Better Red Than Dead! (No. It Isn’t Political. It is Fashionolitical!)

Whoa! Don’t judge.  Nyet!! Remember the slogan from the Cold War days of yore?  And red is the color of the political party I do NOT belong to!communist-poster

I’m not with them. Although I have to admit, those Russians of the Cold War era know how to make those communists look might strong!

However, red is my favorite color.  It goes back to childhood.  My mother used to dress me in bright yellow (a favorite but I’m allergic to bees and yellow attracts bees so I can’t wear yellow during bee season. Which leaves the dead of winter as the only time I can wear yellow) and red.

She said that red looked great with my fish belly white, pale, pasty, fair alabaster coloring and black hair. I guess it  also  looked good with my sunburned skin after a day at the beach!

It was a two doll Christmas. I must have been good that year.Now we know where my love of ironing started

Me and Sissy under the tree

I’ve been wearing red all my life. Although I have to say, I do believe my mother has me in too much red in the bottom photo.  Red goes well with my crossed eyes too!

And I don’t put that much stock in horoscopes, but with my Zodiac sign being Aries—the best color for this Ram-a-Lang-a-ding-dong lady is ….red!

And a couple of weeks ago when I read one of the blogs I read on a daily basis, une femme d’un certain âge, Susan’s post about red lit a candle under my ass.  Red is my favorite color and I have a lot of red in my wardrobe and elsewhere around the house.

East Side. Red Side. All Around The Townhouse! Ton’s of red!

Fuggetabout Halloween and Thanksgiving.


I treated myself to a beauty mask yesterday and realized this will be the extent of my halloween costume.  Less than two bucks. I’ll wear red lipstick though!  Trust me, this’ll scare the hell out of the trick-or-treaters!

  Christmas is my favorite season.  My home goes red. I try to get as many red ornaments on the tree. Why I even make sure that the roast I serve is deep red on the inside!

Down to the dishtowels, every accent in the home during Christmas is RED!

Alas, with the magical, fiery and passionate color, you have to be careful with her.  Just as there are many moods to a woman going through Menopause, There are many moods of red.   She has an abundance of shades, hues and variations ranging from burgundy to an orangey fire-engine red.

Not all reds work for my skin tone.  The burgundys look horrific on me. I look sickly and tired.  The fire-engine reds are a bit too orange and I have to beware of the other colors I wear with it.

I like my reds the way I like beef. Blue/red. That’s red with a touch of blue—it gives a cooler tone.


“Meat” is my favorite shade of red. I wish I could find this shade of red for clothing and lipstick!

 I have a brighter red on my fingers but a deeper red—not quite burgundy on my toes. The fingers look much better.   Oddly enough, I like the brighter red on my nails better! And speaking of nail color, you gotta go with what looks best on your skin tone.


The nail place didn’t have OPI’s Dutch Tulips in gel or regular so I had to change things up a bit. Darker on the toes. Brighter on the fingers!nlf15_g_youdontknowjacques_0It’s not red. But I am so in love with this nail color. I can’t wear it though–it looks awful with my coloring.  I have to wait till I can admire it on my daughter. Oona’s hands look great with this color nail!

My favorite nail color of all time is OPI’s “You Don’t Know Jacques”.  A beautiful clay, taupe, neutral that would look fabulous on my walls, it just looks awful on my hands.  My daughter Oona has the coloring that was made for “YDKJ” and wears it regularly. It looks lovely on her.

And over the years with my red experiences, I’ve realized a few things that I would love to share with you. I also want to share the fact that the clothes you will see are all years old. And 99.9 percent have been purchased on deep discounts.  I’m very budget-minded!

Red is not a color that you should wear from head to toe unless you are Santa Claus and even good ol’ Santa breaks up the look with white fur trim and black boots!  Red stands out and calls for attention.  We need to respect redness!


My Courreges ensemble is a hand-me-down from Daniele. I have to get this tailored and cleaned before I wear it. But–it’s a lotta red! And–this needs to be toned down with a black bag, black shoes and  no red on the lips!

If I’m wearing red on top, I won’t wear red accessories. One exception is a plaid scarf. More on that later on.   Really.  I’ll stick to my big white faux pearl necklace and wear a pearl bracelet or a gold-tone or leather-strapped watch. (This reminds me I need a black-banded watch. Put it on the list!)


