Puttin’ On The Red

Puttin’ On The Red

I don’t have a love-hate relationship with red, but it’s a little bit…awkward. I love how dramatic, exciting and memorable red is but I have a hard time living with it. I’ve had a red kitchen several times. Three to be exact and they were all the same kitchen. I was our painter back then so it was easy to experiment.

I loved the color going on the walls. I loved the cozy feeling it gave the kitchen, but after a week or two, I repainted it taupe. The texture on the walls was beginning to smooth out when I finally threw in the paint rag and admitted that I couldn’t live with a red kitchen.

In the last 25 or so years, I’ve only had a few red items in my wardrobe and one plaid with red in it. I love red on others but experience has shown that a little bit goes a long way with me. Which is why I was shocked to find these cranberry red pants in my shopping bag.

Maybe it was the cool tone that attracted me because I know they’ll coordinate with other colors in my wardrobe, but whatever the reason, I decided to brave them. I chose the regular length because the petite inseam is a full 2 1/2 inches shorter. Inseams usually differ by an inch or so but that’s pretty significant. I prefer straight leg ankle pants to cover my ankle unless they’re very skinny, so this length is perfect for me.Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life wearing causal plaid shirt with pink sweater over her shoulders

Tea rose is a flattering color near my face so I tossed this cotton pullover around my shoulders. I was delighted to love the mix of tea rose with red. Sweater sets are strong for fall so you may see plenty of them worn this way. It gives a preppy, relaxed vibe when worn with insouciance. If you wear it with confidence it won’t come off as contrived. My attitude is even if it comes off as goofy, it’s a fun look.

Even if I owned red shoes, I wouldn’t have worn them here. Baby steps for me with red. I need to wear it as an accent color, not a mainstay.

How about you?

Are you wild about red?

How do you wear it?


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  1. Janet
    September 9, 2019 / 3:42 am

    I too have had difficulties with wearing red. It needs to be a cool tone and even so I don’t always feel comfortable wearing it. Two exceptions: black and red check and red shoes/booties. No idea why although possibly the psychology of colour.

  2. September 9, 2019 / 4:23 am

    You look adorable with this deep red pant, multi top with tea rose draped sweater. Like you, and others I expect, I tend to avoid most reds, except a darker cool red near my face. I have a similarly colored pant in my closet but other than prints or plaids, never know what to pair with them.
    For that reason I really don’t wear them very often. I’m avoiding white as it washes me out unless I add a scarf.

  3. Cynthia D Brown
    September 9, 2019 / 4:31 am

    I’m with you….I just gave away a little worn red tunic. Nothing at all wrong with it fit or style-wise, but I never wore it. Now, give me a repair of red shoes, a red belt, watch band or some red in a scarf, and I’m all over it!

    • September 9, 2019 / 6:18 am

      I’m going to keep my eyes open for red shoes. I think they’ll be awesome.

  4. Laurel
    September 9, 2019 / 4:42 am

    Love red! I have three pairs of red shoes/boots, and my favorite rain coat is red. It has to be a warm orangey red for me, though. These pants are great, and I have always loved the look of a sweater thrown over the shoulders. Cute!

  5. Yvonne
    September 9, 2019 / 4:43 am

    I’m with you about red. I only use it as an accent to decorate, and in accessories or a top. Over the years I have toyed with the idea of a red coat many times, but ended up purchasing in royal blue, magenta or purple instead. Not sure why I find red just too much colour for me.

  6. sheryl
    September 9, 2019 / 4:48 am

    I love the red kitchen story. About 5 years ago we redid the ours from the walls out. When i was picking out granite, I found the most beautiful red, i stood in front of it for probably 15 minutes, and then came back to it at least twice….because i just didnt think i had the interior design talent enough to justify it, (it was pricier than the budget was) . I still think about it from time to time though… In my closet, I do have a few pieces of red, including a gorgeous red suede stilleto bootie, that hasnt seen the light of day in a couple of years in south florida, but i refuse to give them up. and on the sweater sets, i have probably a half dozen , and i ignore the youngsters who call them for grandmas…they are great for the cold office, cold resturants, cold planes…

    • September 9, 2019 / 6:12 am

      Red granite would have been a virtually permanent decision that might be hard to sell, if you want to move. Probably safest to have passed on that one. Now paint! That’s easy to change 😉

  7. Cheryl
    September 9, 2019 / 4:58 am

    You look fabulous in this outfit. Like you, I have only a few pieces of red and it must be a cooler red. I find burgundy easier to wear. Not sure why as anytime I do wear red I always get compliments!

