7 Ways to Wear a Red Dress
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  • Writer's pictureBrenda

7 Ways to Wear a Red Dress

Updated: May 25

Although there is a surge in the appearance of red dresses particularly around Valentine’s Day, a red outfit does not have to be reserved for a lovers’ night out. Red is a bold color to be worn when you’re ready to be the centre of attention at an event. There are different shades of red and I shall be covering them in this post.

In today’s blog post, I would be covering different red dress outfits you can wear for both formal events as well as casual ones. I would be suggesting items you can wear to cover up and keep warm if you are dressing up during the colder months. I would also be giving you some great ideas of shoes to pair with your red looks.


Some people shy away from wearing red because they feel as though it does not compliment their skin tone. I suggest you play around with darker and lighter shades of the red color to see which one works best for you. Darker shades of red look really nice on dark skin while light shades of red compliment paler skin.

Before we dive into what to wear with a red dress, let’s talk about wear to find the best red dresses. Whether you’re looking for a red dress to wear to a holiday party, date night or to hang out with the girls, there’s a red dress for that. I would be sharing some of my best sites to shop for red dresses below.

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links, at no cost to you.

Where to shop for red dresses

i) Lulus

Lulus has lots of options of red dresses to choose from, perfect for casual or formal events. They tend to range in price from $50-$80, making them pretty affordable. They also offer red dresses in different styles and THIS off-the-shoulder mini dress is one of my favorites. It would be a great choice to wear to a less formal event such as a friend’s birthday party.

ii) Pretty Little Thing

If you’re looking to turn up the sexy in a red dress, you have to check out Pretty Little Thing. A lot of their dresses are designed to really show off your figure. Their Shape line features pieces that accentuate your curves by making your waist look smaller and sucking in belly fat. That’s why THIS red strappy midi dress is my preferred choice.

iii) Amazon

You’re already buying everything else from Amazon, why not also get your next red dress there? If you’re not feeling a form-fitting red dress, try opting for an A-line swing dress such as THIS ONE. The bust line is flattering on women with a fuller chest and the flared style would easily hide any stomach fat. You could wear it to the office or to a formal event.

iv) Nordstrom

Nordstrom’s selection of red dresses would be great for a special occasion. If you’re not a fan of bright red, try a deep red dress the next time you’re headed to a special event. The more subtle red is the perfect choice for an evening look. THIS Gina long sleeve blazer dress is a great way to show your personally style in a red outfit.

v) Revolve

If you are looking for the perfect red gown to walk down the red carpet in, the red dresses on the Revolve clothing website should meet your expectations. Prepare to have all eyes on you in THIS spaghetti strap Odessa gown. It would also make for a daring date dress thanks to the high slit.

Now that you know my favorite places to shop for red dresses, let’s talk about the different ways to style them. Red clothes can be work all-year long if you’re comfortable adding a pop of color to your outfit. You do not have to save them for formal occasions.

What to wear with a red dress

1) A fur wrap or stole

A fur wrap is an elegant way of styling a cocktail dress to keep warm. Some people refer to them as a stole or even a shrug. You can gently drape one across your sleeveless dresses or elevate your entire outfit. If you are not a fan of real fur, there are many faux fur options you can find that are just as elegant.

Get the look HERE

This is a great option to go with when you’re wearing a fancy red gown to a special occasion. Complete your look with a pair of gold shoes such as gold strappy sandals.

2) Black shoes

Here is another option that could seems a bit much for many due to the contrast in colors. To avoid this, I prefer to go for a pair of black sandals rather than black pumps. This allows for more skin to be seen thus breaking up the black. A black pair of shoes does not necessarily mean heels.

Get the look HERE

During the colder months, you could pair a red sweater dress with a pair flat black boots to create some chic everyday wear perfect for the colder months. To keep your shoulders and arms warm, you could throw on a bolero such as THIS ONE.

3) A silk scarf

Adding a silk scarf to a simple red cocktail dress is a great way to not only make your outfit more interesting but also add some extra warmth. I suggest choosing a large scarf if you really want to cover your arms and shoulders. This is a stylish look you could rock to as a wedding guest to a winter wedding.

Get the look HERE

Complete your look with heels in neutral colors if your scarf features a bold print. Nude shoes such as THESE ONES would make for a great choice. Instead of going for your typical little black dress, try giving a little red dress a try.

4) Red shoes

The perfect red dress can be paired with the perfect red shoes for an awesome monochromatic look. You could either play with a different shade of red for both or go really bold and keep them both in the exact same shade of red.

Get the look HERE

If you’re going for a full red on red look, break things up with accessories in a different color to avoid looking cartoon-y. Add some warmth to your bold red dress by adding a chic shawl. Choose a shawl in a neutral shade if your shoes and dress are in different colors.

5) A small cardigan

Cropped cardigans in neutral colors are easy to pair with evening wear styled for the cold climate. You can create more stylish looks with a short cardigan versus a long and bulky one which would take away from the beauty of your cocktail dress. A cropped cardigan could be worn with a midi dress to accentuate your waist and create many stylish looks.

Get the look HERE

Small cardigans are more formal than long cardigans so wear them with your cocktail dresses and more formal gowns. Pair your outfit with shoes that either match your cardigan or compliment its color. If this is a more casual look, you could go with a pair of white sneakers.

6) Silver shoes

Silver shoes sometimes get forgotten when there’s gold on the list but they are rightfully on this list. Silver pumps or open-toe heels look great against the brightness of red and the two are great complementary colors.

Get the look HERE

Pair your silver heels with some silver accessories and you’ve got yourself an eye-catching outfit, perfect for the holiday season. If your red dress is in a darker shade of red and you want a pop of brightness, then a silver heel is for you.

7) A kimono

Kimonos can be worn both casually as well as for a special event. I have mentioned on this blog that longer kimonos are typically reserved for casual events such as festivals. Shorter kimonos can be worn on top of a short-sleeved dress to create a stylish and warmer look.

Get the look HERE

Look for kimonos in solid colors or with minimal print if your dress is busy. Or you can play around with colors, depending on your personal style.

I hope you have gotten some great ideas of how to style a red dress for different occasions. I have also provided some of the best shoe colors to pair with a red dress to create a chic look. Remember to always respect the dress code of whichever event you are headed to.

Get the dress HERE

Do check out my post: 8 items you can wear over a cocktail dress if you need some more ideas of what to wear over a formal dress.

Wondering how to style denim shoes? Check out my post: 9+ Outfits to Wear With Denim Shoes.

I also have a post titled: 6 shoes to wear with a cocktail dress if your red dress is cocktail style.

Until the next post,



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