Accent Colors

Red has always been my power color. It makes me feel like a superhero whenever I wear a red blazer. All my favorite scarves have some bold red in the pattern. I have a few red tops, a quilted jacket, a vest, and a short red trench coat. Red and royal blue are the accent colors in my wardrobe.

Everyone can wear red if they find the right tone for their complexion. I need a true vivid red with icy blue undertones. An orange-red makes me look like I haven’t slept well.

Red works perfectly with my wardrobe’s black, white, gray, and shades of blue, so it is a favorite. However, retailers don’t always have a wide selection of red items, so the best time to shop for them is during the holiday collections in winter.

If I had tried this blazer in the store, I would not have purchased it, so I am not sharing a link. I will never recommend something I wouldn’t buy, but I need to tell you why I would not repurchase this jacket. First, the fabric is too lightweight to be used in a blazer, so it will never hang nicely. Second, the sleeves are three inches too long, so I’ve turned them under. Third, it arrived stuffed into a mylar bag, so it was very wrinkled, and I didn’t discover the ink stain on the cuff until I had removed the tags to steam it. Finally, note that the red also leans too far into the orange range for my coloring. Let my experience save you some money!

I’ll share a few recent, more successful purchases should you want to add red items to brighten your wardrobe.

The quilted jacket is here – The reversible vest is here – The pocket tunic is here.

Look for tunics that button down the front for a modern silhouette and more versatility. I have also added the red tops below in the past few months, but I haven’t worn them yet. When I get around to sharing an outfit photo, they may be sold out, so I’ll share pictures and links below.

No iron shirt here.
Rose applique top – here.

I found an asymmetrical cashmere poncho similar to the one I showed you here but in red. The red version is here.

I also have a pair of red leather gloves to brighten my black or gray winter coats. Similar gloves to mine are here.

SunglassesJeansSweater – Similar BlazerBootsBagBelt.

My handsome lunch date, Mr. Mickey, loved the jacket, so I’ll wear it occasionally for him.

Shopping links on this website may allow me to earn a small commission at no cost to you.

  1. Susan, are you adding colored jeans to your spring wardrobe? I have blue, black and white. Not sure whether to invest in colors, as they are expensive. Just wanted your thoughts. As always, thanks for your help!

  2. Like you, I own a handful of red items that I wear during the winter. My red also needs to be a blue toned one; a true Christmas red ( think Santa’s suit). I am glad you provided links to some items from Talbots as I find they carry the perfect red for me as well!

  3. I have the red jacket from Chicos, but I am so disappointed to have missed out on the vest. Next year, I will be looking for it earlier in the season, and since I know I will wear it a lot, I am willing to pay (gasp) full price. Thanks for the information about the shades of red—it explains why I love some if the red pieces I buy, and why others just don’t work for me.

  4. Dear Susan,
    Appreciate the effort, time, & thinking that you put into your blog. Have learned a lot from you.
    Love red! Hoped that Talbots would carry a red pop sweater jacket. No luck. The retailer sold a pretty red pop wool jacket. Too heavy for what I wanted or needed.
    Lauren Ralph Lauren has a classic red cable stitch cardigan. (Bloomingdale’s web ID 4584129). Interested to know your thoughts.
    Thank you.

    1. That’s a lovely sweater for those who are tall and very slender. However, it is not the right texture for those with a larger bust. The cable texture adds volume, making us look larger than we are. A British brand (Woolovers) has a lovely v-neck red sweater here that will flatter those with a full bust and broad back.

  5. Good morning, Susan! You mentioned your accent colors of red and royal blue. I’d like to know if you change those colors for each season. I am working on using fewer colors in my wardrobe. As always, thank you for your inspiration!

  6. I have the quilted coat and it was a wonderful addition to my wardrobe. After a recent body analysis, I am trying to dress in a column of color with an outside contrasting color. I love how you use black, grey and white to create a cohesive capsule and am trying to move in that direction. You always look so lovely.

  7. Me too…only I am a the orangy-red group! I know you get lots of emails, but I have to tell you a story. One of my daughters is a border line dyslectic. She had a horrible 2nd grade teacher who didn’t understand what was going on, so my girl came home in tears often. I scheduled a meeting and I put on my red power jacket and red high heels, and I am 5’10 to begin with, and headed to the school! As one of my friends would say, we had a “come to Jesus” meeting! Things definitely got better for my baby! This teacher was an absolute short little b##ch and at the end of the year I went to the principle, and we had talk, next teacher was wonderful, and first teacher was short lived! Yay, that power red! Still use it as power and accent! Thank you for your post!

  8. This post is exactly why I follow you…fashion advice based on real life experiences and the detailed reason why the wardrobe component worked for you or didn’t work for you. Thanks for being authentic!

  9. Love this post! I always look forward to your blog. I am also a blue-red fashionista, so I try to follow your recommendations; the Talbots jacket was fabulous! I wish you kept selling the scarves as the quality was superb. The colours are always what I needed. Do you have a recommendation on where you search for them? Canada is cold but silk scarves are warm and can go over the nose as a mask in a pinch. I don’t mind looking like a ski patroller if I can be fashionable.

    BTW, That couples photo is a keeper!

  10. I love the photo of the two of you! You look so happy. I love black and white dressing myself but get way more compliments when I add red or Royal blue. Seeing that jacket I get it. Stunning.

