It’s the autumn/winter hot catwalk trend that works perfectly for the festive season. Stephanie Smith has tips on how to wear red.
Red is not just for Christmas. It’s for life – well, at least until next spring because, as a trend, it’s been all over the catwalks for this autumn/winter and will carry through well into next year.
Dior, Osman, Erdem and Balmain have been killing (in a good way) red for this season from deepest crimson to bold pillarbox, from popping tomato to rich burgundy. The LRD is the new LBD, for Christmas anyway, and you can play it exactly as you choose, dressing yourself in sparkles and baubles galore or adopting a more sophisticated approach choosing richer, deeper shades, or you can keep it simple, perhaps in an all-in-one or by choosing one chic key piece.
If vamp is your style, look for sequins. You’ll not have to look far red sequins, what with the Eighties “make like a Christmas cracker” vibe going on this year, There are plenty bodycon, short styles of dress across the High Street, for that classic “I’m on a cheeky Christmas hen party” look, but if you want to go slightly more sophisticated (admittedly, sophistication is not easy to achieve in red sequins, but what the heck, it’s Christmas) look for for a slightly looser tunic style that comes to the knee (check out Very online for some wearable options for around £50).
If you fancy a more boho vibe, this too is possible in red for this Christmas with long tunics and maxis, perhaps with a halter or smock-style tie neck in floaty and pleated fabrics (see H&M) to team with boot and flats – a look that’s perfect for Christmas Day, when you don’t want to spend the day in heels, especially not at home.
The jumpsuit is another excellent way to go, as head-to-toe red is “a thing” this winter. Go for a shade as bright as you like for during the festive season, but for a long-term future it’s best to choose a rich but wearable colour such as cranberry, burgundy or damson (I know, that’s heading for purple, really). Also look out for red in a print or a check, very festive but also easy to translate through to next season by teaming with nudes and browns.
There’s a lot of red lace about for this season but some red dresses are starting to look a little tacky, especially the tighter ones with lace sleeves. Again, try a looser tunic dress or look for styles that team red with black, perhaps a black underslip with red lace on top, for a chicer and more flattering take on the red lace dress. Prom-style red lace dresses work better than tight shifts on many body shapes, so try one out to see if it suits and take a look at Marks & Spencer for wearable, flattering red lace styles.
Consider going all out foxy in red in a retro 1950s-inspired frock. Take a look at the fabulous House of Foxy for stunning, well-made recreations and interpretations of styles from the 1950s and other eras. These can be super-flattering for curvy figures and great fun for Christmas and New Year. On the High Street, River Island also has some lovely dresses that also purr with old school glamour.
There are a quite a few red dresses with cut-out shoulder detail, which is going to be a follow-through trend for spring, and it does balance out bodycon shift shapes and makes them far more flattering, if the trussed-up weather presenter look appeals to you.
Don’t ditch the red after Christmas but do rethink it and team with black, nude and cobalt blue, to give it an edgy, arty look for spring. And look out for red bags in the sales.