Wine is providing style season's newest hue

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012, 8:51 p.m.

Burgundy. Wine. Oxblood. Maroon. Merlot.

Whatever the name, it is the must-have color now.

“It is amazing how well burgundy plays with other colors,” says Marissa Rubin, senior market editor for People Style Watch.

It is the color of the moment. A subtle color that isn't overpowering.

Every fall season, designers, buyers and editors are in search of a neutral color they can call “the new black,” says fashion and beauty editor Joanna Douglas, of Yahoo!'s online magazine Shine.

“Because, while we all love black, it gets a little boring,” she says.

“In recent years, that color has been gray and navy blue, but this year, many designers used a dark-maroon color in their collections,” Douglas says. “Editors have dubbed the color ‘oxblood.' Once writers and buyers and trend experts catch wind of a popular shade, this trickles down into mass-retail and lower-end brands, and also the beauty industry. Burgundy has taken all forms this season — leather jackets, sweaters, dresses, denim, handbags, shoes, lipstick and nail polish.”

This hue of the moment is a staple color, says Marie Kojitani, style editor at Go for it in everything from corduroy pants to lipstick, she says.

“If you're a little color-shy, try a great burgundy or deep-wine nail polish,” Kojitani says. “If you want to go all out with this rich fall hue, go for a pair of sexy heels. For a more subtle approach, pair rich burgundy with pared-down neutrals like cream or black. For a bolder look, try a printed sweater or dress with shades of burgundy within the print. A pair of burgundy jeans or trouser pants is also a great way to create a burgundy focal point in your outfit.”

What is wonderful about this color is that pretty much every woman can wear it, and there are many options.

“Burgundy is a fabulous color to express the joy of fall,” says Josh Saterman, Macy's fashion director. “This hue ties back to both black and brown, and even can be spectacular with navy or gray.

“Sometimes, a woman will question, ‘will this color look good on me?' Yes, it's all in what base color works best for you, black, brown, navy, gray … there's plenty to choose from.”

Cindy Weber-Cleary, InStyle magazine fashion director, says burgundy is a versatile color that complements a lot of different colors.

“It looks nice with shades of pink, as well as with hunter green and sky blue,” she says. “You will also see a lot of burgundy leather and textured tweeds and herringbones in this hue. It is a perennial fall color that's flattering to a lot of complexions. It is easy to wear in accessories, too.”

The color always looks rich, says Gregg Andrews, Nordstrom fashion director.

“It's a very flattering color, and we are seeing it in everything from clothing to shoes to accessories,” he says. “It can change the look of an outfit. It is a personal-favorite color of mine. It's like reds for the warmer months. I see it as a neutral because it goes with almost anything. There is a shade for everyone.”

Burgundy is a nice alternative to red, says Lindsay Huggins, senior fashion-market editor at Self magazine.

“It is not overly saturated, so it works with all skin tones,” Huggins says. “Go for a nice pair of pumps or a handbag or fedora or pencil skirt this season. This time of year reminds us of colors like burgundy and the other jewel tones of fall. It's a classic color.”

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at or 412-320-7889.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy