to determine which shade looks best on you.  With proper lighting, you will see and feel it instantly.

Get Help From Metallics

Another quick tip is to use your favorite metallic, such as silver or gold jewelry, as a guide. If silver is most flattering on you, then most likely you look better in cool red.  If gold looks best on you, then a warm red is the answer.

There are some skin tones that can get away with wearing either a warm or cool red. (Especially darker complexions). I’m in this category. Even though I wear a lot of cool red with blue undertones, I can just as easily wear a warm shade.  In this situation, choose the shade you prefer and accessorize accordingly, with gold for warms and silver for cool.

3. How Much Red Should You Wear?

In addition to feelings and skin tone, also pay close attention to what your goal is for the day.

Red is my favorite color. I wear it socially and professionally. In business situations I wear it when I need to be in a position of leadership and present new ideas. It evokes a feeling of confidence in me and others see it. However, if you have a sales call or plan to negotiate for something you want, you may want to reconsider.

Red is a power color. Studies have shown it can increase your heart rate. It can raise metabolism and increase blood pressure, which means it has the potential to make the other person uncomfortable.  However, if this is what you desire, then go for it!

Again, the important thing to consider is how you feel when you wear it. Once this battle is conquered, you can figure out the right shade you should wear.

If you truly don’t want to wear red, try these colors instead:

White or Creme – This color is a winner anytime of the year. Wear monochrome from head to toe, for a chic, classic look. Pair different shades of creme to be totally lux and glam.

Blush – Blush is a romantic light pink that represents feminine, delicate qualities.

The Duchess Megan Markle in red coat and purple dress.

Purple or Royal Blue – Both colors symbolize luxury and royalty. Notice in this picture, how the color blocks of purple and red compliment Duchess Megan Markle’s skin tone?

Custom Color Analysis

The key to wearing any color is to know that it looks good on you and that it enhances your eyes, hair and complexion. While using swatches is a temporary and quick fix, knowing your full color palette makes getting dressed and shopping so much easier. If you would like to learn more about color analysis, contact me at Brenda@FirstImpressionsMatter.com or click the link below.

Custom Color Analysis

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