2008 April 2


As everybody knows, red is a head-turning colour, and this year it’s turned up everywhere, and not just for women. Red has long been associated with theatricality, with warfare and with general flamboyance which is why it appears so often in military clothing and in the ‘uniforms’ of superheroes. You might wonder why it doesn’t turn up in the police, ambulance and fire services in that case and the answer is simple – we associate red with aggression, not help.

So how do men wear red without giving off the wrong signals?

Red braces or a red tie are ultimately associated with the Hooray Henrys of the worst kind, and lots of red suggests clown costumes or that you’re moonlighting at Butlins. However, this year, menswear on the catwalk featured a lot of red for the summer months, including shoes from Vans and Paul Smith, trousers from Lacoste and lots of red leather jackets. Polo shirts, T-shirts and iPods are all turning up in red, as are hoodies … lots and lots of red hoodies.

So why has this happened?

Well, just as skirts get shorter when we have a boom, and longer when recession strikes, black tends to be the colour of prosperity where red is the colour of a gamble … and it might just be that designers are picking up on the shaky economic climate. If wearing red seems a step too far to you, consider red with black stripes, which is also turning up a lot this year, and which combines the confidence of black with the action-stations bravura of red.

Red uniforms courtesy of acme

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