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Be well red in fall's hottest fashions

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By Holley Simmons
Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, 9:01 p.m.

To “see red” conventionally means to become really angry. But this fall, sightings of scarlet signify blazer-friendly temperatures, foliage-rich road trips and pinot noir-fueled chats.

“Red is a really energetic color that brings to mind happy and bright attitudes,” says Dina Mackney, a Reston, Va.-based jewelry designer who's showing lots of ruddy gems — garnets, rubies — in her chunky bracelets and dramatic necklaces (sold at And the regal color comes in so many shades (oxblood, Nancy Reagan-cerise, crimson) that nearly anyone can wear it. • Shades of berry, cherry and ruby empower fall's hottest dresses, jewelry and handbags. Check out a lace dress by Michael Kors ($2,895) and an asymmetrical-cut ruffled sheath dress by Lanvin ($1,435). Both from Neiman Marcus.

• When it comes to fall's ladylike dresses, skinny jeans and jewelry, you're better off in red. buy a Trina Turk polka-dot Georgette dress ($363, on sale for $218 at or an Armani blazer ($1,395, Neiman Marcus), with a silk flower brooch ($25, from, and clay-colored high-rise Rag and Bone skinny jeans ($176, from Rag and Bone stores and Accessories include Dina Mackney Marquis bracelet ($488) and ruby and semi-precious gemstone rings ($250-$440).

• Scarlet goes downtown via Devi twill skinny jeans, with exposed zipper ($220) and classic Newbury booties in chili ($495, both from Rag and Bone stores and, topped by a Diane von Furstenberg blouse ($225, Neiman Marcus).

• Max Mara's edgy jumpsuit ($995, plays well with a Tristan belt and spiked Louboutin platform stilettos ($1,395, Neiman Marcus).

• Warm up in the cold with a Max Mara jacket ($1,165, and fire-hydrant red Chanel sunglasses.

• Go for just a pop of red with a bag like Rebecca Minkoff's 5 Zip chain-strap clutch ($195, or Orla Kiely patent, retro-inspired bag ($485, Simply Soles stores or

• For your fingernails: Classic red nail polishes include Revlon Valentine 730, Revlon Vixen 570, Sephora Curve-aceous 190, Sephora Pushing Your Luck 323 and Illamasqua Throb.

Holley Simmons is a writer for The Washington Post.

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