Which is Your Holiday Red?

This is the time of year that we take our usual style and step it up a notch –  a festive notch! The holidays bring all kinds of special occasions.  Whether it’s gatherings at work, in your city or town, visiting with friends or family, attending a holiday concert or play or special seasonal services, most of us take that license to step out of our day to day wear.

How that manifests is up to you. You can add sparkle, increase the drama in your look or go for comedic holiday socks, sweaters or hats. Whether you’re the guy who wears tees and jeans or a polished suit or anything in-between, or if you land anywhere on the spectrum from an understated women to a glam bomb, there IS some way that you like add a little whimsey or cheer to your normal tastes.  I know! One of the more common is to add red. It’s a color I rarely wear it any other time of the year – but I reach for it all the time during this month.

I am not psychic but I can hear many of you saying – but I don’t look great in red. Or… I don’t seem to be able to wear it. I’m here to tell you there IS a right red for you.

And you CAN see it, or – ask an honest friend to let you know. But in case neither works,  here’s the secret:

It’s all about what’s near your face. That’s where people focus their attention. Your skin tone is the ultimate element to affect the shade you choose –and hair color, though it can be less so, since many of us change or enhance it from it’s natural shade.  So here’s the deal: when you put something on, it either drains you or makes you look good – rested, happy, bright and perky. That basic bottom line should be pretty easy to discern.

Once you take that test, and you still think you aren’t able to wear red, it’s just that you haven’t stood in a store and held up a few different shades under your chin to see. TIP: Walk around till you find a mirror in somewhat natural or at least good light in those stores before you plunk down the cash. I regularly ask if I can step outside with a hand held mirror if a client is in question with a color for them so they can see it’s true effect.

If it’s not so evident that you look obviously great or obviously lackluster, then it’s likely an in-between shade.  That’s your clue that it certainly is at least a perfectly fine shade to wear, which you can enhance by adding something ELSE around your face to help it go from looking neutral to great. That’d be a scarf or tie, make up, a hat, jewelry or a jacket that you know is nice on you – as it WILL enhance or even change that “safe” shade into a more winning one.

Obviously, if you’re wearing red pants or a skirt, don’t worry if it’s not the best red for your skin tone. It’s too far from your face to matter so you should be good to go.


Lastly, there are three basic shades of red to look out for if you’re on the hunt for a red that’s right for you:

  • Red Orange – or Chinese Red (far right)
  • True Red – what I call Crayola Red (center)
  • Blue Red  – or Ruby Red (far left)

There’s also blackberry, wine colors, cranberry, etc… What you should look for is either an undertone of yellow or blue in every hue that works best with your skin tone and hair.

So get yourself a red sweater, beret, pocket square, blouse or lipstick in the right red for you. And remember… if you’re trying to make do with a shade of red you already own, you definitely can do it using my advice above and put something around your face to alter the tone’s effects to a more flattering one.

Take full advantage of the season to have a little fun or add a little extra pizzaz to your look with the right red for you!

Happy to answer any questions in the comments.

3 thoughts on “Which is Your Holiday Red?

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