If you’re the type to wear neutrals like navy or cream, it can be a little daunting to embrace brighter colors — say, in fiery red outfits. This hue, which often pops up as a runway trend and on the red carpets during award season, may come across as difficult to wear in real life. But TZR is here to let you in on a little secret: It’s not a hard shade to style. It plays well with all your understated pieces and looks extra lively next to another bold tone. (Red and green are, in fact, complements on the color wheel. So when paired together, they create a high-contrast, statement look.)
Additionally, with Valentine’s Day coming up, there’s no better excuse to master and rock a red outfit than on Feb. 14. (After all, the color does symbolize passion, romance, and love!) But like anyone trying something new for the first time, you might need to ease into the process. Start by browsing through street style imagery for ideas that resonate with your personal style. Once you’ve identified some key ensembles you want to recreate, purchase an item or two in red (if you don’t already own something similar). The piece can be subtle, like a pair of ruby earrings, or a bit more daring like a cutout scarlet knit sweater, which can always easily be toned down with black jeans. Regardless, remember that there’s no need for a crimson head-to-toe look if you’re not ready for it yet.
For a more in-depth breakdown of how to wear the punchy hue, jump ahead as TZR walks you through several style-approved combinations to try.
A Red Dress + Textured Red Coat
If you’re a fashion risk taker, wearing an all-red outfit will be right up your alley. An easy way to style the shade without overthinking it is to pick a dress and coat in coordinating fire engine shades. Take it a step further by adding interesting texture, like faux fur or patent leather, which gives dimension to your overall look — then ground your brights with a neutral shoe.
Red Leather Pants
Once you’re comfortable with wearing black leather pants, venture out of your comfort zone with a cherry-colored pair. Whether it comes in a croc-effect texture or a vinyl finish, a fiery bottom will instantly give your outfit a sense of power. Above, see how Caroline Daur’s turtleneck top and black cropped blazer look feels more special when teamed with bold red pants.
A Purple + Red Color Combo
As content creator Lois Opoku proves, two opposing vibrant shades — like poppy and violet — can often complement each other in an ensemble. The trick here is to make sure both colors share a similar tone, so neither feels darker or brighter than the other. And if you need more dressing inspiration, take a look at Victoria Beckham’s outfits, too, as she loves to combine purple and red together.
A Red Sweater + Plaid Pants
Instead of defaulting to a jeans and sweater look every time it gets cold, consider a printed pant (plaid is always a classic choice) and punchy red knit. Above, jewelry designer and influencer Blanca Miró Scrimieri shows that this small style edit can elevate and make an outfit more interesting. The vintage-looking Mary Jane and socks combo certainly helps, too!
A Red Jumpsuit
In a rush? Perhaps a one-and-done red jumpsuit is for you. Look for silhouettes that come in interesting textures, like a rich velvety fabric, or have embellishment or cutouts that stand out in a crowd. For bonus points, don’t play it safe with a neutral shoe — instead opt for a colorful pair like an orange pump.
A Red Corset + Trousers
Gray trousers can easily become a mundane workwear piece if styled with a button-down and turtleneck, so try pairing it with a sultry red corset top instead. As seen on model Justine Soranzo above, the two pieces can have a symbiotic relationship with each other, which makes your look feel neither stuffy nor overly sexy. Plus, the pop of red is a good way to work the hue into your ensemble if you’re not about wearing it top to bottom.