My red Tippi Sweater from J. Crew. Boy, is this an oldie but goodie!

Same with my favorite red skirt that I got two years ago on sale for $29.99 at J. Crew. It’s my Christmas Skirt.


I LOVE this flouncy skirt. It’s such a fun skirt to wear during the holidays. It is a very heavy wool skirt and was worth far more than the $29.99 I paid for it! One of my best deals ever!


Here’s a better photo of the skirt.  On the left is an old faithful. A striped number I picked up at Old Navy too many years ago for a grand total of six bucks! Let me add. OLDER women over 50 and 60 CAN wear skirts like this. Keep it simple!

I’ll stick to one or two things red thing red—most of the time.

Here—let me show you how  in badly-focused photos. Trust me; this is a labor of love today. After I write the text I have to take my hair out of individual rollers, blow dry each section, put the rollers back in, and put makeup on, take out the rollers, Toppik my bald spots and get dressed.  I do this because I love you!


Do you like my red lips?  I do but it’s too much bother to wear a red lip on a daily basis. I have to do concealer then make sure it doesn’t bleed. This lip color is “Ulta Matte Lip Cream” in “Passion” It really is  a beautiful red!


I love everything in this pic–the bag, the shoes and the scarf. However, I would not wear all three at the same time. It would be a bit too accessory matchy-matchy for me.


The red flats (from J. Crew) nestled in between my Vince Camuto heels and the J. Crew factory flats with a hint of red in the plaid.


The latest addition to my red collection.  This was given to me by my childhood friend, Anne Neagle. She was cleaning out her closets and sent this fabulous bracelet. Anne knows I love red and the letter “H”!  Hello!!!!


I have a red Coach Legacy wallet that is now in storage. See that red clutch? It’s years old–I paid $9.99 at TJ Maxx and every time I wear it I get compliments. I also love the gold chain so when I’m holding a couple of drinks I can sling it over my shoulder.  I can’t omit my favorite Longchamp bag!


This Vera Bradley duffel bag?  I used it to cart Oona’s feis stuff many years ago. I use it to house my hair rollers these days!


The pants on the left have little tiny dots of red in the middle of the white designs. It is a very subtle touch of red and I love it! I’m wearing it with my new red bracelet–thank you Anne!  On the right–don’t judge. Don’t laugh. I actually DO wear these red plaid pants. I almost fainted when I saw them in the clearance rack at Old Navy for $7.00.  They look so great with a hunter green Tippi Sweater and Bass Weejuns.  I don’t care how “preppy boy” it looks. I love the look!


Here’s another look at the pants. The black ones have a bit of stretch!


Here’s a Buffalo Check shirt. It’s very hipster. I wear this with black leggings and black boots. I’m the cool mom!


Here’s another one of my all-time favorite looks. The checked skirt I got on sale at J. Crew. I love this flouncy look–it’s very flattering. But the black and red just rocks! I like the red bag with the red sweater.


For a change up, red heels look great too. But–a red bag with be overload. I would use a black bag!


On the left is too much red. Way too much. The photo on the right is a better example of wearing red for an office look. I paired the skirt with a navy Tippi sweater and Navy heels. Much better I think! Don’t you?


Whoa. This is so out-of-focus but I wanted to show a blazer that was “ADVERTISED AS RED” on the J. Crew site and is really an orange/red.  The scarf I’m wearing is the only scarf that I can wear with this monstrosity of a jacket. 

red-blazerI still haven’t forgiven J. Crew for LYING about the color of this blazer. But you know what? It’s just as much my fault for making an online purchase when I wasn’t sure of the color.  Beware of online photos and catalogue photos. Sometimes the color is “off”.  I still wear this though–but not that much!


A black Schoolboy Blazer (J. Crew didn’t lie this time about the color) worn with a navy and red scarf. (I love navy/black/red combos).  The jeans are Gap 1969 Legging Jeans in the short length.  I like this length with boots and ballet flats. With heeled shoes I like my jeans longer.  Again, if you want a bit more red the red ballet flats look fine with this. I prefer the black ballet flats. A red bag and the red leather bracelet give just the right amount of red..


This photo was so out-of-focus I had to post a small version. I’m wearing a navy Schoolboy blazer with a navy/red plaid scarf…

the-scarfs-of-rednessListen. If you aren’t crazy about red or are a bit shy of wearing it–a plaid scarf with a bit of red is a perfect choice!!!

scarfsDuring the winter, these heavier scarfs are great for hiding turkey neck and the colorful plaids are flattering to all skin tones!

THIS is the real 60 Wrinkles lines and all

A red sweater with a red plaid scarf is great too because it isn’t overkill. The other colors of the plaid keep it from being too much!


My most comfy articles of clothing are red-based! Oona will want her sweatshirt back after she sees this!


After changing all those outfits it was great to take everything off and slip into my “at home” sloppy look.  It was even better after I re-rolled my hair!


And just as I was about to end my post, Oona sent me this photo. She fell in love with this pillow.  Like mother. Like daughter!  I may have to run to Target to pick a couple of these babies up! Bonaparte will kill me if I bring another pillow into the house!

So what say you?  Are you better off red?  What color do you absolutely love that you have tons of?  I want to know. We all want to know!


Tchin Tchin!  I like my drinks red too! Here’s a toast to the color red and a toast to all my friends who are reading and not reading!

Of course, today’s song has to be “Lady in Red”. Chris de Burgh. 1986!

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
This entry was posted in Fashion for older women, How to Wear Red. and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Better Red Than Dead! (No. It Isn’t Political. It is Fashionolitical!)

  1. McKenzMorgan says:

    lol loved this post, have a good weekend girly.

  2. hipchick66 says:

    You look awesome in red and wear it well! I’ve been told my entire life that I look fabulous in red, but I just can’t wear it. I feel like it wears me. Burgundy and wine, and pink, I love. But I think the color I look best in is blue, any shade. The base of my wardrobe is gray so it’s always nice to add a color with it.

    • Catherine says:

      Thanks Lori! See–I love how blue looks on others but the only blue I can wear is Navy. Other blues just don’t suit me! I love gray though and when I reach my goal weight I want to buy a gray suit–but it’ll take a while because the pants will have to be skinny and ankle length! A bit of color is always welcomed–right?? XOXOXOXO!!!

  3. Tony Burgess says:

    Reminded of the Chris deBurgh song “Lady in Red”.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Tony! I thought of that at the last minute. I remember that song so well from the ’80’s!! It was either that or a song by the band “Simply Red”–and I’m still wishing Simply Red was still around!!! XOXOXO!!!

  4. amommasview says:

    You wear red very well! I love red and can wear many shades of it but some just don’t go well with my red hair.

    • Catherine says:

      Yo Momma! Hey. It’s great that you DO wear red. I know a few redheads that refuse to wear the color red and I’m completely confused. There is a shade of red for everyone, I’ll be you rock that color! XOXOXOXO!!!

      • amommasview says:

        Definitely! I agree. It took me long enough until I actually did but I’m glad I “ventured out”. I know which red I can wear now and I love wearing it!

  5. martha says:

    Love the red on you, looks so pretty with your dark hair. Also, thanks for the great weight loss inspiration.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Martha! Thanks!! I love red with black and my former natural black hair that is now dyed also loves red and thanks you!!! Hey. I’ll keep posting about the weight loss journey. It’s hard but every pound counts!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  6. Margaret says:

    I like a touch of red in my wardrobe too, it just seems to “class” things up, but mostly I have shades of blue and peach. Love those childhood photos, we all had those short little bangs in my family too!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Margaret! Right??? I think that’s one of the reasons I love red as well. It just gives that teeny bit of classiness—and its a happy color. Oh..the bangs. LOL. I had Oona’s hair in those bangs until she reached middle school and took control of her hair. Do little girls even wear bangs anymore????? XOXOXOXO!!!

  7. Annamarie Campbell says:

    I love red on you, Catherine! You inspire me to pick bolder colors for myself – but not red, it’s not a good look on me! Keep us updated on your weight loss journey because you are inspiring me with that as well!!😊

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Annamarie! Thanks. I’ll bet you would look fantastic with a bit of cobalt blue or yellow–even a bright orange!!! Oh..I’ll keep you posted on the weight loss for sure! XOXOXO!!!

