When you have red (strawberry blonde) hair as a child you notice certain beauty boundaries are thrust upon you. Like how we gingers should stick to earth tones, and this definitely included the peach/orange makeup that nearly every makeup artist and Mary Kay lady said was a must. Earth tones not jewel tones. Pretty much the answer to every beauty quiz in the magazines. Yes, back in the day we read magazines for our beauty inspiration. Pretty antiquated:). As a result of those opinions, it’s taken me well into my adult years to really be comfortable rocking all kinds of colors, and red was one of the hardest. So today, think of me as your beauty MythBuster, and we’re taking on the color red.
Splash of Red (& How Anyone Can Wear It)
For starters, this isn’t only a redhead issue; I just know that the majority of us can relate. So why do so many people shy away from the color? Well, for one it’s bold. Red gets you noticed, it’s in song titles, and in some religious groups, there’s some debate on whether the color should be worn at all.
It incites emotion and it’s bold. People are also perceived as more confident when wearing it. Whether that’s true or not 🙂
Since this is the year of living boldly, and with the patriotic season upon us, I thought this was the perfect outfit (and topic) to kick off the summer fashion season.
I will readily admit that it’s harder for redheads to look good in red. There are some complexions and hair colors that look stunning in it, regardless of the shade. You all are blessed! For the rest of us, it’s all about shades and undertones. Just like finding the perfect pair of jeans, your perfect shade of red it out there, it just may require some searching. This goes for lipstick too :).
Personally, I can’t do reds that have an orange undertone. They just don’t look good against my skin. Since a lot of reds are this exact type, there are a lot of clothes that I have to pass by. For years, I didn’t even stop to look if the red would look good on me because I just assumed it didn’t. Sad :(.
Blue undertones are a different story, and I’ve increased my red game slowly year by year. Just like wearing heels, I need to be in certain mood to pull it off, but I’m finding it’s a bit like the chicken and the egg. Does wearing red (and heels) bring the confidence and boldness, or should I already be in that mindset to make it work? Regardless, I think even for those days I’m not feeling “it”, the fake it till you make it school of philosophy applies :).
When I saw this top from Free People back in early spring, I actually wanted it in white but they were sold out. Red was all that was left. I could tell it wasn’t an orange/red so I went ahead and ordered it thinking it would make a nice 4th of July outfit (if I wanted it to). It was worth the risk for such a great off the shoulder style and I actually like the red more than I would have liked the white. Some things are just meant to be :).
I paired it with some denim capris for a classic look but it would also look great with white shorts or a skirt. That would make the red really pop:). The summer options are endless! This Ted Baker clutch I borrowed from my purse master friend makes the perfect accent of blue (in addition to the denim) to give that Independence Day vibe. It’s a way of being patriotic without going overboard. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Wait until you see the head-gear I bought in Boston that I can’t wait to pop out for the 4th :).
If the thought of buying a whole piece in red is too risky, then my recommendation is to start with the lipstick. If you can find the right red lipstick shade then you can go from there because you’ll know what looks good right up against your complexion. Head to your nearest beauty counter and they can help you find your perfect match. Then try wearing just the lipstick alone for a while to get used to it before taking it up a notch in the whole ensemble. This will make your red on red transition seamless :).
My cousin gave this look the best compliment the other day when she said that I looked like a grown up Annie. You know, little orphan Annie, Annie. For us, Annie was pretty much everything back in the day. We knew all the words to every song and would belt them out regularly. With flair. Sometimes in the bathtub, and other times on stage. The stage of the living room of course, but hey we had an audience so it counts :).
Annie knew what living boldly and a positive spirit could do, and perhaps when I wear her signature color I can channel a bit of that childlike optimism in my own life.
The sun will come out tomorrow :).
Photography/ Michelle Dorman
Makeup/ Mimi Banasik
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Top: Free People “Tula” Off the Shoulder Top Here
Capris: Joe Jeans Here
Shoes: Nine West Similar
Purse: (borrowed) Ted Baker Similar
Necklace: Anthropologie Here