Nothing uplifts an outfit like a splash of red or a dash of brooding raven that will make you win the fashion sweepstakes hands down. Cue into pearls of wisdom dished out by the fashion savvy and make your look work for you this season...
"In keeping with your skin tone, choose the right shade of black to set off your complexion," says fashion designer Anavila. "For example, women with porcelain skin tone can wear a blue-based black hue. If you have a complexion in medium cool tones, opt for charcoal. For those with olive skin, noir works well, as it brings in the colour of brewed dark coffee. Those with deeper skin tones can choose noir or jet black."
Toying with the idea of sizzling in scarlet? Says Sneha Mehta, founder of Kukoon the Label, "Those with light-complexion (cool) should always opt for bright shades (berry, burgundy, crimson...) to play up their skin tone. Neutral skin rocks with any shade, especially a mix of bright reds and orange tints, like maroon, onion red... On honeyed-skin tones (warm), copper red, cinnamon red and vermilion look fabulous."
Celebrate the chill
When winter wings in, do the woollens in style. "Go for a handwoven linen in a heavier weave. Silk-wool blends work great for winters," says Anavila. "Based on textures and tones of the fabrics, you must get around to teaming and mixing well to get the right look overall," says designer Lina Mane.
Brood in black
"Black creates an illusion of depth, disguising finer details within itself, so it appears to slim your form," says Anavila. "Make sure you choose the right cut and fabric according to the occasion. A natty black garment makes for a formal affair. Accessorise well to bring in a spot of fluidity for added femininity and charm." Says Mane, "You must pair the right shades of black together so that they blend well and compose a pleasing appearance. Never overdo. So though all black looks great in the clothes, break the look with a splash of bright colour in a red lipstick or brilliant pumps." For instance, an all black ensemble with a touch of a deep-coloured accessory makes for a strong statement, suggests Anavila.
Bold & ritzy
Says Sneha, "A cherry-red bomber jacket amps up a casual day outing. As an option, you can match light coloured, red floral prints with your trousers and team them up with a black overcoat to look warm and pretty. Team a pair of red pants with a frilled white shirt or carry a coat of the same colour as your pants." Some inclusions in your wardrobe are a must. Like a pair of well-fitting black trousers. "I would pick a black blazer as an important essential for both men's and women's wardrobes," says Lina. "My pick for men would be an all black suit, as it looks spiffy," says Anavila. "For a woman, nothing beats a classic black saree."
Break the colour
Too much is overkill. "Always tone it down with a contrasting colour. For instance, balance a ruddy red saree with a cream blouse," says Masumi Mewawalla of Pink Peacock Couture. "A simple dash of peach or pink balances and adds a feminine touch. Haldi yellow or orange makes the outfit more traditional. A splash of green and blue adds a contemporary touch." Says Sneha, "Colour code your attire with other neutral hues to make for the perfect look. Never put together multiple shades of red in one look, as it can have a jarring effect. Blend less of the same shades for a classy cut. For daywear, try tinted colours. Deepen the palette for evenings. Try bright auburn, cherry coke, peach red, coral red... Slip on a double-shaded dress. Team up a saffron scarf with a red T-shirt. Get into a blue top with red denims. Black with red makes for a bold statement."
Create an impact
Masumi suggests, "For a meeting, go for apple red. Rose red works well for an afternoon wedding. Rock a champagne affair in the evening in berry red, a sit-down dinner in crimson, a school reunion in blush red or scarlet." It takes a spot of clever styling to create a smashing look. Says Sneha, "Go for vibrant shades of red moving into hot pinks. My pick for a glitzy lunch would be mahogany red, for a get-together, a candy red. Rev up to ruby red for a dance gig and a kiss of berry red for a party." So blush in a draped terracotta gown for a brunch or make heads turn in currant red at a meeting.
Remember to wear your confidence and comfort, to let your individual style shine through.