  8. Nancy
    September 9, 2019 / 4:58 am

    I really love a warm red. Since I have so few clothes (we live in a 24 foot motor home, 128 sq feet) and they are mostly hiking kayaking bike riding laundromat capable, I am learning to *act like* I have complete confidence and practice the the most regal posture ever. Yes, I look awesome in my Under Armour T-shirt with a lovely scarf, I just know it.
    Your post about dressing for others or for ourselves, worrying about what people think, really hit home. Thank you for that.

    • September 9, 2019 / 6:10 am

      Feeling awesome is what counts. You’re living a dream lifestyle for many. Toss that scarf over your tee and wear it with confidence Nancy. Smile, add lipstick and go kayaking. It’s all in the details and how you feel.

  9. September 9, 2019 / 5:03 am

    I am on the other side of the coin! I love red! You can see my red family room and breakfast area on my blog right now in my Fall decoration post. I have been considering these exact red pants. I have two pair of the Quinn pants and they are great! I really want the red ones. This is a perfect outfit for you, Jennifer!!

  10. Erika
    September 9, 2019 / 5:12 am

    I think I’m obsessed with this outfit. I don’t usually do red pants either, because I think I won’t wear them often enough. But the shade on these is terrific. I love the way the pants pick up the red in the plaid shirt. It all looks comfy, trendy and on point for fall. I think you look great in all your clothes. Thanks for always putting yourself out there for us to examine. I get so many new ideas. So helpful for us to see clothes on a real person!

    • September 9, 2019 / 6:06 am

      I was skeptical about the red, but now I’m sold! This cranberry is an amazing shade.

  11. Kathy
    September 9, 2019 / 5:24 am

    This is my favorite outfit I’ve ever seen you in! You look fabulous in red. I can’t wear pink but maybe I could with the other items

    • September 9, 2019 / 6:04 am

      Thank you Kathy! That’s so kind

  12. Barb
    September 9, 2019 / 5:54 am

    As a “winter,” I love a blue red and consider it my signature color. You look great in those pants, and the entire outfit for that matter, so now I think I need some red jeans! That’s probably the only clothing item that I don’t already have in red.

  13. Beth
    September 9, 2019 / 6:29 am

    You look fabulous in this outfit! The blouse tones down the red perfectly. I’m not a red wearer either but I love this outfit. It really makes you pop! Stick with this one.

  14. September 9, 2019 / 6:44 am

    I’m probably the least stylish person you’ve ever met. Since retiring and adding a couple decades, I haven’t found a ‘look’, but this one looks great on you. For me, I’d probably do a black jean with a red sweater and shoe;. I have also found a red blazer to be a great thing to have in your closet. Do you have suggestions for women with a ‘large’ chest?

  15. Catherine
    September 9, 2019 / 6:52 am

    red is one of my favourite colours. I am careful about the shade of red to make sure it is cool. No orange red for me! I wear it a lot but in moderation, pants, blazer or sweater for example. One solid piece per outfit! Red is a big colour that goes a long way.

  16. Cathy Cunningham
    September 9, 2019 / 6:53 am

    Love this outfit on you. Like you, I do not have hardly any red in my closet. Love the cranberry coloured pants. I would certainly wear them.

  17. mrsben
    September 9, 2019 / 7:06 am

    Do like the shade of your pants as personally prefer the color of ‘primary’ red either just in accessories or in its form of secondary or tertiary colors. Wishing you a beautiful week. -Brenda-

  18. September 9, 2019 / 7:14 am

    I love wearing red! I’m an advocate for Go Red for Women, so that’s another great reason to dabble in red!
    You look great in red, Jennifer, and on dreary days, it’s a great way to add some cheerfulness.
    Thanks for showing another side of your style!

  19. Chris
    September 9, 2019 / 7:25 am

    I love red!! I don’t wear it much, but I often use it for home decor….especially accessories like throws, accent pillows, and bath towels.

  20. Pam Schieffer
    September 9, 2019 / 7:34 am

    Whatever color it is, it looks great on you!

  21. Terry
    September 9, 2019 / 7:36 am

    Both my husband and I have a strong distaste for red. As a result, we have no red clothing at all and nothing red in our home. The red-free life is good! I suppose my version of red is orange in the summer and rust in the winter. But your outfit looks great on you.🙂

    • September 9, 2019 / 8:35 am

      That’s hilarious and wonderful that you share the same dislike for red 🤣

  22. Rose Brock
    September 9, 2019 / 7:48 am

    Love your outfit! I love, love red. We have a country red wall from the kitchen into the dining room. One wall is enough, it’s a great accent. I’m always looking for a great pair of red shoes. My last pair wore out!

