There is a lot of variety in the reds available at retail right now. From a bright orange tomato red and blue-toned Christmas red, to pink watermelon reds, deep cherry reds, and all shades of burgundy. It used to be stylishly best to perfectly match the reds in an outfit, making sure that they were all the same. A modern and more relaxed approach is to incorporate different reds in one outfit. 

Here are some combinations that work particularly well.

1. Tomato Red & Christmas Red

The clash of the warm tomato red bottoms and cool Christmas red pullover and even richer and deeper cool red bag creates harmony. It’s a tonal family that enjoys spending time together, and a column of colour that creates vertical integrity. White footwear freshens the look, although it isn’t essential.

THE ROW Ophelia Oversized Cashmere Sweater

2. Tomato Red & Burgundy

I think tomato red and Christmas red complement most colours — almost like a neutral does — but I also understand that the combinations are an acquired taste. Here, the brightness of the warm red top adds punch to the cool-toned burgundy and navy plaid suit. The black footwear and shoes are an interesting addition. I’d have added white, red or burgundy footwear and bag. Another option is to add navy to pick up the blue in the plaid.

SONIA RYKIEL Checked Wool-felt Blazer

3. Christmas Red & Cherry Red

The top and bottom in varying shades of red have an ombré and two-piece dress effect, and harmonize like water colours. The footwear looks like an exact match to the top, but could have been another shade of red. Any colour bag would feel right at home with this outfit.

SIES MARJAN Brynn Gathered Ribbed Cashmere Sweater

An orange-y tomato red has been one of my favourite colours forever, and is well represented in my wardrobe. I have a few other reds in my wardrobe like cool reds, watermelon and burgundy. This collection shows all my red wardrobe items.

Yoox
Furla Handbag
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Top Pick
7
Boden
Classic Belt
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Top Pick
4
Boden
Lyla Midi Bag
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Top Pick
15
COS
Roll-neck merino jumper
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Top Pick
24
Zara
Short Blazer With Zip
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Top Pick
15
Boden
Arundel Puffer Jacket
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Top Pick
3
COS
Wool blanket scarf
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Top Pick
4
Boden
Julieta Lace Dress
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Top Pick
20

I used to be a purist, only wearing one shade of tomato red, and making sure that my reds matched perfectly in an outfit. Especially when matching handbags and shoes. But over the last few years, I’ve broadened my red horizons and will also happily wear mismatched reds. I like the punch and unexpected combinations that look more interesting. I’ll combine watermelon red with tomato red, burgundy and Christmas red in one outfit and enjoy it.

I prefer not to wear a cool-toned Christmas red as a top, jacket, scarf or dress, but it’s fine in bottoms, bags, belts and footwear. Warm reds like tomato and watermelon look better against my complexion. I will wear a burgundy top or dress, and better still, combine it with a warm tomato red.

I’m a solid Yay for mismatching reds both in my wardrobe and in my outfit. How about you?