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Should you wear red for work?

Should you wear red for work?
7th February 2021 Sarah Gray
In Business wear, Colours, Uncategorized

Should you wear red for work?

Well, if you are cabin crew for a well known British airline, then yes, you will most definitely be wearing red for work! 

However, for those of us who are not required to wear such a uniform, we seem to fall into one of two camps; either we love red and embrace it in our clothing or we shy away from it as we feel it’s too bold for us.

Some of my clients feel that red draws too much attention to them and therefore shy away from it. Can you relate to this? 

Or perhaps you love to wear red and feel it gives you confidence?

Whichever you relate to, you are right!


As you know, I always talk about personality and how important it is that we always dress for our true selves and gives us confidence. And it’s absolutely no different when we are talking about colour. 

Sometimes, we find that we love a certain colour and have lots of it in our wardrobe. On the other hand, we might have little “rules” we have collected over the years about what colours we think we can and can’t my hair is red, therefore I can’t wear red… this is something you once heard and clung to…but is it really how you feel about red? From a colour analysis perspective, it’s certainly not even true! 

Follow your gut instinct when selecting colours not unwritten rules. Obviously, if you really don’t like red, then that is OK too!


What message does red send at work?

So, what if you do love red but are unsure about wearing it for your work? Let’s have a look at the messages this colour can convey. 

Red is for love… or is it danger? 

Yes, we associate red with love and passion, it’s the colour of confidence but it’s also a warning sign… red fire engines, danger, stop. 

Red gives us mixed messages doesn’t it?  So how do these mixed messages apply when we are wanting to wear red? 

Red is a colour of confidence, you can step into those red heels or that red dress and instantly feel taller, more confident and powerful. And that is fantastic if you are presenting to an audience, you are centre and require everyone around to take notice.  A hint of red can also be useful in a small meeting when you have important points to get across. 

However, too much red in an interview situation can be seen as over confident and overly self-assured. Which may not actually be you or how you wish to be portrayed.

How red makes us feel

Overall, red is a very uplifting colour. On a day when you might feel a bit down or gloomy, adding something red to your outfit, will make a difference to your mood.  That could be earrings or a scarf or pair of shoes.  

How do I know if red suits me?

The good news is that there are shades of red for us all.  If you have already had a colour analysis, you will know the types of red shades that work best for your colouring.

If you haven’t, here are 3 key areas to consider:

Warm or Cool

Those of use who have warm undertones to our skin, hair and eyes, will better suit warm toned reds. These reds are recognisable as they are orangey in their colour. 

If you have cool undertones, your best reds do too! Your reds are a bit more ‘bluey’ in their tone – think raspberry red as an example. 


The deeper our colouring is, the deeper the shades of colour we can carry. For example; those with dark eyes and dark hair (skin can be light) will be able to wear the deep reds. Which of course is the polar opposite to those who have very light colouring. Deep reds would be too strong and overpowering for light colouring and therefore, light, fresh, vibrant reds are a better choice.

Have you noticed that if you wear muted shades, you look washed out and your bright eyes lose their sparkle? If this is you, then you are likely to have Bright colouring (dark hair, bright eyes) and to look and feel your best, your red should be bright and vibrant (and either warm or cool, depending on your undertones).

Of course, these smokey, muted shades suit many so if your colouring is more blended (not contrasting as above) then your more gentle reds will be wonderfully complimentary for you.

At the end of the day, if you love red wear it and wear it with confidence.  Use red to boost your mood and brighten up those zoom calls 😉

If you would like to experiment with red but feel unsure about it, then get in touch for an online colour analysis and I’ll show you your very best shades.

PS. don’t forget the red lippy!