The Red Dress: how to choose yours for the party season

Style Tips

Red is most definitely this season's hottest colour for evening wear, so if you have always wanted a great red dress then make the most of the choice available now.

Whether it's for daytime or party wear, red can have a potent effect on how others perceive us and how we feel when we wear it.  Red conveys different meanings too; it symbolises love, passion, sex appeal and romance as well as luxury and glamour.  Think of some iconic red dresses in the movies like the sensational outfits that Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell wore in Gentleman Prefer Blondes or Julia Robert’s evening gown in Pretty Woman.  It can also signal danger and if you touch something red hot, you are sure to get burned! It is no surprise that a woman in a red dress sets pulses racing.

Ultimately, it is one of the best colours to wear to make you feel fabulous. It is energising and uplifting and it really brings some verve to a winter wardrobe. For your red party dress you want to attract attention for the right reasons, in other words you want people to think ‘wow’ not ‘oh!’  So, choosing a good red dress means getting the right style, the right fabric and the right shade for you.  

How do I find the perfect red dress?

Ideally, when you first start browsing you need to look at both the shade and the style.  For red to really look flattering on you, make sure at the very least you pick a shade to match your skin tone. So, if you have cool, pinkish undertones to your skin choose a blue-red, if you have warmer skin tones then go for yellow based reds. You will know when you put it next to your face if it works for you or not.   In terms of style you must consider the cut and the length and the sleeves. Ask yourself, honestly, what length is most flattering on you? Can you get away with strapless or do you need some sleeve? Fabric is very important and you probably want something a bit more interesting for your evening wear such as satin or velvet or a bit of sparkle.  Velvet can be quite stiff, for example, so think about whether it fits nicely down your bodyline or if it makes you look ‘restricted’.  You should also consider volume. If the dress has draping or detail, think about where that will sit on your body as too much detail on your curvier bits can add bulk.  If you look in the mirror and you like it but ‘you’re not sure’, then it’s probably not right.   Don’t rush when shopping, take your time to hunt around and pick one that you look good in and feel good in.

The red dress is the ultimate in va-va-voom, so don’t be shy ladies, find your perfect little red dress and enjoy that Monroe/Russell moment knowing that you look gorgeous and all eyes are most definitely on you, for all the right reasons.

 P.S.  Red is also a must-have colour for Spring 2012.

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