Finding the Best Red for Your Skin Tone

Goddammit, the new Target collection with Who What Wear is SO GOOD! I recently moved to a new neighborhood and am now within two miles of a Target. (The internal battle of blessing vs curse still rages inside of me... I'll keep you updated on which one wins.) I scooped up this red-and-white striped, button-up shirt - love at first sight - for $25! 

If you have been following along on Instagram, you've seen that I've started to wear the color red... a lot!  For whatever reason, I shied away from red as a teen and young adult, but in my late twenties I finally found 'my shade' of red and it's been my go-to color ever since. Finding a shade of red to wear should be just like finding the right shade of red lipstick! Everyone can pull off this color ~ you just need to find the right color on the red-spectrum to compliment your skin tone. 

Warm Undertones

Olive, peachy, gold, yellow are often used to describe a warm skin tone. (This is me - my skin screams olive/yellow.) You probably tan easily and look better in gold jewelry.  If your complexion skews this way, you'll look best in orangey reds. Corals, tangerines, and reds with any orange undertones are going to complement the warmth in the skin.  

Cool Undertones

A cool complexion can read very pink (if you are fair skinned) and/or have lots of blue undertones. You look better in stark black vs. a charcoal color and probably prefer how you look in silver jewelry. If your skin leans to the cooler side, you should look for reds that also have those blue undertones.  Berries, ruby reds, and reds that toe the line of pink will be the most flattering on cooler complexions.


If you don't feel like you fit in either of the above categories you may have a neutral skin tone.  You don't lean cool or warm, you look good in most colors and wear gold and silver interchangeably.  When wearing red make sure you stick to true reds that aren't too blue or too orange.


Regardless of how fair or dark your skin is, the undertones in it will determine which shade will complement you the most. If you are still struggling with finding the right shade of red, I found a great article from InStyle magazine (my style bible since I was in high school) that breaks down a variety of complexions with a multitude of lipsticks that I found very helpful in not only picking lip colors but also what shade of red to wear. 


The best part about finding your shade of red is learning when you can bend the rules!  I have a red flannel that I love to wear but it has blue undertones instead of orange.  I only wrap this piece around my waist as an accessory, making sure to keep it away from my face or parts of my body where it could clash with my complexion. This striped top from Target leans more pink-red but the white stripes break it up enough that anyone could wear it, regardless of your skin's undertones. I paired it with a pair of cream and red-pinstriped, harem pants to play with the scale of stripes in this look. Throw a wide belt and white sneakers into the mix and I had the perfect look to spend a day at the B & O Railroad Museum. (Did anyone else know that mail trains were still operating in Baltimore until 1977?)  

I hope this inspires some of you to start wearing red or helps you get a little closer to finding the right shades that flatter you.  I'm always available for personal styling so if you have questions or want help picking colors that will be most flattering on you feel free to email me or DM me on IG and let's go shopping! 


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Shop the Look

3/4 Sleeve Button Up Tunic - Who What Wear for Target - $25

Rumors Yarn Dyed Harem Pants in Canvas - Free People - $78

Shapes Statment Earrings in Retro Pink - Madewell - $28

Oversized Scarf - Similar - Zara - $30

2790 ACOTW Platform Sneakers in White - Superga - $80 


Images by Jan Galvan