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Does blue go with red?

Does blue go with red?

Can blue and red be combined in an outfit? The short answer is yes, blue and red can work well together if styled properly. While the two colors are opposite on the color wheel, making them high-contrast companions, they can create striking looks when used strategically.

When pairing blue and red, it’s important to pay attention to proportion – one color should take precedence over the other to avoid clashing. Blue has a calming effect while red is energetic, so choose which mood you want to convey. It’s often best to opt for a darker blue and bright red. Matching the tones and textures are also key. Go for a bold red lip with a navy blue dress, or a vibrant red skirt with a powder blue blouse. Accessories like shoes and jewelry help bridge the gap between the two shades.

While high contrast, blue and red are classic team players. Nautical styles would be lost without the dynamic duo. They are ideal for summer, lending a patriotic flair. Both colors attract attention and are rich in symbolism. Blue conjures feelings of trust and security, while red signifies passion and excitement. United they make a statement and command a presence.

The Psychology and Symbolism Behind Blue and Red

To fully understand the pairing of blue and red, it helps to examine the psychology and symbolism behind these two powerful colors.

Blue is associated with calmness, stability, wisdom, confidence, and trust. It has a soothing effect on the mind and body. Blue calls to mind feeling relaxed, reflective, and reassured. It represents tranquility and loyalty. In color psychology, blue promotes productivity and focus. Studies show people are more productive in blue rooms. At its darkest shade, navy blue commands authority and professionalism. Light blue conjures images of sky and sea bringing about feelings of peace.

Red is the color of primal passion and raw energy. Associated with love, anger, energy, excitement, heat, and fire. It immediately captures attention and heightens senses. Red boosts metabolism, elevates heart rate, and stimulates appetite. It signifies danger, caution, and urgency. In nature, red communicates ripe fruit, flushed cheeks, boiling lava. It is inherently bold and demanding of respect.

Culturally, blue represents winter and red is associated with summer. Blue conveys masculinity and red with femininity. In western cultures, blue is for boys and red for girls. Blue stands for winning first place and red for second best. Blue is knowledge and red evokes magic. Politically, blue represents liberalism and red for conservatism.

When blue and red come together their symbolism plays off each other – tranquil trustfulness blending with fiery passion. This generates visual interest and complexity.

Complementary Colors on the Color Wheel

In color theory, blue and red are considered complementary colors. These are color pairs located opposite one another on the color wheel. Some examples of complementary color pairs:

Blue Orange
Red Green
Yellow Purple

When complementary colors are mixed, they cancel each other out to produce a neutral gray or brown. But when placed side-by-side, they create maximum contrast and reinforce the vitality of each other. The hue of one color is emphasized by the presence of its complement.

Blue and red are powerful complements. When combined, the eye must work harder to take in the high visual tension. This makes complements ideal for creating drama, making a bold statement, and adding energy wherever applied.

Be mindful thatcomplementary colors in equal proportions can vibrate against each other. It’s best to choose one color as the dominant hue and use its complementary sparingly as an accent.

Making Blue and Red Work In Fashion

In the world of fashion, blue and red together pack a visual punch. But the key is blending them harmoniously. Here are some tips for successfully coordinating blue and red:

– Stick to one prominent color and use the other as an accent. For example, a neutral blue dress with a red belt or red heels.

– Anchor them with neutrals. Gray, tan, white, and black help soften the contrast.

– Repeat blue and red throughout the outfit for cohesion. Red shoes with a blue handbag, and red lipstick.

– Make blue the darker, muted shade. Lighter blues more easily clash with red. Dark navy plays up red’s brightness.

– Introduce blue and red through prints and textures rather than solid colors. Stripes, florals, and plaids integrate them subtly.

– Accessorize with a scarf or jewelry that incorporates both colors. This helps fuse them together.

– Apply the 60-30-10 rule. One color should take up 60% of the outfit, the other 30%, and neutrals make up 10%.

