Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Colors of the Fashion Rainbow: Red Hot

Red is the color of passion and of power. When you wear bright red, you demand all eyes on you; a deep burgundy or rich crimson is equally attention-grabbing, but in a more subtle way. Red can be elegant, contemporary, or sultry - and it can be all three at the same time. However you choose to wear it, red is definitely not the color for wallflowers.

Although red has some negative connotations (the Scarlet Letter, red-light districts, being caught red-handed), it is also associated with true love (red roses), courage, and good health. It is also considered an appetite stimulant and slightly confrontational (like a matador's cape), so it might be best to avoid in some situations. In many cultures, red is associated with joy and good luck; in football, it means you are 20 yards from scoring. And it is Valentino's signature color - he closes every show with red evening gowns.

It is the ideal color to wear to an event where you'll be in the spotlight; after all, a slinky red dress makes quite an impact. A bright red wool coat is a classic and lively winter look, and many avant garde designs incorporate a bold slash of red. And I can't forget red lipstick - starlets from Marilyn Monroe to Dita Von Teese have made it their signature shade.

The key to rocking red is to choose the hue that has the same undertone as your skin. For example, if you look better in ivory than in white, try rusts, bricks, pomegranates, or other reds with an orange or yellow tinge. If the opposite is true, look for cherries, burgundies, and reds with a hint of blue or pink.

Even if you don't have an in-your-face style, you can still pull off red in small doses. Wear a cozy scarf to warm up your face (the right shade can be incredibly flattering), or try a sheer red gloss. And there is a place for a pair of fun red shoes in virtually everyone's wardrobe.

Shop for this red dress and more with Shopzilla.

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