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How to Pull Off a Red Dress

by Tarah Damask, studioD

Whether you're wearing it to a fancy shindig or heading to a casual summer barbecue, a red dress is a cinch to pull off, as long as you focus on the overall vibe you're trying to achieve. By thoughtfully accessorizing and keeping your dress at center stage, you can wear your sizzling red frock -- instead of letting it wear you.

Keep It Simple

Your red dress is already a major attention grabber, so if you want to keep all the focus on your dress, this is easy to accomplish by sticking to a more minimalistic aesthetic. Slip into your red dress -- simple silhouettes to extreme ornamentation work well with this look -- and keep your hairstyle clean. Hair worn down and parted to the side or pulled back into a sleek pony works wonders. Slide your feet into a pair of nude pumps and simple hoop earrings. It's that easy.

Go Head-to-Toe Red

Going for this head-to-toe take on styling yields a beautiful result. Amp up the drama by pulling on your red dress and swiping on some red lipstick that matches the color of your dress as closely as possible. Paint your nails in a similar shade of red and -- of course -- seek out a pair of shoes in a matching tone. A pair of simple strappy high-heeled sandals or pumps and a small matching clutch is all it takes to bring your look into red-hot territory.

Get Fancy

For dressier styling, lay on the glam with your accessories. For example, opt for a pair of silver strappy high-heeled sandals and add a black satin clutch to your look. Sweep your hair back into a high pony or French twist for an elegant finish. When the temps drop, pop a black velvet wrap -- think a cropped, puff-sleeve blazer or shawl -- over your frock. Step into silver metallic peep-toe pumps and reach for a silver minaudiere to carry your essentials.

Dressed-Down Modern

A red dress may immediately make you think of fancy parties, but this garment works well for every-day casual wear, too. Imagine you've got a red lace, long-sleeve dress that you're dying to dress down -- add black tights and chunky black boots during cooler weather. Throw on a black moto-style leather jacket for the finishing touch. Or, for a summery look, pull on a vintage-inspired dress, whether a tie-neck, cinched-waist sundress or a straight, cap-sleeve mod-style frock. Slide your feet into espadrille wedge sandals in natural canvas or cognac leather to complete this laid-back, on-trend vibe.

About the Author

Tarah Damask's writing career began in 2003 and includes experience as a fashion writer/editor for Neiman Marcus, short fiction publications in "North Texas Review," a self-published novel, band biographies, charter school curriculum and articles for various websites. Damask holds a Master of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of North Texas.

Photo Credits

  • Ben Horton/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images