When I was younger I wanted a pair of red boots. My mother refused to buy them for me; she said I'd look like a prostitute. Huh? Well, regardless of the implications for my future career choice, ever since then I've had this obsession with the colour red. Red ,red, red. I loved everything red.
Red screams, "Look at me!" It's bold and daring. Vibrant and exciting. It's the symbol of love and passion, desire and hunger. It's fire and heat and all things spicy. It's the universal sign of warning and danger, sin and debauchery. Ahh, red. Good ol' red.
Red is sexy. It's provocative and alluring, stimulating and flirtatious. It speeds up the pulse and increases blood pressure.
It's also a symbol of good luck and fortune. But really, everyone knows that. Put on a sexy little red dress and there's a good chance you're going to get lucky. How fortunate.
You need to be pretty confident to wear red. With all its connotations and it's vibrant nature, it's not for the timid or faint of heart. You definitely need to be someone who can handle the attention and energy of such an exhilarating colour.
But what if you're not? What if you want to look hot and sexy but don't feel like you have the confidence to pull it off? What if you still want to be relevant and noticeable but don't want to look like you're saying, "Ooo baby. Ooo baby. Come and get me." (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)
Well, you can do what many women will be doing this Fall. You can sidestep the bright, attention seeking red and go for its sister colours. No cousins. Umm, best friends?
Ah heck, skip the red and go for the deeper, muted shades like burgundy, oxblood, blackberry and wine. Not only will you still get your red fix, you'll be right on trend.
Every Fall we see fashion embrace the colours indicative of the season -- rust, hunter green and maroon, to name a few. All you have to do is look outside to the trees and plants for direction. Look at the changing leaves or the harvest veggies to get your inspiration.
Failing that, you could always just look at the latest Hilfiger ad. Tommy usually gets it right.
Fall is the perfect time to get your feet wet with red. It's a chance to try it out without committing to its intensity all while still managing to look current.
Just because you're not wearing Hooker Red (sorry, I don't know where that came from), doesn't mean that you won't attract any attention. These deeper shades of red still ignite a passion. They're rich and sensuous, just slightly less obvious and domineering. There's a subtle intensity to them that is both sumptuous and seductive.
What does all this mumbo jumbo mean? It means you're still going to look pretty damn hot. Men will fall at your feet. Cars will screech to a halt. So on and so forth. But in this case, it won't be your fault.
Follow Barbara Aleks Hecht on Twitter: www.twitter.com/BarbaraAleks