Here’s A Few Secrets As To How To Find The Perfect Red Dress

Whatever your skin tone


by Charlie Byrne |
Published on

Did anyone else see Jennifer Lawrence arriving for the David Letterman show yesterday, wearing a body-clinging Antonio Berardi scarlet mini-dress that made her look like the hottest human, like ever?

J-Law isn’t new to the lady in red trend, having worn it to her first Oscar ceremony, and both times she’s proved red dresses look sexy and powerful. But if you want to look like that – rather than Julia Roberts trussed up in that iconic 1980s off-the-shoulder number in Pretty Woman or, worse, a Christmas party cliche – here’s how to pull off the sexiest of colours.

READ MORE: Jennifer Lawrence Debuts Her Singing Voice, And It Wasn’t What We Expected

Pick The Right Shade


‘To get the perfect shade of red you need to consider three things: your hair colour, eye colour and skin tone,’ says Fiona Wellins, a colour consultant at Colour Me Beautiful, who specialises in using colour to enhance personal style. ‘Make sure that the undertone of the red matches your skin tone, which may be yellow-based or blue-based. Then you need to consider how light or dark the colour is, and whether you want a more muted red or a bright red.’

Confused? Don’t be, as there’s an easy litmus test. Hold lots of different shades of red up next to your face, and pick the one that brightens up your skin tone. Simples.

Wear Flats


Wearing red doesn’t have to mean throwing on a ballgown, diamonds and stilettos. We’re so used to seeing celebs crack out shades of scarlet on the red carpet that we associate it with dressing up, but a casual version can be just as striking.

‘Pair with some statement flats or ballet pumps to tone down the glam look, and toughen it all up with a biker jacket,’ says blogger Liv Purvis, of What Olivia Did.

If You’re Shy...


‘If you’re a bit afraid of the statement red dress, embrace the red mini-dress and layer with a white collared shirt, or cropped jumper over the top to break everything up,’ says Liv. Pairing a bright red day dress with denim or navy blue is another fresh look for this season.

What About Jewellery?


**‘**It totally depends on the dress shape,’ Liv explains. ‘If you’re opting for a high neck, then a statement collar could be the finishing touch, whereas if you’re going off-the-shoulder, I’d always say less is more, and opt for more delicate pieces.’

Whatever you do, unless you’re a styling wizard, avoid anything green, or that looks like tinsel. Especially at this time of year.

Before You Slap On Fake Tan...


It’s totally normal to feel like Casper when you put on a strong colour, but don’t whip out the St Tropez at the last minute when you’ve chucked the dress receipt and have only tried it on as your ghostly self.

‘Make sure you have achieved the skin tone you want when you go shopping for your dress as it will look different on pale skin to a sun-kissed look,’ explains Fiona. And don’t be heavy handed – you want to avoid the sunblushed tomato look at all costs.

Think About Your Hair Colour


Do you feel like it’s only blonde celebs who match their dresses to the red carpet? There’s a reason for that. Over time, images of Marilyn Monroe, Scarlett Johansson and Sienna Miller have slowly seeped into our psyche, making red feel like a blonde-bombshell thing to do. But screw it, if you’re brunette, you can still get in on the action and look just as hot.

‘Brown and black hair can carry off deeper shades of red because of the depth in their hair colour,’ says Fiona. Think about how awesome Anne Hathaway looks in a Valentino number, and you won’t be reaching for peroxide any time soon.

As for redheads, you should read our interview with the sister bloggers behind How To Be A Redhead. Darker, burgundy tones will suit pale skin tones and red hair, as anything similar to the shade of your locks will look too matchy-matchy.

Dress, £42, Topshop; Dress, £22, Asos; Dress, £69.99, Zara; Dress, £65, & Other Stories; Dress, £29.99, H&M; Dress, £120, French Connection

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Pictures: Getty, Rex

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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