How to Wear Red & Green For Summer

by jennine on May 10, 2011

Red and green, two opposing colors on the color wheel, the colors of Christmas and two-thirds of the Tricolore…  Two colors are hard to put together without communicating some visually loaded color scheme… your local sports team. Wearing black and orange in San Francisco, and you’re showing civic pride, across the continent you look like a jack-o-lantern.

My two favorite colors are red and green. It has been so difficult to pair my two favorites together over the years, as sometimes red and green will make you look like a Christmas Tree. Thank goodness I went to art school that forced me to take color theory, and noticed you can make any color combination happen just as long as you have the right tint-tone-shade. Ha! No really. I’m a firm believer that the subtleties of color can make anything possible. Here, I’ve mixed a brilliant red silk skirt that has been lurking in my closet for ages with an olive green silk blouse. The olive green subdues any color and is so neutral it really can be paired with anything… even another shade of green.

How to mix up color combinations:

  • Colors are complex, consider things like contrast, brightness, and undertones
  • Look for detailing in garments to and accessories to mix things up
  • Have fun, don’t worry about the rules and just break them, use your instinct and create something new.

Wearing: Blouse: J Crew • Skirt: Vintage • Shoes: Vintage • Glases: Super

Photos by Debie Kim

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Crystal May 10, 2011 at 12:34 pm

I so desperately wanted to see the ‘Christmas Tree’ look so as to make it okay. There is an outfit I had in my head with the xmas colours and just cannot wear it. *sigh
Your advice is great though!
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jennine May 10, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Oh yeah… I know! I can’t wear red and green together unless they are different enough!


Britt+Whit May 10, 2011 at 12:35 pm

very cute! i just shot an outfit thats red and green! Cant wait to post after reading this! great minds think alike

love from San Francisco,



Sacramento May 10, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Loving your colour combo , and adoring your shoes.


Marie May 10, 2011 at 1:00 pm

You are right, it so depends on the shade of the colors. I have never articulated as well as you have but something about my color mixing always bugs me if the intensities don’t work well together.

Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge Spring Necklace giveaway
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Annimal May 10, 2011 at 1:01 pm

I love wearing red and green together! Nothing like the perfect vintage pattern on your heels to tie it all together!! I rely heavily on vintage prints to do that for me, they are my jump off and I build the outfit from there.
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Jessie May 10, 2011 at 1:12 pm

i am a huge fan of these two brights. i recently purchased a bright green equipment shirt and love it to death. looks fabulous with a pair of jeans and sexy heels.
Jessie´s last blog ..The Lustful Luxe List of things I sort of need before paris- aka chanel- chloe- comme des garçons and isabel marantMy ComLuv Profile


Pam @over50feeling40 May 10, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Love this whole look…but especially the SHOES!! This shade of green is my favorite…I wear it often. I might need to look for a red skirt now! I actually have on a top today similar to this, with khaki slim pants, and a print scarf…it is such a great color!
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Sweet Harvest Moon May 10, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Love it! I really like your lipstick and sunnies :)


Michelle of Chellbellz May 10, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Cuteness! I love the shoes!


Jacqueline May 10, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Love the first picture. A big smile and awesome outfit always make a great photo.
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Kori May 10, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Loving those shoes! Wow! Have a great day darling! Kori xoxo
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Nickie Frye May 10, 2011 at 5:23 pm

That shade of green is perfect on you! I love the color combination & agree that most color combo’s can be pulled off if they are the right shades/tones.
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Marissa May 10, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Ha - I was a little concerned when I saw the title of this post. I thought to myself, “Oh no, Jennine’s gone and dressed like a Christmas tree.” I should have known better and trusted you from the beginning. :)


Joy May 10, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Great how to guide! Love it!
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Drew May 10, 2011 at 6:52 pm

THOSE SUNGLASSES ARE MAJOR!! My least favourite colour is red, but that outfit totally works!
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laurrenwelch May 10, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Gorgeous! It can be tricky to pair red and green together, and you do it beautifully! Love those glasses and that rich hair color, too!

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eli May 10, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Ah yes, maybe if it was a kelly green it wouldnt have the same effect (other than the Christmasy kind).

I’ve never seen so many more people wear black and orange together in my LIFE since moving to SanFran, hehe
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Fashion Limbo May 11, 2011 at 2:44 am

agree that it’s a lot about experimenting and taking the risk if it feels good. Using your instict to feel whether the colour combination works. I was shopping with my little sister this past weekend and it was unbelievable how little faith she had in combining shades…we found a pair of olive trousers and the cut was perfect, but she didn’t want them because she kept complaining she wouldn’t be able to wear them with anything! I kept listing the colours she could work them with to no avail… in the end she bought the same pair in black. It really is about going for the colours you like then playing around with them to see that it actually does work.
Love those shoes you are wearing xxx
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Dawn May 11, 2011 at 2:59 am

Trust my instincts you say! Not a good idea. I’ve never really got a good handle on color. I rely on people like you to tell me what I can and can’t wear together!

Love the shoes. Just delicious!


BeLighter May 11, 2011 at 3:55 am

Love your shoes!!!
I agree, it’s all about the subtleties of tones, shades, mix of colours. Great outfit!
(thank God I don’t like green!)
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meghan @ out of order May 11, 2011 at 11:19 am

Oooh I’m loving your hair and sunglasses! The colors look great together, and your bag really makes it great <3
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Ginta May 11, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Couldn’t agree more - it’s all about the shades of the colors.
I absolutely love your shoes - they’re soooo cute!
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Eboni Ife' May 11, 2011 at 11:27 pm

Great job with Red and Green, Jennine. I am always leery of this color combination because it feels to much like the holidays but you are so right about the olive shade. It is green, but it doesn’t scream green… if that makes sense. Lol. Great pairing (I’ll probably be copying you!)
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lippylash May 13, 2011 at 4:53 am

you look lovely!! the red and green together is amazing..


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