Understanding the Power and Passion of Your Best Shade of Red

Some of my fellow-Seasonal Color Consultants wearing their best shade of red!

In color psychology, red is the most intense color. And thus, it can provoke the strongest emotion. Red symbolizes power and aggression, courage and prestige, love and sexuality, energy and passion. It increases our appetite and is known to be a persuasive color. In other cultures it has additional meanings such as joy and good luck, or sacrifice and grief. And we all have our own personal associations with red as well.

What do you think of when you think of the color red? And what "shade" of red do you first think of when someone says "red"? Fire engine or candy apple red? Red wine or roses?

Today I want to talk about your most harmonious shade of red, that red that relates to the blush in your cheeks, for your clothing and accessories. A person's best shade of red may range from a soft pink or coral to a fiery red or even a cool burgundy.

My most flattering shade of red is actually a coral -- I might wear it in a pretty blouse, a summery dress, a bathing suit, or lingerie. For me, this color is pretty, romantic and even playful. When I wear it I appear approachable.

Understanding the effect your shade of red has on you as well as on others is important because it will inform the way you wear this color.

Is the energy increased when paired with other colors?

Wearing your red in a print or pattern is another way to incorporate it into your wardrobe.

When studying the impact of your shade of red on yourself and others, it is also a good idea to pay attention to the types and finishes of the fabrics you choose.

Is your red more flattering in a soft or hard finish? In a solid or sheer fabric? In a dull or a sparkling sheen?

How does it look in a cashmere sweater versus a leather jacket? In sportswear versus an evening gown?

What happens if the garment is textured rather than smooth? It is wonderful to experiment with your red in this way to get to know all the different ways you can wear it to achieve the effect you want.

Is your shade of red "hot" and spicy or is it more cool and icy?

How you choose to wear your red may attract or intimidate. Knowing the difference will allow you to make any necessary adjustments to your outfit for the response you want to receive.

Does your red energize you? Then you will not choose it for sleep wear. Does it make you feel sexy? Then you may want to buy it in lingerie.

Do you feel more comfortable wearing your red in the summer months or is it a color you turn to more in the spring, fall or winter?

What accessories do you favor in your shade of red? A wool or silk scarf? A running shoe or a stiletto? A feather boa or a fur wrap? Do you wear your red on your fingers or toes?

Our personality comes through in the ways we choose to use our version of red. Just as not all reds are the same, the way we choose to wear our red is just as personal to each one of us.

If you are having trouble finding your particular shade of red in stores this season, don't give up. It will come on trend again. But if you can't find your red in clothing, shop for it in these items instead:

Nail polish, earrings, necklaces, rings, lingerie, stockings, a negligee, socks, watchbands, scarves, gloves, mittens, hats, wraps, a handbag, bathing suit, shoes, boots or even slippers.

You can also look for your red in a fabric or yarn store. You might even hunt for it in home decor or dishes. Find your red wherever you can. It will be a wonderful way for you to play with and learn more about the effect of your shade of red on both yourself and others!

Joan Kosmachuk

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