Better off red to cause a stir

Energy: Blush A La Mode dress, �82 (
Energy: Blush A La Mode dress, �82 (
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Avoiding red has always been the golden rule at the most glittering of bashes – because no-one wanted to blend in with the red carpet.

No longer, though.

Daring: French Connection Winter Bex bead blouse, �110 (0844 557 3285 /

Daring: French Connection Winter Bex bead blouse, �110 (0844 557 3285 /

It seems celebrities – and just about every catwalk designer – can’t resist the allure of the eye-popping hue.

Kate Winslet’s red Elie Saab gown for the Emmy Awards was so iconic it’s been replicated for her new Madame Tussauds waxwork.

Jewel tones may be this season’s colour craze, but it’s ruby red that’s dazzling brighter than any other shade – and on everything from cosy jumpers to glitzy frocks.

“Red is the colour which stops traffic and so will you when you look stunning wearing it,” says Colour Me Beautiful’s Veronique Henderson.

Red alert: Phase Eight Trapeze rib dress, �68 (0207 471 4406/

Red alert: Phase Eight Trapeze rib dress, �68 (0207 471 4406/

“When you wear red, you’ll also feel energised, in control – and festive.”

daring daywear

Wallflowers need not apply for the scarlet brigade.

Of all the primary colours, red undoubtedly packs a bold punch, but that’s no reason to shy away.

Kate Winslet arriving at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards

Kate Winslet arriving at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards

Henderson says: “Wear red when you want to be noticed.

“It could seem a little aggressive at times in work situations, so wear it with care and mix with other colours to pare down.”

A slick red cover-up will help you stand out in a sea of dark and neutral winter coats and give your entire winter wardrobe a lift.

If you’re not brave enough for an all-red look, wearing textured separates like fuzzy jumpers and knit dresses will soften the look.

“It’s a great colour to wear at the end of the week when energy levels may be flagging,” suggests Henderson.

RED carpet glamour

Goodbye LBD, the Little Red Dress is ready to take over the partywear crown.

Stop the music on the dancefloor with your Lady in Red look, wearing luxury fabrics like taffeta, lace and draped jersey.

Only embrace clinging cotton, lycra or silk if you’re confident enough to really flaunt your figure.

A floor-length dress a la Kate Winslet will ensure a head-turning entrance to any ball or party.

If you’re going all out with your make-up too, ensure you don’t drain all the colour from your red-adorned radiance. “When wearing red, take care over choosing your lipstick,” warns Henderson.

“You don’t want it to clash with your red dress or top. Make sure it is of the same red tone (yellow or blue base), although it can be lighter or darker.


If you go on red alert at the mere sight of scarlet, choose flashes of the colour to inject cautiously into your wardrobe.

One stand-out rouge accessory can be as dramatic as a top-to-toe look – try interesting finishes like patent, suede or satin. “If you’d rather keep your reds under control, try a tote bag, some look-at-me heels or statement jewellery,” Henderson advises. “Just be cautious on finding the right shade if the accessory is close to your face.”

Give your accessories the right backdrop by wearing one base neutral colour to set it off – black, navy and beige all work well with red.

Choose a rainbow-hued day bag carefully for a long-term companion, but evening bags are the non-committal way to flaunt red. If you’re feeling self-conscious you can always put down a clutch and admire it - chances are it’s so bright you’ll never lose it.

Choose the right red for you

There’s more than one way to wear red, varying from blue-based raspberry to yellow-toned tomato.

Pulling off the right hue is all down to your colouring.

Veronique Henderson lays down the law...

Dark hair and eyes: You’re made to wear red for bold contrast. Think flamenco or scarlet reds and mix them with black for a sultry look.

Dark hair and bright blue or green eyes: Wear ruby tones of red with lots of sparkles to bring out your bright eyes.

Blonde with pale blue eyes: Your reds should be soft. Think spring red flowers like geraniums.

Highlighted blondish hair: Keep your reds soft and muted.

Warm red hair with hazel or green eyes: Your reds need to be orange reds or warm tomato reds.

Salt-and-pepper silver or white hair: Opt for reds with a hint of blue, and mix them with lighter shades for an elegant contrast.