In the Red
The image of a red dress or any red garment for that matter, has always held a powerful unspoken allure especially in the worlds of cinema, fashion and the arts. “The Red Shoes”, “The Lady in Red”, the image of the small and sinister hooded figure in a scarlet robe in the 1970s classic psychological horror “Don’t Look Now” and more recently, Offred and her fellow handmaids in the brilliant TV adaptation of “The Handmaid’s Tale”.
Sartorially, red signals power and determination. It’s a statement of intent. It has also traditionally signalled sexual allure but that’s not what we are talking about here. And anyway I think that notion of a red dress on a woman as as provocateur is really outdated now, especially in the age of MeToo and women owning their own sexuality. I mean just think of the awful, slightly creepy Chris De Burgh song I mention above – it made me cringe back when I first heard it as a young girl in the 1980s and still does now for that matter.
But I will say this. Every woman needs a red dress in her working wardrobe. Any female who goes to work in a relatively professional environment should be the owner of one in my very humble opinion. Ready to pull it out of the bag at a moment’s notice.
And the simpler the better I say. It’s probably just me and what I find suits me in particular, but something chic and quite plain is a better option when you’re going full on red. There’s something quite modern about it, and clothes with a simpler cut can tone down the theatricality of said hue. Saying this, it’s all relative of course and depends entirely on what your personal style is.
My jobs in PR and writing have meant that I sometimes need relatively smart dresses especially when meeting a client or interviewing a business for a magazine. And this is where the red shift dress will always come in handy.
It depends on your body shape of course but personally I find a plain, fairly body con, sleeveless shift dress that sits on or just below the knee is a great option for a smart look. Worn with a good pair of pointed high heeled courts and it’s turned into something classy and is flattering too.
So I’m now the owner of three red dresses from Zara. There’s something about the reds Zara do that look more expensive than they are. in fact, I’ve two coral red Zara dresses and the colour just pops against my skin tone, especially in the summer. The one below is the latest one – bought a few weeks ago for only £19.99. I can’t get over how flattering it is especially as it wasn’t expensive. The lycra content makes it very comfortable to wear too. It’s a summer dress clearly as the fabric is quite thin. I love it with the leopard courts and like the way it falls on the knee and not above – perfect for a work situation. Good quality gold jewellery goes well with a warm red. The gold spiky bracelet which I love, is from Stella & Dot – bought directly from their website.
It’s A Wrap
So above, I’ve put the black linen Zara wrap jacket over the dress and I think it works. This jacket was expensive but well worth it. I get so many comments on it. In fact, I’ve been meaning to get a black linen jacket to replace an old beloved one for years now. I love the feminine side wrap and it reminds me a little of the latest earthy linen collection from French designer Jacquemus.
Black linen side wrap jacket | Zara
Cream & Red
Cream Jacket | Zara last year but find similar here
The above look is quite grown up for me. I’d never have put these two colours together before and this sort of happened by accident, but I like the combination of coral red and cream. It’s definitely a summery concoction and a good alternative to pastels. The jacket is from Zara last year and again wasn’t pricey. It’s got no buttons so it’s just a great summer throw-on. So there we have it lovely readers. The simple red shift dress for work. What would you wear yours with?