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The Guy's Guide to Wearing Fire Engine Red

Stop, drop, and roll in this bold favorite

Summer is here, the sun is beaming, and colors are popping. Prime your closet for more color with this series of guides for bold shades. Each week SG HQ is going to break down how to wear a stylish hue with easy color combinations and outfit ideas.

Catch up on… bluebird blueamber orangelavenderarmy greensalmonslateblood orangesharkskingoldtealkhakimerlot, evergreen, white, cobalt blue, mint green, orange sorbetyellow and navy.

Fire engine red: intense and instantly attention-grabbing

Studies suggest yellow and green emergency vehicles are easier to see in the dark, so the iconic color is slowly being phased out in some suburban areas. While we know it’s in the interest of public health, we’re a little sad that bright red fire engines are getting a makeover. But no way are we going to let fire engine red fade into history—it’s too good. What’s more: It looks great when you mix it into ensembles, both dress-up and everyday, meaning it’s your responsibility to keep the shade alive on a sartorial side.

Like the noise that blares from its namesake truck, fire engine red is intense and instantly attention-grabbing—meaning it’s best worn in small doses. Shopping wise, this translates to seeking out the shade in accessories like ties, watch straps, and shoes (though the occasional shirt or even pants might work too, depending on the outfit!). Because it’s so bold, working fire engine red into your everyday wardrobe can be a little tricky, but don’t worry: We’ve got some tips that’ll cause passersby to stop, drop, and roll when they see what you’re wearing.

How to wear red in two bright looks:


A good rule of thumb? The brighter the hue, the less square footage it should take up on your bod, so keep this super bright shade to a minimum. Which isn’t to say you can’t wear a red jacket or bright chinos —seriously, go ahead, go for it.

We love a man who’s not afraid to let his look grab the spotlight—but let the rest of your ensemble balance it out with slightly quieter color choices. Your red-colored coat will look great with a pair of navy chinos and a checked button up, but you might not want to wear it with cobalt blue pants and a blood orange tee. See what we’re getting at here?

At the office


Pants: Original Penguin, $55 | Shirt: Tommy Hilfiger, $45 | Jacket: Suit Supply, $400

Tie: The Tie Bar, $19 | Socks: Pair of Thieves, $10 | Pocket Square: Brooks Brothers, $30 

Shoes: Allen Edmonds, $275 | Belt: Cole Haan, $40 | Watch: Nixon, $175

Pomade: Jack Black, $25 | Cologne: Bvlgari, $75 


A bold color like this one doesn’t mean you can’t mix-and-match with other bright hues—you just have to keep it in check.

One great way to bring this shade into an ensemble on a dressier front would be to pair it a sharkskin grey suit and a white shirt—add a fire engine tie, and you’re good to go. For an everyday look, try a fire engine and mandarin plaid shirt with a pair of navy shorts (roll the sleeves for a casual, cool vibe).

On the weekend

Shirt: J.Crew, $60 | Shorts: Jack Threads, $39 | Socks: Uniqlo, $3

Shoes: Asos, $65 | Watch: Timex, $60 | Scrub: Jack Black, $18

Moisturizer: Jack Black, $28 | Belt: Gap, $20 | Jacket: Standard Cloth, $79


The days of building your formal attire around bright red are over (as are matching bowtie and cummerbund situations and, relatedly, the prom).

That said, you might carefully work fire engine  into suiting with a skinny tie—mostly we recommend it as a mainstay of your casual gear. Like anything else, search for high quality fabrics and form-flattering cuts—otherwise you risk looking a little like the Kool Aid mascot.



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