  8. Miss Bougie says:

    With your dark hair, red suits you well. Love your red Longchamps bag and the tartan scarf; right up my alley!
    I wear a lot of pastel colours, especially close to the face. Whites, soft pinks or light peach. Some russet is ok too. Anything with a blue undertone, like fuchsia is a no-go for me, as is the colour brown. Except for shoes.
    Thanks so much for the fashion show. Great to be able to see what goes together and what not. You are inspiring me to look for skirts again. Haven’t worn one in ……… Can’t remember.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi B! Thanks..that red Longchamp is my fave and holds a ton of stuff! I also like white by my face. Damn woman–get some skirts. They are so comfortable and can always be dressed up or down–that’s why I love them so much!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  9. Rachel says:

    This post looked like fun to do, but hard work too… Thank you! It was fun to read.
    I love a good blue based red too. Now I’m in my mid 30s though, the reds that used to work so well with my blonde hair don’t go as good with my darker hair… Funny how blonde goes dark as it gets older/sees more sun.
    This post has made me realise I need to find a new signature colour… I’m quite partial to green, which means I’m all sorted for Christmas 🙂

    • Catherine says:

      Rachel–thanks! It was work but it was fun work. If I’m doing a post, I am keepin’ it real!! Isn’t it funny how that works with color as we age? I was always able to wear green of any color when I was younger and now most greens wash me out. A perfect example is hunter green–but if I wear a strand of pearls around the neckline of a hunter sweater, it’s not bad. See? Red for me. Green for you! We make a perfect Christmas coloring pair!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  10. calensariel says:

    LOVE that red top with the gray plaid skirt! 😀

  11. doodletllc says:

    Hi Catherine – Love this Color Post – I’m sure you had your colors done once upon a time…right? You know, colors by the seasons? You are most definitely a Winter (all the bold contrast colors work for you – black/white, navy, dark green, and of course Red). Winters have dark/black hair and light skin and dark eyes or Black Hair/Dark Skin/Dark Eyes). Usually. My girls (from China) are Winters – They OWN the Color Red. Just like you. When they wear red it’s impossible to take your eyes off them. I’m a Summer – Brown Hair/Light Eyes/Light Skin. Summers can wear all the muted Winter colors – off white, rose, periwinkle blue. Then there are the Springs (Blondes/Light eyes/Light Skin) who can wear pastels. And the Autumns (Red Hair/light Eyes/Light Skin). So..I really enjoyed your post. My mantra – if a color doesn’t feel right, then it is not your color. 🙂

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Jeanne. Actually..I’ve never had my colors done. Lots of my friends did and from what they told me, I’m definitely a winter–just like your daughters! My daughter, Oona is a Summer just like you. That girl can rock off white, tan, rose like there is no tomorrow and I look absolutely wan and sick in those colors. I completely agree with you though on if it doesn’t feel right, then it isn’t your color! And a flattering color can do wonders! When Oona was doing Irish Dance, her teacher had the school’s costume (for ceili teams) a dark purple with white trim. She said dark purple was flattering to all skin tones and she was right. That color looked beautiful on all the girls!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  12. angelin2014 says:

    Great post and Hmm, I have to admit being a slave to black, at least in the winter even if I do navy as well. Actually all shades of blue because they highlight my ol´blue eyes:) In the summer I go crazy and fill my wardrobe with color and prints. Red is a lovely color and I love it, being black haired and alabaster-skinned like yourself. But I don´t have enough of it in my wardrobe. Since I´m sort of growing up and doing a classic/boho wardrobe (think Diane von F) I might get some more red in there just to spice things up!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Angelin! Yeah! Red is the spiciest color! It’s funny because during the summer, I do like a wardrobe of brighter colored dresses and in the winter it’s black, gray, navy and a touch of red!!XOXOXOXO!!!

  13. julietC says:

    Wow you really rock the red thing missus! I love your choice of outfits – you always get it just right and your lippy is fabulous. I am late to the red “thing” I think that is partly down to confidence (my mother had a bit of a “queen bee” complex so my sister and I were quite cowed I think in response to her owning the room, she has never dealt well with competition, bless her) and also I think red is often a colour people can grow into – our skin tone changes and I am sure we wear it differently when we get older with more pizazz and confidence and it needs personality. I decided on a whim on Friday to buy a red lipstick (a raspberry shade of red, but really out there for me), I got loads of compliments when I wore it yesterday so am wearing it again today, normally I go lip-neutral but it has made me re-think – what was I avoiding? I reckon there is a red out there for nearly everyone who wants it, red more than any other colour is a state of mind

    • Catherine says:

      Juliet. I’m so glad that you went out of the neutral box to wear a red lippie. And people noticed. And they loved it!!! My mother dealt TOO well with competition and was always setting us girls up against each other. It was not a good thing! It’s true though..there is a red for everyone. And you’re right about your skin changing. When Oona was in grade school, I dressed her in red a lot. She NEVER wears it now. She looks so much better in muted colors. It’s amazing. I’m fascinated by the colors that she looks incredible in! Hmmmm. I may wear a yellow skirt to work tomorrow!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  14. Yvonne says:

    Catherine, thank you so much for spending so much time with your posts. It would take me a week or more to put this together. I used to wear a lot of red and when I went to the Nationals baseball found I had nothing red in the cupboard except my stripey beach dress – not sure why I brought that to Washington. I think I need to buy something red posthaste and I too am a blue red not orange red. I love, love the Courreges dress and you would look amazing in it with your fab legs. I also really like the plaid trousers and that reminds me that I gave my Clements Ribeiro plaid skirt to my daughter. Love the post punk image of a red plaid. You really rock the red lipstick. Well guess I am loving everything, but sorry to say I couldn’t sit through Chris de Burgh.

    • Catherine says:

      Yvonne. WHAT? You couldn’t sit through Chris de Burgh? I literally spit out my water from laughing at that. That Courreges outfit. I am filled with love. Daniele was so good to me!! Funny thing about the plaid trousers. My friend Anne who gave me the red H bracelet–had those same pants. I think it is a catholic school uniform thing that they embed in our heads!!! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you so much! XXOXOXOXO!

  15. Well, as a Scorpio they say my colours are red and black…
    So the base colours in my wardrobe are black, a lot of it, red also quite much, grey, also a lot of it and finally beige – funny enough despite loving beige I don’t have much of it… yet!
    I think it was my grandmother who taught me that you never use more than tree colours so for example in my case; black pants, white shirt, red sweater, red socks in black shoes, black jacket, black bag, black scarf with a red pattern for outer wear) (or a black suit scarf with a white pattern that you put inside your shirt) and according to my beloved grannie your outer scarfs should always be in cashmere or alpaca while your suit scarf always should be in silk, yes she was very snobbish, but also very stylish!
    But besides being a snob, the most important she learned me was to treat every person with dignity and respect and never look down on anyone bc of their profession, origin, colour or education

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Maleandro. Your grandmother was right–in fashion and humanity!! She must have been an incredible woman–one that all women can aspire to be like!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  16. Momcat says:

    Love your lip colour! My colouring is similar and I look sorta washed out in beige or pale pink lipstick.(nudes never work on me, sorry Bobbi Brown) my latest fave is Nars’ Cruella! A great bluey red…Red is my colour and I wear it a lot usually with black. Heck up here in the frozen North even my coyote trimmed parka is bright red. Red is my neutral and I had no trouble forking over 800.00 for a parka in that colour…cheers me up every time I put it on. Good thing cause I’ll be wearing that thing into my 90’s!
    Kir Royale is delicious! I bought a bottle of locally made cassis in Québec, should root through the liquor cabinet, find that baby and pour me up a glass of bubbly deliciousness! And it’s red….
    Tchin tchin!!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Momcat! That lipcolor was purchased on one of those crazy whims at Ulta but I really love the color. It’s too much work though to wear it every day because I have to line my lips so the color doesn’t bleed then I have to make sure my lips aren’t chapped–and I’m lazy! LOL. I have a red parka but it was a lot less expensive and from L.L. Bean. But you’re right. Red IS a happy color!! We load up on the “good” cassis when we go to France. We smuggle. I swear, I’ll sound like a lush, but I look forward to my weekends and my little Kir Royales!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  17. mareymercy says:

    I love a good red lip but every time I try to wear it myself it just feels off somehow. Looks so great on you though! Red definitely is your color.

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