Santa is one of the most universally-recognised images of Christmas and each year, cards, wrapping paper, gifts, confectionary, shop fronts and even clothes are adorned with images of a jolly fat man in that famous red and white suit.
There is some debate over where his colourful attire originally came from and while some people believe it to be an image dreamt up by Cola advertising execs, it seems Santa’s famous suit actually dates back much further than that.
While it may be iconic, it can’t be said that Santa’s outfit is particularly fashionable. But is red and white a complete no-no when it comes to clothing? Or can it be styled in a way that makes it accessible to all?
One of the easiest ways to wear red and white is in the form of a striped top. Taylor Swift got the look just right at the MTV Video Music Awards earlier this year when she teamed her stripy top with a pair of smart black shorts and red lace-up shoes, which fitted in perfectly with her cute, preppy image.
Alexa Chung is another fan of the laid-back indie look and she shows how a red and white-striped T-shirt can be teamed with a pair of denim shorts for a casual, everyday look that almost anyone can pull off.
But simple T-shirts aren’t the only way to wear red and white. Tommy Hilfiger embraced the look in his spring/summer 13 collection, which was debuted at New York Fashion Week in September. The brand is known for its classic American aesthetic, with a modern edge. The collection was called American Voyage and Hilfiger explained he wanted to channel style icons such as Lauren Hutton and Jackie O – something he did with plenty of chic stripes, fitted blazers, trousers suits and a lot of red, white and blue.
Although the matching striped jackets and trousers might be a bit much for some people, fashionistas can see from the collection how block colours of red and white look effortlessly stylish together, especially when teamed with a neutral tone such as camel or beige.
It can be easy to take the red and white look too far, making an outfit appear cartoonish and childlike. Although the red and white outfits designed by Andre Courreges have been deliberately styled in this way, it is not how they would be worn by people out on the street. Red and white needs to be broken up with the introduction of another colour for everyday wear.
Of course, it’s not only the US that uses red, white and blue in its flag and these are also the colours of the Union Jack. Over the past few years, Kate Middleton has transformed into a style icon and the clothing she wears from high street brands goes on the sell out almost instantly. The Duchess of Cambridge rarely puts a fashion foot wrong and she showed how red and white can work during a visit to Canada last year.
If people do not feel confident incorporating both red and white into their clothes, they can make like Kate and use accessories to add a pop of colour to the look. It can be over the top if too many coloured accessories are added however, and if individuals copy Kate’s look with a white dress and red fascinator their shoes and jacket should be a neutral beige. This is the perfect way to wear Christmas party dresses [http://www.fashionunion.com/partydresses/icat/partydresses/], as a white dress could be teamed with a pair of glittering red Wizard of Oz-style shoes for a fantastic festive look.
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