Seeing Red


I'm going to start a series on colour matching and what colours to wear together. It all sounds very simple but I think sometimes we can all get a bit too bogged down by over-thinking things.

"Well, obviously red and green. Unless you're a Christmas elf. And there's even a rhyme about it so it must be true, " announces my friend when I ask her for her no-no colour pairings. While it is true that one needs to be careful not to look like one of Santa's helpers, it's all about shades. Get the right shade of red and the right shade of green together and you can look positively regal.

Let's begin with the reds and oranges. Red. What a wonderful, dramatic, explosive colour. Red is associated with all sorts of dangerous things from sticks of dynamite on Roadrunner cartoons to the emergency button in a plane's cockpit. Red doesn't have to be the super bright warning shade associated with danger; you can pick a variety of more subtle hues that will still have the desired impact without you announcing your arrival quite so dramatically.

Crimson - This is your proper jewel tone ruby red and looks best when used in classic shapes such as a shift dress, slim trousers or a pencil skirt. Ruby red co-ordinates beautifully with indigo and tangerine. If you want to be really adventurous pair it with lemon yellow.

Poppy - A brighter shade which can be difficult to wear as it can wash out your complexion. To keep it looking sophisticated team with neutrals in camel or grey. For Autumn try it with plum or maroon.

Orange is an inviting, embracing colour that actually suits most complexions. It is easier to wear than red and can bring a real warmth to your outfit.

Tangerine - This bright orange hue is a great choice for a sporty look as it goes with black and white beautifully. If you want a chicer look pair it with navy or dark grey. It is a great shade as it brightens most skintones and suits both fair and olive skin. Team it with bright red if you dare!

Terracotta - A dusty orange with yellow undertones, this is an earthy tone that looks beautiful in luxury fabrics like silk. Pair this shade with khaki green or cream for a wearable combination or go for fuchsia if you want to brighten things up.

Whatever shade you go for you can always tone it down with a neutral (camel, navy, grey, cream)

or add some evening glamour with metallic accents. Have fun with colour and experiment - you never know, you might discover a whole new you!