Some easy ways to wear blue and red:

Casual Business Evening
Navy trousers with a red sweater Navy blazer with red dress and heels Navy cocktail dress with red clutch
Dark jeans with a red top Navy pencil skirt with red blouse Navy jumpsuit with red lipstick

Blue and Red Throughout History

Blue and red have a rich cultural history spanning place and time. Here is a look at how the two colors intersected at pivotal points through the ages:

Medieval Era
During medieval times, blue dye was rare and expensive, associated with royalty and divinity. Red held an earthier significance, representing blood, military strength, and emotional passion.

Ultramarine blue pigment from lapis lazuli stones came to Italy from Afghanistan. It was more plentiful and heavily used in Renaissance art alongside crimson reds.

With Queen Victoria’s reign, blue and red become the signature colors of the British Empire. Britain’s iconic red military coats contrast with blue naval uniforms.

Early 1900s
The bold red and blue of the Russian Constructivism art movement reflected the Soviet Union’s Communism ideals. The palette embodied revolutionary energy.

Mid 1900s
Post-war era consumer goods like cars, kitchen appliances, and electronics sported bright reds and blues in sleek designs. It represented industry and optimism.

Present Day
Blue and red recur through pop culture in superhero costumes, brand logos, sports uniforms, and national flags. They remain pillars of visual identity.

So throughout history, blue and red served both political ideology and artistic expression. The compelling combination continues to be reinvented.

Mixing And Matching Different Shades

Not all blues and reds are created equal. Layering different shades and tints can help you get the most mileage out of the colors. Here are foolproof ways to mix and match blue and red tones:

Deeper shades of blue – like navy, cobalt, and royal blue – pair best with bright, warm reds – think fire engine, cherry, orange-red. Light tints of blue work well with pinkish reds.

To avoid a jarring effect, keep the values – lightness and darkness – consistent between the red and blue. Metallic blues and reds complement each other nicely.

Draw from analogous shades that sit next to each other on the color wheel. Navy blue with crimson red. Royal blue with burgundy. Medium blue with rusty red.

Monochromatic mixing sticks to a single base color. Mix navy with periwinkle blue then add in a red accent. Or combine crimson and pink red together contrasted with a blue piece.

For RGB colors, adjust brightness and saturation to turn any red into a perfect match for any shade of blue, digitally or in print.

So feel free to explore shades of ruby, scarlet, maroon, cerulean, sapphire, turquoise, magenta, and currant to concoct your own stunning red and blue combinations.

Using Blue and Red in Interior Design

Blue and red can transform any interior when used thoughtfully. Here are some tips for decorating with these passionate colors:

– For a timeless, nautical vibe, opt for navy blues with bright cherry reds in a coastal chic space. Use in moderation.

– In a traditional dining room, layer regal navy walls with a bold crimson red rug and classically printed chairs in red and blue.

– For an energetic, youthful room, pair royal blue accents like pillows and lamps with a vivid red wall or mural using complementary proportions.

– In a romantic bedroom, mix powder blue walls with lipstick red curtains and bedding for a glamorous Old Hollywood feel. Add metallics.

– For boho flair, use faded denim blues with brick reds in a living area with artsy patterns and plenty of plants.

– In a kid’s playroom, cover one wall with fire engine red then use a deep sky blue for the opposite wall. Add matching toys and storage bins.

– For a modern color pop, choose clean cobalt blue sofa or chairs against a neutral gray backdrop then introduce a cherry red armchair or table.

Above all, aim for unity. Repeating blue and red elements creates harmony while eclectic mixing can work in more casual, free-spirited settings.


Blue and red together convey the full range of human emotions – calm and excitement, trust and passion, loyalty and determination. Properly balanced, this vigorous color duo compliments and intensifies the other for dramatic effect across fashion, visual arts, product design, branding, and decor. With its versatility throughout history, the iconic pairing is sure to remain timeless.