LAST Friday was “wear red day” in the States, in support of the American Heart Association. Here in London, although red is a huge colour for spring, there appears to be some trepidation amongst City professionals about sporting it in the office. In the States, red has somewhat aggressive connotations if worn in interviews; here we think of it as a powerful and passionate colour that gets you noticed. When you wear red, there’s something inside you that gets a buzz of excitement, a rush of confidence and a desire to be a go-getter. But do others see it that way? Red can be very striking, but it can be a bit of an over-the-top statement. So how do you carry it off?

You certainly have to be in the mood for red. It’s great for lifting your spirits on a grey, cold Monday morning, and it’ll wake up your colleagues too. First you need to choose a red that compliments your skin tone. Red is not just “red”, there are hundreds of shades of red from the bluey hue of claret, right through to a sunburst orangey red. The key is to look at your complexion and see what it does to your skin tone – does it bring out the healthy, peachy tones? Or does it drain you and make you look ill? It can also bring out the bright red in your face, lobster style, especially if you’re prone to blushing – red is not for everyone, so you have to know whether it works for you.

You’ll be the centre of attention if you are making a presentation, or pitching for new business – keeping your audience focused, and showing your influential, ready-for-anything edge. If you feel that the full on red look is a little too much, then ease yourself gently into the red zone, with a beige or grey jacket and accessories. The bright, orangey reds around this season look fantastic worn with black or navy, add a hint of red to the lips, and it might be just what you need to burst into life for spring.

Sara Hollamby is a business image consultant with - email