Hue Right: Best Colors for Redheads

October 12th, 2016

We’ve been getting a surprising number of reader questions regarding color theory lately. More specifically, guys want to know the best (and worst) colors for their specific skin tone and hair color.  It might seem silly, but color theory is an art. There are people who’ve dedicated their lives to understanding how colors play a role in our perception of people, places and things.

So, we thought we’d use these frequent reader questions to kick-off a a new content series. “Hue Right” is a series where we break-down the most flattering colors for one specific skin/hair combination at a time.

As you might expect, we get this question most often from our “ginger ” brothers, therefore we’re starting this series with our friend Greg Hawxhurst, and his thick Auburn locks.

First, the colors to avoid. 

Avoid: Pale Colorless Fabrics & Citrus Hues

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If you have red hair, chances are your skin is fairly pale. That means your entire color profile is in the pink/beige/red/orange family. The idea of flattering yourself with fabrics and colors is to create a contrast that allows your natural coloring to shine and grab attention, against a base that provides the eye with shades from the other side of the spectrum. The worst thing you can do is wash-out your color profile by wearing shades that are too similar to your natural coloring.

As a gentleman with red, or reddish, hair you want to avoid any pale, colorless fabrics (like heather grey, off-white, cream or pale khaki) as well as citrus colors of any kind (like orange, red, yellow, etc).

Go For: Dark Saturated Greens

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Emerald Worsted Suit & Mint Bengal Stripe Oxford by Articles of Style

Your best bet, believe it or not, is going green (especially if you have green eyes, like my man Greg here). A dark saturated green will off-set your skin & hair profile, and draw the attention up directly to your face and eyes – where it should be. Here we’ve actually used three shades of green; the emerald suit, the mint bengal stripe oxford shirt, and the forest green raw silk tie. Green sits on the opposite side of the Color Wheel, which is often a good general rule for finding a tasteful contrast.

Go For: Light Navy and Cool Blues

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Pacific Lambswool Suit and Sky Blue Boradcloth Shirt by Articles of Style

You can’t have too many blue clothing items, especially lighter shades like cobalt, cornflower, columbia, royal, etc. Light blues are unbelievably versatile and can be worn across seasons – which is part of the reason they have dominated the male wardrobe for so many decades. Again, back to the simple Color Wheel approach, light blue sits directly across from orange, which means it’s a good choice to provide a compelling combination.

Go For: Dark Browns

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Search our Brown Fabrics

Similar to green, brown can be a strong saturated base that provides a nice contrast against your lighter coloring. Look for browns that are cool, rich and saturated and try to avoid browns that have heavy-handed red tones, like Auburn, Hickory or Cayenne.

The Contrast Rule

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Essential Charcoal Suit by Articles of Style

Here’s one of the basic concepts of color theory: the contrast rule. If you have “high contrast” (your hair is very different in “darkness” than your skin) than you will look better in high-contrast garments (a suit that is much darker than your shirt, for example). And vice versa; if you have “low contrast” (hair similar in “darkness” to your skin) than you will likely look more cohesive in outfits that also have less contrast… More on this later.

Thanks, as always, for reading and special thanks to Greg for participating (by the way if you’re reading this, your hopsack suit just came in).

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier

Photography by Alex Crawford. 

  • Cowboy Hank

    Honestly Greg looks amazing in all of these pictures!

  • Paul

    I have red hair but it is a bit darker than the man pictured here. My eyes are very similar in color to my hair. I am pale. How does the having darker colored eyes with red hair change things?

  • TO

    The brown example looks so old school and charming on him (like a 1920s character from Boardwalk Empire!). Great series blastoff!

  • VC

    will you do an article on East Asian skin Dan?

    • http://www.ArticlesofStyle.com Westley Dimagiba

      working on it…