  11. Susan – you have such a gift for being beautiful but not threatening. Definitely not a ‘mean girl’.
    I live in Austin, Texas but grew up in Memphis so I can certainly relate to and like your your style.
    But it doesn’t feel quite right for my more western outfits since my tall handsome husband is always dressed in expensive cowboy boots and jeans. Think ‘Mr. Mickey does cattleman rancher’! Any suggestions for adapting Chico’s style for the high end ranch life? Thanks for all you share so generously

  12. Hi Susan- red looks so good on you but I love you in royal blue too.
    I’ve been on the hunt for a black bag with silver hardware is the Kate Spade bag you have the link to silver? It’s so hard to tell.
    Thank you

  13. You two could walk the red carpet. Lovely!
    What do you suggest when your eyebrows are very sparse, and they are white. My hair is completely white.
    Do you believe in micro-blading? When I use eyebrow color in powder and/or liquid, it looks terrible.
    Perhaps I have the wrong product.
    Very sad.

  14. Love red !! It looks great on you! I have amassed a lot of red things such as blazer. Sweaters. Cardigans. Pants. Shoes and purses due to your posts!! You and Mr Mickey look great!!

  15. You and Mr. Mickey are blessed to have such a wonderful relationship. I always enjoy the pictures of both of you and the classy way your clothes are styled. Thank you for sharing. I agree with you about being selective about the different tints of red.

  16. You always look beautiful in red! I love the poppy red color from Chico’s. I wish they still had my size available in the shirt. It would look fabulous with blue jeans. Love the photo of you and Mr. Mickey…so classy! Wishing you a beautiful week end!

  17. Warm versus cool undertones has always confused me because I seem to be blind to them. As for this red jacket in these photos, I think it looks fabulous on you! Especially against the black.

  18. Love the picture of you two.
    This is for the Karen who said her eyebrows are sparse and white. I use IT cosmetics eye brow pencil and then use a powder eye brow product that I wet the brush for application. It stays on all day. It sounds funny at first to wet the dry powder but it works. I have done this with some eye shadows and they stay on better during the day. Hope this helps.
    Thanks for the red items. It’s one of my favorite colors too.

  19. Someone who commented on your blog (ages ago) had a link to their own blog and in a post about about make-up and eyebrows, she said she used a regular soft drawing pencil. I’ve tried it and use a 4B—it works great, it’s a soft gray and neither cakey or waxy and supremely affordable. Give it a try.

  20. Susan – You are right about shades of red. I love red but a lot of red, say a jacket doesn’t always work. It’s too much color. I have to wear a lot of black.If I wear a red plaid shirt, mixed with black it works better. I wear gloves bright colors and use them as an accent. Glad you put that in your posting. Could you do a posting with royal blue? Or did you already?

    Love the picture of you with your man!

  21. Hi Susan! I love your idea of having mostly one or two accent colors in your wardrobe. I am missing that. I love the red on you and still trying to find my red. My colors need to be cool, deep, and soft. The soft is what was confusing me. Very bright colors don’t work with my soft eyes. Black is too harsh near my face, but deep navy goes nicely. Now I need to learn which cool, deep, and soft accent colors I need to incorporate.
    Would you mind sharing why you keep your shoes out in your closet on display? I keep mine in their original shoe boxes. Drives me nuts because I can’t see what I have quickly. But I hesitate to take them out of the boxes for fear of dust.

  22. That picture of you, the last one before you and Mr. Mickey, is astounding! You just get more beautiful. I love the jeans, high waist and barely boot. Thanks for sharing.

    P.S. I love my combat boots! Getting used to the look and feel. Trying with different things. Think I can wear them in the streets of Paris??

  23. I love this post because you critiqued the color well and helped me understand why I don’t like some items in my closet. They’re just the wrong shade of a color I enjoy–red. You always provide helpful insights and great links. Thank you!

  24. Wow! May I say you look very sharp, and I see that the black turtleneck under the red blazer is one of the reasons why. Is this a new look for you, and will we see more of it in future posts? The photo of you and Mr. Mickey is just stunning! He sure knows how to present himself in the best possible way that is lost on most men outside the business world.

  25. Susan,
    I appreciate that you pointed out the different reds. My complexion looks awful with the orange-reds and passed on any clothing that is red for many years.

    You look wonderful in the jacket and will most likely give others a chance to enjoy their perfect hue of red.

  26. Lovely looks and great ideas in red! I love red, and I too, need to wear the bluish tones rather than orange.
    When I first saw your post I was wondering about the blazer color! Glad you explained the issue.
    Is the quilted jacket from Chico’s (which I just bought today) really a bluish red or does it lean more toward orange?
    I feel like I tried something on in the Wild Poppy color a few months back and it was more orangey red. It’s hard to tell online.
    You and Mr. Mickey make quite the dapper pair and when I need a lift, I seek out your posts! Thanks Susan!

  27. You look stunning in red, so powerful and strong, and I agree with Mr. Mickey, that jacket looks beautiful. That’s a great picture of you two. You both look happy and content. My final takeaway, you hair has never looked better. The little bit of length adds a softness to your overall countenance. I’m saving these pictures for future inspiration. Thank you Susan.

  28. Thanks for parsing the red blazer and why it isn’t ideal for you. This kind of decoding helps me think about my wardrobe items.

  29. Love the red on you…one of my favorite colors too.
    Can you teach us how to cover a midsection and still look and feel stylish and sleek?
    I have long legs and short torso..5’7″. How to make those long legs appear somewhat shorter?
    Thank you!

    1. Avoid tops that are too short. You can wear tunics and cropped pants that land at the slender part of your leg. Wear a top in contrast to the bottom. Match the belt to the pants and wear low or mid-rise jeans to make your torso appear longer.

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.