Oh Donna!

TV’s Favorite Executive Assistant Masters the Art of Style for Redheads

Donna Paulsen works a gray Hugo Boss dress (image via USA Network)
(Above and center images via USA Network)

The third summer of “Suits” is over and Donna Paulsen, Harvey Specter’s right hand, made it sizzle with her signature chic, wit and attitude. Donna continued to give us the business with gorgeous red locks accented by a powerfully feminine wardrobe, commanding attention that even British Harvey couldn’t resist.

For many redheads, dressing to impress is tricky. Because it instantly stands out, red hair needs to work in harmony with clothing. Throughout the season, Donna strutted her stuff in fitted dresses and separates in a range of redhead-friendly colors, including chocolate-brown, navy, olive and Kelly greens. She casts an incredibly striking spell without screaming, “Look at me!”

"What's so fun about the clothes Donna wears is that she's very feminine. ...She's very secure in who she is. ...She's totally confident and put together. " - Sarah Rafferty on how her character's style influences her (image via USA Network)
“What’s so fun about the clothes Donna wears is that she’s very feminine. …She’s totally confident and put together. ” – Sarah Rafferty on how her character’s style influences her. (image via USA Network)

Avoid Being a Copper Top Flop

There are lots of sites that offer plenty of fashion rules for ladies in red. But remember, not every thing is going to work for every redhead. But if you’re going to bend rules to your will, remember some key truths to master your own style:

Your Hair and Skin are Your Best Guide – First, know what does work for you. Determine where you are on the red spectrum with your hair, then figure out your skin tone. Better yet, get a color analysis; this will give you a clear understanding of colors that are optimal for your hair and complexion.

You Have to Own it and Work it! – Once you know your colors, you can go against the grain with more confidence. While the gray in Donna’s dress above is not a perfect choice (because it seems to wash her out), she’s still winning. Donna owns that dress. She exudes the right amount of sass to pull it off. If you go off the grid and wear colors not deemed “redhead friendly,” you must have the air to pull it off like it was meant for you. It’s all in the attitude.

An ultra-feminine take on a quintessential work staple: Donna's Kelly green lace trench coat from Burberry Prorsum S/S 2013.
Donna shines in a Kelly green lace trench coat from Burberry Prorsum S/S 2013.

When in Doubt, Go for the Foolproof – Colors that won’t let you down, no matter your red, include: Jewel tones like emerald and sapphire, deep browns (think chocolate, sienna, brick), many greens (forest, olive, hunter, Kelly), golds, and bronze.

Navy is the New Black – It is hard to tell a woman not to wear black but, for a (natural) redhead, it’s not the best choice. Head-to-toe navy is the perfect alternative to all black. If you just can’t stay away, avoid wearing black near the face (you’ll look drained), or add some warmth with a bronzer.

More Beautiful Ladies in Red

  From left: Christina Hendricks (as Joan Harris in "Mad Men." photo: AMC); Emma Stone (who is actually a blonde, but is also beautiful as a redhead); the late Rita Hayworth; "Under the Dome" actress Rachelle Lefevre; Bryce Dallas Howard; Jessica Chastain (photo: hawtcelebs.com); Julianne Moore, who will appear in "The Hunger Games" sequels; and Evan Rachel Wood.  All images except noted: Wikimedia Commons.
From left: Christina Hendricks (photo: AMC); the redhead of all redheads, Rita Hayworth; Bryce Dallas Howard; Jessica Chastain (photo: hawtcelebs.com); Julianne Moore; and Amy Adams. All images except noted: Wikimedia Commons.

If you’re a redhead, what colors and styles have you found work for you? Or are you completely lost? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments!

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