  23. September 9, 2019 / 9:05 am

    The cranberry pants look great! I feel a trip to J Jill coming on…

  24. Penelope
    September 9, 2019 / 9:31 am

    Do you remember when, back in the 70’s and 80’s, women were encouraged to wear red “power suits” in business.? It was a big thing. I could never do it. Too loud for me.
    The idea of red in decor is appealing to me from September through February but not beyond. So, like you, I think I’ll stick to neutrals with red seasonal accessories.
    I don’t wear much red in my current location.. its too hot year round. . There are two red items in my closet feeling abandoned … a knit jacket and matching suede shoes, waiting to be worn someday in a cooler climate.
    The nice thing about red is, it’s always in style. And everyone can wear some shade of it. It’s rarely a bad investment.

    I really like the cranberry pants and pink sweater. An unexpected combo that I think looks chic, rich, and fun at the same time. I’m sure that outfit will get lots of use. The sweater and pants both have much potential to be dressed up or down. That appeals to me.

  25. Laura Jane
    September 9, 2019 / 9:39 am

    I love your outfit. I don’t look good in red, but I like it on others! The closest thing I have is a burgundy top that I take out a Christmas time. 🙂 I’m fair with rosy cheeks and reddish brown hair, so I’m more of a blues and greens person. I also had a red kitchen once and couldn’t live with it! Currently we have shades of gray and blue throughout the house.

    • September 10, 2019 / 8:20 pm

      My house is all neutral gray 😉

  26. Denise
    September 9, 2019 / 9:56 am

    Love Red. It’s my favorite color. The red pants look awesome on you. I don’t think I could pull it off tho as I have thicker legs. Will wear red accessories especially around my face but it has to be the perfect red (blue-red) as I an cool toned.

    • September 10, 2019 / 8:19 pm

      Even thought these aren’t near my face, I could never wear them if they were orangey red.

  27. September 9, 2019 / 10:03 am

    I love red and have several clothing items in various shades of red. I have some Cranberry pants, similar to yours, that I love and wear with a variety of tops. I also have some burgundy jeans that I love and wear often. I do not have any Christmas red pants and I doubt I get any. Tops are another thing! Several solid red tops including sweaters, tees and tanks and a red plaid shirt I adore. In the spring I got a red floral tunic type top that I get compliments on every time I wear it. Scarfs with red, red jewelry and 2 pairs of red shoes( 1sandals). I just bought a pair of rust colored ankle boots and can’t wait for cool weather to wear them. When I wear red, it’s usually only one item, unless I add red jewelry, scarf or shoes as an accent. I love color!

    • September 10, 2019 / 8:18 pm

      You do sound like a color lover! I’m getting there Norma!

  28. Eve
    September 9, 2019 / 12:05 pm

    I have a shirt like that in pink and grey plaid. I wear it with grey jeans and white jeans with matching long cardigans. but I never thought of red. I love the color of that pink sweater too. Who knew a little pink plaid shirt could be so versatile? Red pants in a cool red would fit right in with my favorite white sweater and tan boots too.

  29. Sarah
    September 9, 2019 / 12:05 pm

    You always look great but this outfit is absolutely fabulous on you. Just stunning. Please wear it often. Would also be great for the festive season when I, who never wears red, love to bring out my red pieces in celebration of the traditions of Christmas!

    • September 10, 2019 / 8:17 pm

      Thank you. They will certainly get worn a lot around the holidays;)

  30. September 9, 2019 / 12:11 pm

    That outfit is gorgeous on you and you look very comfortable in it; one of your best looks. The pieces look like they were created for you and your skin color is lovely in these pics. Winner! I happen to LOVE red and wear it often in winter in cool red pieces or cranberry colored pieces and bright tomato red in summer. My favorite piece from last year is a long plaid cool red and black coat. As far as a red kitchen – don’t think so.

    • September 10, 2019 / 8:16 pm

      That coat sounds amazing!

  31. Angela in NZ
    September 9, 2019 / 2:34 pm

    Grey with red is my favourite and choosing the right contrast either pale or dark.

  32. Karen
    September 9, 2019 / 4:40 pm

    Red is my favorite color! I can’t wear it because it overwhelms my coloring. I plant it in my garden instead.

    • September 10, 2019 / 8:15 pm

      It’s funny you should mention gardens. I love red flowers!

  33. Betty (SC)
    September 10, 2019 / 5:00 am

    For some reason, I wear more red in the summer months. I have a few red sweaters for fall. Give me my red lipstick, and I crush on red handbags! 👜

  34. Linda
    September 10, 2019 / 8:19 pm

    You look great! I don’t wear red in clothing but love red shoes. Also have a watch with red leather band. Red shoes are almost a neutral in my wardrobe.

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