For such an unabashedly upfront colour, red can be deceptively difficult to wear. On one hand, it’s bold and uncomplicated, and true reds will suit almost every skin tone. On the other side of the coin, the raw power of the hue can make potential wearers feel a little squeamish.
But that doesn’t mean red should only be worn by the brave. In fact, it’s relatively easy to harness the full potential of such a high impact colour. After all, red is the colour of passion and overt sensuality; of emotions worn literally and figuratively on the sleeve. It’s also a key colour trend for spring/summer 2015, with rich, vibrant tomato-like tones threaded through many of this season’s key collections; it’s all about burning bright
How to Wear
So, how can you introduce red into your own wardrobe this season? Let’s start with the biggest statement a man can make: the red suit. Although there’s no getting away from the fact that bolder versions and vibrant red suits are often difficult to source; you’re more likely to find slightly darker, wearable alternatives in rich berry shades on the streets. Yet whether you opt for a bright cherry two-piece or subdued burgundy number, the advice remains the same: keep the accompanying pieces pared-down and muted – think a crisp white shirt/tee and simple monochrome trainers. Don’t go overboard with the accessories either; a solid dark tie or white silk pocket square will suffice.
If you’re not ready to go all the way with a suit, a red blazer will make an excellent statement addition to your smart-casual wardrobe. Stick to a classic two-button notch lapel design and look for styles crafted from lightweight jersey, cotton or breathable linen-blends to ensure comfort. The blazer works particularly well with nautical shades of blue and white, as well as horizontal stripes; try teaming yours with slim-fitting navy trousers and a crisp white Oxford shirt
for any warm-weather event.
Statement outerwear has been trending for a number of seasons now, and a lightweight red jacket can be used to add a punch to any of your current casual looks. In terms of style, a classic bomber jacket is an easy to throw on piece that can be dressed up or down to suit, while vintage-inspired track jackets tap into the current sportswear influences that are dominating the industry. If the above sounds a little too safe for you, anchor one with black jeans and a white T-shirt for an edgy, fashion-forward aesthetic.
If you’re looking to build up your colour confidence, wardrobe basics offer an easy entry point in to the trend. A simple red T-shirt or polo shirt makes an excellent addition to any warm-weather wardrobe, and can be combined with shorts in shades of beige, stone and navy for an effortless high summer look that still demands attention. When you’re ready, consider adding a pair of bold red trousers to your collection. A preppy summer staple, red trousers are bound to turn a few heads, but as long as you anchor them with muted surrounding pieces, you won’t go far wrong.
Accents & Accessories
By far the easiest way to wear bright shades of red is to incorporate small flashes into daily wear via accessories and detailing. Red ties, pocket squares, shoes, belts, lightweight scarves and bags are all available on the current market, and will inject life into any look, smart or casual. These bold accents often look best set against a dark, neutral backdrop to maximise their effect.
While it has traditionally been known as the colour of unbridled emotion, red isn’t definitively a statement of bravery or romantic intent. In reality, it’s a surprisingly versatile primary shade that has a long and rich history in menswear design. Don’t be deceived – red is a strong colour, but with a little knowledge, it can be safely tamed.