One of my favorite quotes is from the movie Moonstruck, when Cher’s character, Loretta Castorini, declares, “In time you’ll drop dead and I’ll come to your funeral in a red dress!” Needless to say, the red dress has been given the reputation of the wearer being sexy, scandalous and all-in-all bad news. I have gone by the motto for years that every woman needs at least one pair of red shoes in her closet. And that isn’t because women should feel dangerous and sexy (even though that may be your goal depending on what occasion you may wear them for), but because I feel that a little bit of red makes one feel bold and empowered, two feelings that will go far in the workplace.
A red dress to a funeral may be inappropriate. However a red dress to the office does not have to be. Make sure it’s appropriate in cut, length and fit, and wear a shade of red that compliments your skin tone. If fire engine red makes your eyes pop, then by all means work that look. If blood red brings color to your cheeks, then make sure to flaunt it with some powerful pumps. A note on the accessories with the red dress: Don’t match. The red dress is a statement piece – you don’t want your accessories to fight it for attention. Wear black, tan or bone-colored shoes and make sure your handbag compliments the color of your footwear. And wear simple jewelry or just one statement piece.
Don’t have a red dress? I’d start with this Nicole Miller silk twill dress right now on sale through Bloomingdale’s. It’s appropriate, powerful, the construction is interesting, and it will no doubt ensure that attention is paid to you during your board meeting and not the Blackberry.