Red is Best

Although I enjoyed dressing to a theme last spring, before my life got interrupted by my accident, I felt stymied in coming up with a new theme for the autumn—mainly because I was dealing with so much on so many fronts, I didn't have time to think a whole lot about fashion. But  I'm returning to the idea now, for the holidays, because why not?

My theme for December is "Laid Back Luminous Garçonne Paints the Town Red."     :) 

Okay, so this is a bit aspirational. I have very few holiday events to attend this year. Just a few small parties and dinners with friends. All casual. But despite the surprising paucity of red at retail, I've collected a range of items in various reds over the years, and have added in particular to the "cranberry" capsule this season. 

See Finds, below. I'm going to be wearing these items on repeat all December, together with silvery items, whites, and of course my blues. I started on Dec. 1, dressing down my daytime outfit with my cranberry utility pants and red plaid boots for a rainy night reading/ book launch. 

Apologies for the kitty box! Since the light is better in the laundry I may just take photos there in future. 

Meanwhile, any Canadians remember Kathy Stinson's little book? I have always felt like the protagonist of that story. 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • phoebe replied 7 months ago

    This is one of your absolute best outfits. So balanced and the placement of color and details could not be more flattering.

  • avicennia replied 7 months ago

    Lovely colors on you. I like the navy & burgundy combination.

  • Jules replied 7 months ago

    Love that book :) Years ago, I saw Kathy Stinson read it to the now-grown daughter who inspired it at the Word On The Street book festival in Toronto... thanks for reminding me.

  • Jules replied 7 months ago

    Your red collection is also amazing - I love those deep shades! Taking notes on your cargo pant styling...

  • Angie replied 7 months ago


    Go Team Red! We might have to make you captain of the team, Suz :)

    KILLER the way it all comes together in #2! Love how the pants taper and pouf with those awesome beloved boots! Excellent pattern mixing, and brilliant polished bag! (Our puffer works with everything.....)

    Susan, please paint the town red EVERY day. The occasion is YOU, and celebrating your fabness! Can you wear our tartan shirt under the Hobbs blazer?

    Lilac is gorgeous with your deep reds too! Can't wait to see more ways you wear your gorgeous red.

  • Dee replied 7 months ago

    Ouuu… yummy cranberry red, so perfect for your December theme and the holiday season as well. Totally fab red cargo pant combo too. 
    I certainly remember that book when I worked at an elementary school library. Love how you identify as the little girl in the story, partial to red no matter what. 

  • Runcarla replied 7 months ago

    Yay red!

  • AJ replied 7 months ago

    Great month to go red!  Very nice collection you have there!  Where are the pants in your outfit from?

  • kkards replied 7 months ago

      Love this capsule. 

    And YLF. 

  • Suz replied 7 months ago

    Thanks, all! And AJ, the pants are from Aritzia. Since I know you are about my height, I will say I ordered their "short" version, which came in this colour last year. I really like them but I am not sure if they would work as well in your climate. I found them too warm for summer wear. For me they are a fall/ winter item. 

    I'm so glad I'm not the only person who remembers that book. And Jules! That must have been a very fun event at Word on the Street. 

  • Bonnie replied 7 months ago

    Super nice outfit! Expertly pulled together. I need those pants.

  • Jaime replied 7 months ago

    That shade of cranberry is just perfect on you Suz! Love the utility pants and the whole look.

  • Peri replied 7 months ago

    Wow, I love this! You look fabulous!

  • Nitsirk replied 7 months ago

    Ringing in to say your red pants make you look the best…just like Kelly in “Red Is Best” might say if she owned them. You look dynamite in this outfit, Suz! You also radiate confidence which magnifies your outfit perfection. You’re inspiring me to style my own red corduroy pants in December in new fun ways. Thanks for sharing!

  • MsMaven replied 7 months ago

    Love, love, love your outfit. And your red! I really like this off-shade of red--I find it much easier to wear than bright true red. 

    Well, now I want to go out shopping. Looks like it will be a good year for red.

  • Bijou replied 7 months ago

    A wonderful capsule and so perfect for the festive season. You look gorgeous!

