How to wear red without looking trashy
Donning a gown in fire engine red like Zhang Ziyi is certainly not the only way to wear this traffic-stopping hue. Check out these fab looks from the red carpet and runways for more styling ideas
26 October 2018
Model Karlie Kloss at Donna Karan Autumn Winter 2014. Want to bet that some starlet will be wearing this gown on the red carpet pretty soon too? Image: Showbit
It may be the choice colour for Chinese New Year and oddly enough on recent red carpets (you’d think that wearing red on red would make you disappear in photos, wouldn’t you?) but these sort of major occasions are not the only reasons for wearing this lucky colour.
This sexy siren of a hue adds a vibrant pop of colour to your outfit; who can deny the instant mood uplift when you’re wearing such a bright shade? Besides, this ‘look-at-me’ colour is having a major comeback on Autumn Winter 2014 runways too.
The many shades of red on the Autumn Winter 2014 runways of (L-R): Donna Karan, Prabal Gurung, Christian Dior and Prada. Images: Showbit
Don’t be too daunted by this intense shade: We’ll take you through from easy-to-wear looks for the office to the glamazon “all red” gowns, as seen on stars like Zhang Ziyi and Tang Wei.
The first rule of thumb is to pick the right shade of red for you, especially if you’re wearing it from head to toe. A warm red tends to look more flattering on skin with yellow tones, while the fairer ones among us will shine in cooler shades of red. Another tip: Wearing just a touch of red via a statement bag or shoes is an easy way to pull off the bright shade.
Actress Tang Wei in a Burberry London lace dress at the 21st Beijing College Student Film Festival. Image: Burberry
Got that sorted? Then do try out these five fab outfit ideas, as seen in our gallery below. Do check out our video too for more styling tips on wearing red, without looking like a red packet.
In the style of: Street style stars
Style difficulty level: Ridiculously easy “everyday” look
Pair denim with red plaid, or a red hot accessory for a chance to wear this hue nearly every other day. You only need to look at the following street style snaps to be convinced of how stylish this almost aseasonal pairing can look. May we add that the red with blue pairing works wonders for nautical-inspired looks too.
Gianvito Rossi metallic pump, $1,100, from On Pedder, Takashimaya Shopping Centre, #02-12 and On Pedder Scotts Square, #02-10/11/12/13.
Vivienne Westwood for Melissa Ultragirl flat shoes, $196.70, from ASOS.
Elyse & I watersnake leather handbag, $490, from SheShops.
In the style of: Charlene Choi
Style difficulty level: Easy way to try the trend
Try a print in red, for a less in-your-face way of wearing this daring hue. The easiest way to style a printed top, is to keep the predominant colours of your print in mind, then match your separates accordingly in the same colour scheme. Take style cues from Cantopop star Charlene Choi’s Singapore appearance, for instance. The youthful star keeps the colours of her outfit to black, white and red, giving her floral crop top added street style sass by pairing it with culottes, sneakers and knee-high socks.
Headline Seoul print top, $128, from SheShops.
Stolen Girlfriends Club silk jumpsuit, $285, from SheShops.
In the style of: Christian Dior Fall Winter 2014
Style difficulty level: More do-able than you think
Trust us, this pairing really works and you’ll get more “wear” miles out of a red separate. Instead of the standard black or white top, try the fresh contrast of pale pink against cherry red, as seen on the runway of Christian Dior. Check out our fab finds inspired by this Dior look: Stylestalker polyester-rayon blend skirt (centre, $240) and Injury wool-viscose pants (right, $250) both from SheShops.
In the style of: Elle Fanning
Style difficulty level: Sizzling sensation for TGIF cocktails and date nights
A breezy slip dress is not only more suitable for our weather, but also on-trend too. Pick a richer tone for this minimalist, nineties-inspired look, as seen on Elle Fanning, to avoid looking like you stepped out in your lucky red lingerie. Think burgundy, instead of tomato or fire engine red. Then throw on a snazzy black biker jacket for a cover-up at the office. To carry off this look for the evening, opt for a midi or maxi dress, which gives the boudoir-inspired look a more elegant feel.
Seen above: Elle Fanning in Versace. Image: Versace
H&M viscose dress, $24.90, available in stores by mid-July.
In the style of: Zhang Ziyi
Style difficulty level: For the sartorially daring on the super glam nights
Wear this striking shade from head to toe by letting your dress, shoes (and lippie) do the talking for full-on glamorous nights. Less is more, when it comes to the amount of skin-baring that is ideal, when you’re wearing this hue. Choose long-sleeved dresses like Ziyi’s; cut-out details, embellishments and jewellery, if any, should be kept to a minimum. Also seen on the Donna Karan Fall Winter 2014 runway, rock your inner sexy siren by going all out with matching red accessories too.
Seen above: Zhang Ziyi wore Elie Saab and Chopard jewellery to the 28th Cabourg Film Festival. Image: Chopard
Opt for a simple silhouette when you’re wearing red, as seen on Tang Wei. The actress wore this Burberry London lace skater dress in a rich burgundy to the 21st Beijing College Student Festival. Her soft curls, glowing skin, a winning smile and a matching lippie make this combination so picture-perfect.
The way to rock this all-red look is to tone down the amount of bling and makeup too. Finish the look with matching red lips and barely-there “face paint”. Do try this surprisingly affordable lippie; it’s been worn by Aishwarya Rai too
Seen above: Donna Karan Autumn Winter 2014. Image: Showbit
Ezra by Zalora shift dress, $34.90, from Zalora.
This story is first published on Her World.