Why I’m Embracing Red as My Power Color

A story of confidence.

By Kelly Krause

Earlier this summer I was getting ready for a style-related event in Austin and realized I was completely uninspired by my closet. Apparently I have a thing for black everything: dresses, skirts, bodysuits, jumpsuits, tops, pants, and shoes. Sure, each of these items sparks enough joy to stick around and take up real estate, and of course they’re all great basics, but I had a moment of questioning where my creativity and boldness was via style? Even more, this event was to honor local Austin style-makers (me being one of them), and wearing something all black felt safe and easy.

Don’t get me wrong, black is chic and sophisticated. It’s a great neutral that can be dressed up or down, and it’s classic. But I wasn’t going for classic. I wanted different — something bold, powerful, and bright. Oddly, I do this with lip color all the time, but when it comes to clothes, I tend to play it safe.

image by urban outfitters

red dress, red linen, summer styleimage by reformation

Ditch the Comfort Zone

Around that same time, GP & J Baker designed a capsule collection for H&M, and I fell in love with their use of prints, mixing patterns, and bright colors, particularly one red silk tank with matching silk pants – paired together, it looked like a jumpsuit, and a classy statement piece. And, for less than $60 total, I felt like I won the jackpot. I wore it to the style event, and received the most compliments both in-person and on social media. I think most were shocked to see me in color and step outside my comfort zone, including myself. I loved how fun and playful wearing red was, and felt confident, sexy, and powerful. It was then that I declared red as my power color, and one that I’d turn to in moments of telling a story of confidence.

I started thinking about how brands use color to connect with their community or tell their brand story. For instance, when I see yellow, I automatically think about SoulCycle, Kendra Scott, and Drybar. And in my experience, each of those places evokes a sense of happiness, community, and fun. I thought: why not let red (or any color) do the same for me? I love the idea of having a go-to color for when I want to feel a certain way, or express a mood. And lately, red has been hitting all of my mood buckets: fun, fearless, bold, powerful, expressive, and a tiny bit moody but in a strong and playful manner.

red, power color, street styleimage by atlantic-pacific

Mix It Up

Now, I won’t say that I went on a total red bender, but I have slowly started incorporating some great red basics into my closet, like: a sexy bra to wear under shear tops, a pair of high-waist trousers to dress up a black (or any color) top, a matching sweater and skirt duo (also GP & J Baker x H&M), a swimsuit, a winter hat and glove set for a fun pop of color during the usually gray and drab winter months, and even a statement wallet.

Playing around with color, tapping into a monochromatic or mixed pattern vibe, and establishing a different aesthetic has been fun, and dare I say liberating. I didn’t realize how much I was on autopilot when it came to my personal style, often just opting for black because it’s what I’d always done. I had no idea changing just a few small things in my wardrobe would spark a new wave of confidence, but I’m here for it.

I love thinking about how much we get to tell a story and express our current mood based on what we wear and how we wear it. I’m curious, do you have a power color? If so, what is it and why?