The Space Between My Peers: Steps to Successfully Wearing Red & Black

The Space Between My Peers

From the bottom of the fashion food chain ...

Location: The Great Northwest

I'm a home-schooling, bible-believing SAHM with an annual clothing budget of about $500 American. The Space Between My Peers reveals my secret passion: analysis of the art and science of what to wear.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Steps to Successfully Wearing Red & Black

As many of you know, I do not have a TV. Consequently, I thank Wendy that I even knew about Mrs Bush's Christmas dress incident.

With the resurrection of the red/black combo this holiday season: what are some easy guidelines to doing it well?:

  1. Choose your red. Carefully.

  2. Most of us are well-acquainted with the concept of cool versus warm, or blue red versus orange red. Although red itself is a medium value color, defined as bright, it is possible to also adjust a little to the white as in my red silk skirt or a little to the dark, without going burgundy.

  3. Major on the majors.

  4. Which color is better on you, black or red? It stands to reason you would want more of that color in your ensemble. See How a Blonde Can Wear All Black and How to Wear Any Color for more thoughts on color combining and placement.

  5. Add another neutral.

  6. For many of us, Mrs. Bush's three guests included, red and black is a tough color combination to wear. Adding another neutral has a softening effect.
    Some to try:

    • Your best metallic.
    • White, ivory, or pearls.
    • For business, charcoal gray or camel.

Then there is the matter of personality. Do you even like red and black together?

I admit, I don't. But then I somehow still crave it in December.


Blogger Tessa said...

I think I have issues with black and any color. So then I end up only wearing black and white together and looking like a waitress. *sigh* I blame the "What Not To Wear" girls since I began having my issues after hearing them say that color cheapens black. Or maybe it was vice versa. Anyway, I need to get over it and expand my horizons! ;P

2:32 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

I do like the two colours together, but my preference is for black with a kick of red. Red shoes or a red bag can really pick up a black dress or suit.

2:42 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

I attended a holiday luncheon last weekend with a bunch of older ladies, and I was bemoaning the fact that I had no red (no red at all, much less festive red) to wear. Instead I wore a black suit with a chocolate brown sequin top underneath, and some sparkly jewelry. When I entered the room and saw the sea of red, I was glad I had chosen what I did.

One of the most stylish ladies I know (a 50+ redhead) wore a fitted black jacket and red silk skirt. I immediately noticed the transposition of the colors, as I believe most of us (myself included) tend to wear those colors the other way around.

3:40 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Okay, to take what all three of you stylish ladies have contributed here, along with what I said in the post, perhaps I could craft another great holiday look by topping my red silk skirt and silver top with a fitted black jacket. Maybe for church on Christmas eve. (BTW, I wore sheer black stockings and black pumps).

The other thing I think would be fun is to get some of the shiny patent red platforms that are so popular now and to wear them as jewelry, with all black. But I'll never do it because of cost per wear.

Tessa, what if you threw in a splash of red with the black & white? I can't remember where you are, but around here black & white is a pretty summery combination. I don't wear it much, but it's very classic and looks great in a print (and would look really good with red accessories).

I'm positively inspired!

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really like black and red. Do you remember when people were doing "Seasons"? They draped different colors on you until they came up with a season that fit you best -- Winter (royal colors), Spring (pastels), Summer (can't remember), Fall (browns, golds). Well, they said I was a winter which looks good in black, white, red, royal blue, etc. I have a couple red, wool coats that I LOVE. I like Laura Bush's red outfit best of all on her -- not so much on the others who wore it in the pics. Perhaps she's a winter?

What do you think of the Seasons Idea?

4:24 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Jody, I agree - Laura Bush is the only one who looks good in that dress.

About the season theory, I agree with it but only in the twelve division version. "Back in the day" nobody could ever peg my season just by looking at me; I the high contrast of a winter, the muted coloring of a summer, and was slightly warm and golden. I was (and am) indeed an autumn.

It helped loads to find that out, but mainly only for the makeup.

Anyway, the refinement of the system breaks each season down into three. For example, autumn becomes soft autumn (that's me), warm autumn or golden autumn (the typical redhead), and deep autumn (what Mrs Bush is if she isn't a winter).

The other trouble I have with the seasonal system is that sometimes now, if people stick with it strictly, they end up looking dated.

Thanks for asking! And Merry Christmas!

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with your thoughts on "looking dated" if you stick to that "Seasons" thing. But I do see how some people really look much better in certain colors than others, as in the Laura Bush Holiday Dress.

8:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I barely ever wear black, white or red because i have very fair skin and auburn hair. The fact is that they look bad on me so I don't like them. I enjoy avoiding these colors because it makes me different from other people.:) But i can still admire someone else in a good outfit.

Tia ;)

10:23 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I personally think I look awesome in black and red, but I have dark, almost black hair, and pretty fair skin, so I think I can pull it off. (not that I do all that often). I guess it really has to do with your coloring. And of course as you said what type of red. I don't really do orangy reds, but rather scarlet or blue toned reds.

Then again, I tend to the dramatic anyway.

5:03 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Rebecca, I think Blogger ate one of my comments! I wanted you to know I found out about the fashion fox pass on the internet even though I have TV. (My brother often calls the internet the essential source of cluefulness.)

1:45 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Ah yes, your brother is clever like you! (Fox pass -- he hee.:D)

Aside from 5-10 minutes of radio news per day, we get all of our news from the internet. Maybe we aren't as clueless as I sometimes think!

1:56 PM  

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