  • Janet replied 7 months ago

    Love this! You look fantastic. Wow, I would love some deep cranberry/burgundy pants like those utility pants.

  • cat2 replied 7 months ago

    Love your collection of reds. I dug out everything I have that’s burgundy (my red) and realized I don’t have as much of it as I thought I did. I do have purses, shoes and a great wool coat, so it will be pop of color accessories for the win.

  • Star replied 7 months ago

    Such a fab colour combo and silhouette.  YLF!

  • kellygirl replied 7 months ago

    Ooh, just perfect. I love this theme!

  • Carol replied 7 months ago

    Wow, so much great red. So many different shapes. It gets me in the mind to pick up more red. I love that red sweatshirt/sweater. And that vest...that would look great with a ruffle collar shirt. 

  • Roberta replied 7 months ago

    YAHTZEE! You look amazing, and those cargo pants are everything! I love the idea of concentrating on a color for a season, and making the most of all of your wonderful accessories.

  • merwoman replied 7 months ago

    Luminous to the power of luminous! You’ve never looked better! The white jacket just sets everything off beautifully.

  • Column replied 7 months ago

    I like red, because....

    DD and I do call and response to this day over one of our favorite books. YLF!

  • The Cat replied 7 months ago

    Cranberry red looks perfect on you (said another one who prefers cranberry to true red). :-)

  • replied 7 months ago

    I've been drawn to red too this year- after being off it for a long time (excepting burgundy).
    Did you post an ourfit with the red vest yet?

  • Helena replied 7 months ago

    You are just so bloody cute Suz ... You have fun with fashion and it shows! Fab pants, love the 90s nod. YLF!!

  • Mary Beth (formerly LBD) replied 7 months ago

    Suz, you look so merry and bright, and I am dying over how perfect the color, cut and fit are on you!  You have swagger and movement and you look like a storybook character.  Love it!

  • Kim M replied 7 months ago

    Suz!  I need to capture some of your cranberry energy!  I keep thinking "red", but the richer tone is so much more "me".  You've given me much needed inspiration.

  • Ket replied 7 months ago

    Egads! I want more red after seeing your post <3 You look terrific!! I love your continued garconne inspirations. And that you chose a storybook to inspire you! (Former, longtime professional librarian here ha!)

    I have one red item, and need and want to add more. So thinking about how I"ll do that in 2024. 

  • Suz replied 7 months ago

    Thanks, Ket. That little book is a Canadian classic -- so simple and so sweet and it's a story many kids can identify with. When I worked in a bookstore, it flew off the shelves in various editions -- baby-sized, board book, picture book. 

    Kim, some of these "cranberry" reds are a little closer to burgundy IRL, and some are a little brighter -- but they all work pretty well tonally, especially if you break them up with textured items and/or pattern, and they also work in an interesting way with true red, which I do also wear and love. 

    Aww, Mary Beth -- love that word swagger. The pants do make me feel a bit that way. 

    Helena, thanks! 

    Suntiger -- no -- I haven't posted it yet. I will try to, soon! It is an exact replica of a suit I had as a kid! I want a scarf with a Pucci print to go with it, back like when I was in grade school! 

    TheCat, thank you! Cranberry is a gorgeous tone, not always available. I prefer the brighter versions when I can find t hem. Only the coat really fits that description (of the items here). The others are a little closer to plummy burgundy. But all great, all the same! 

    Column, I love that you do call and response with your DD!

    Merwoman, Roberta -- thank you!

    Carol -- a ruffled blouse would be great under the vest, you are right. I don't have one. Ruffles are tricky for me. But I'm not against a ruffled jabot....

    Bonnie, Jaime, Peri, -- thanks! 

    Nitsirk - thank you and I hope you show us your cranberry corduroys! 

    MsMaven, Bijou, Janet, Cat2, Star, Kellygirl -- thank you all! 

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 7 months ago

    Super great theme! And this outfit is the best! I didn't know you had RED CARGO PANTS. I love this style in this beautiful, rich red color. A delightful juxtaposition all in themselves.

  • lyn67 replied 7 months ago

    Oh, did I missed this  cranberry  cargo fabness till now! This is so unique and so You!!! Brilliant!

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