A flash of red

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Red.

It can be a really divisive colour.

There are those who love it, and those who think wearing it is too ‘daring’.

It’s a colour that can evoke both danger and passion.

And it’s a colour that it’s very, very easy to get wrong.

There is a whole spectrum of shades of red – from a deep, dark wine-red to a pale, almost pink red. And this is where the problem lies for people – finding the right shade for their skin tone on this vast rainbow of reds.

As a pale princess, I am relatively lucky. I can wear both deep, dark reds and scarlet reds, but with the limitation that I cannot wear scarlet near my face unless it is broken up by another colour. It simply doesn’t suit me if it’s a clothing item, and makes me look almost ill by washing out my already pale skin tone. On the rare occasions I have a tan (fake or real) I can wear it, but ordinarily I have to stick to darker reds. I do own a scarlet dress, but the red is dominated by white floral prints, so it’s broken up and doesn’t have a chance to wash me out.

So if I do want to add a splash of red, I choose a red accessory to brighten what otherwise might be a boring outfit.

I have a bright red belt from Hobbs that I bought years ago (shown in the picture above) and it’s the perfect accessory. It’s a super-bright scarlet, and it has the amazing magical ability to elevate a dull outfit into something with just a little bit of ‘wow’, which is especially good for the office.

I was wearing a simple white t-shirt with the black and white striped skirt in the image, and the addition of the belt served the dual purpose of making the outfit more interesting and hiding the join between the skirt and the t-shirt. I also carried a red handbag that day, and got a lot of compliments about how nice my outfit was.

Because of the shade of the belt, I can wear it with almost any block colour to add some interest – greens and blues look particularly good with it. I like to put it over a simple navy blue dress which ordinarily looks rather plain, and the outfit is instantly transformed. With the navy dress, I’ll sometimes wear red shoes as well – it really is amazing what a flash of scarlet can do for an otherwise plain look.

So don’t be scared of red. Find the shade that works for you, or get a bright red accessory to turn those plain, ordinary outfits into something a little bit special.

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