Style by Claire Lopez

Red or Dead: how to wear the colour of the season

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, foresight is even better. I had a pair of red leather ankle boots with a kitten heel and a pointed toe from LK Bennett that I bought at fairly considerable expense about 14 years ago. They would have been spot on this season. If only I had known this several years ago when I got rid of them. But there you go. You win some, you lose some. So if you have any red items in your wardrobe, now is their time.

If not, then go forth and add some of the fiery stuff into your closet because it is the colour of the autumn. Here are the pieces to invest in:

The Coat

Now this is a stand-out piece so not for the faint-hearted but every collection has one to choose from. My favourites are these:

Bonded Swing Coat £89 from Warehouse.

Or this one probably pips it to the post and is from M&S Collection: 2 Pocket Wool Rich Coat £119. Nice styling for an everyday casual look.

The Oversized Knit

Now this is something most definitely on my hit list. Having assimilated a couple of my husband’s sweaters into my wardrobe for wearing with skinny jeans, I have decided it is time to have my own. This beauty is from &Other Stories – Wool Turtleneck sweater £79 – which is definitely looking very strong on the knitwear front again this season. I thought the sleeves would be too much but I actually love it.

Or H&M has this Cashmere Blend Jumper £39.99.

The Stripe Top

The best way to update your Breton this season is by making it red and H&M has this Pima Cotton Top £24.99. Annoyingly it is only in a size 10 online but they are most definitely in stores.

Boden has lots of stripes to choose from and you can go classic with this Striped Breton £28 which is super easy and works well for day to day with trainers but pop over a blazer and some loafers and you are a bit smarter. The dog, beanie and skirt are a total distraction from what is a great top.

Or alternatively choose something with a bit more of a fashion feel like the Celeste Frilled Breton £35.

The Dress

Not sure I would make like the flamenco lady emoji but there are plenty of options out there with varying degrees of frill and flounce.

On the more subtle level at Whistles is this Raven Fluted Sleeve Dress £139.

Or for a sleek, modern option which I love and have bought with several clients is the Paige V Neck Crepe Dress £120.

For something with a bit more statement about it M&S has this Asymmetrical Hem Tunic Midi Dress £65.

And if you’ve got it, flaunt it in this Panelling Detail Bodycon Midi Dress £45.

The Loafer

Well you can’t get more Gucci than one of these bad boys, backless or not. Both are from Dune and will work with denim and tailored trousers – be those skinny or more relaxed/tapered legged. Culottes and skirts are also a goer and either go full on preppy with a blazer or pair with an oversized sweater.

Gene Backless Loafer £75.

Guilt Loafer £75.

The Kitten heel

And this is where I am mourning the over efficient cleansing of the aforementioned LK Bennett numbers. But you can buy yours from M&S Collection: Wide Fit Leather Kitten Ankle Boots £69.

Or there is this pair from Zara for £25.99 which is a good way to go as these are not necessarily going to be a year in, year out classic that you want to invest in. They are, however, a bit more out there given the shine. I think you need to stick to a low heel on the boot front otherwise you start entering Pretty Woman territory. That said, they do look good under relaxed and wider legged denim. Their highly coveted fabric boots which have been much touted by the fash pack are basically sold out.

Going for a shoe may be a little bit less full-on and these Leather Kitten Heel Court Shoes £45 from M&S are very tempting indeed. They are actually suede.

Red kitten heel sling backs – so many fashion ticks here and Mango has a Velvet pair £49.99 which look oh so similar to a well-known designer brand’s version…

The Bag

This is how I have mainly been ‘doing’ red before taking a real plunge into it’s pillar box depths – a bag is a nice, easy way to add a flash of colour to an outfit and actually works very well with lots of neutrals. I like the look of this Chain Cross Body Bag from Mango mainly because of its £17.99 price tag.

Otherwise, I like this Wide Strap Crossover Bag £89 from & Other Stories. Their bags are always pretty gorgeous.

And to finish up – here are a couple of cheat’s red pieces. For those of you, not entirely sold on the colour but still want to add a flash.

First up is this Jacquard Sweater £49 from &Other Stories which you may have seen already on my Instagram and which seems to be a hit. Great for wearing with a pair of boyfriend jeans and trainers now.

I also saw this Victoria Tweed Jacket £56 in Warehouse which would be a great addition to your work wear wardrobe. But also looks good with jeans, as I am wearing here.

Finally, a red scarf is an instant outfit lifter which will work beautifully with any neutral winter coat, be that black, navy, camel or grey. This Wool Oversized Scarf £49 is from &Other Stories.

And if all else fails, just go for a swipe of red lippie!



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