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Is burgundy a classy color?

Is burgundy a classy color?

Burgundy is a deep reddish-purple color that has long been associated with luxury, elegance, and sophistication. But why exactly is this rich shade considered so classy and what are the origins of its refined reputation? Let’s take a closer look at the history and meaning behind this iconic color.

The History of Burgundy

The name “burgundy” comes from the Burgundy region of central-eastern France. In the Middle Ages, this area was famous for its production of expensive Burgundy wines made from Pinot Noir grapes. The deep red hue of these wines gave rise to the color name “burgundy.”

Wine and fabric dyed this ruby shade became associated with European nobility and royalty in the 14th-18th centuries. Burgundy clothing was a sign of wealth and status. Kings, nobles, and the upper classes across Europe wore the rich color as a symbol of luxury.

Some key moments that cemented burgundy’s classy reputation include:

1364 King Charles V of France makes burgundy the official color of his court.
15th century Burgundy carpets and tapestries become popular among the elite.
17th century Louis XIV upholsters Versailles palace in sumptuous burgundy fabrics.
1860s Burgundy gowns come into fashion among Victorian high society.

So from medieval times to the Victorian era, burgundy clothes and home decor signaled status, class, and refined taste among nobility and aristocrats. The color became linked with luxury living.

Burgundy as a Classic and Stylish Color

Beyond its historic ties to European aristocracy, there are other reasons why burgundy continues to be viewed as an elegant, stylish color today.

**Universal Flattery**

Burgundy has universal appeal and is considered one of the most flattering clothing colors. With hints of both cool blue and warm red tones, it complements most skin complexions. Both warm and cool skin undertones can pull off various shades of burgundy beautifully. This versatile, inclusive flattery for diverse skin types adds to burgundy’s classy reputation.


Burgundy is a neutral shade that leans slightly toward the darker end of the color spectrum. Darker neutrals like burgundy, navy, and forest green are seen as more refined and sophisticated than lighter counterparts like beige or pastels. The depth of burgundy gives it an elegant edge.


As a red-based shade, burgundy has an innate glamour and allure. The combination of red’s passion and purple’s royalty makes burgundy seem opulent. It’s no wonder burgundy is a staple color for formal attire and red carpet fashion.


Unlike bright trendy colors that come and go, burgundy is a timeless classic. It has maintained its reputation as a stylish, classy color decade after decade. Burgundy never seems dated, but rather eternally elegant.

1920s Deep burgundy lipstick comes into vogue
1930s Hollywood starlets wear burgundy gowns on the silver screen
1940s Burgundy suits polished professional women during WWII era
1950s First Lady Mamie Eisenhower dons burgundy formalwear
1960s Jacqueline Kennedy wears an iconic burgundy dress and coat
1970s Burgundy pantsuits emerge as chic professional style
1980s Designer burgundy power suits take over Wall Street
1990s Burgundy lipstick and nails have a moment again
2000s Burgundy bridesmaid dresses come into vogue
2010s Pantone names Radiant Orchid, a pinky burgundy, 2014 Color of the Year

Whether as power suits in the 80s or formal gowns in the 40s, burgundy has retained its reputation as stylish and classy through the decades. It’s not dependent on current trends.

The Psychological Meaning of Burgundy

Color psychology also lends some insight into why burgundy seems so refined. Here are some of the subconscious associations and meanings tied to this regal hue:

– **Power** – As a darker, bolder shade, burgundy conveys authority, leadership, and prestige.

– ** Luxury** – The red undertones connect to passion and love, while purple connotes luxury. This makes burgundy seem decadent and indulgent.

– **Ambition** – Burgundy’s boldness can represent determination, drive, and ambition.

– **Maturity** – Darker shades are thought to signal maturity and wisdom versus light, playful colors.

– **Introspection** – As a reddish-purple, burgundy represents a balance of the emotional and intuitive, encouraging reflection.

So burgundy taps into many unconscious attributes we associate with refinement – power, status, ambition, maturity, introspection.

Burgundy in Design and Home Décor

Beyond fashion, burgundy upholstery, carpets, drapes, and accessories add an air of elegance to any space. Here are some tips for incorporating this sophisticated hue into your home décor:

**Living Room**

– Burgundy sofa or accent chairs make a stylish statement.

– Layer burgundy and gold pillows for a luxurious lounge space.

– Display burgundy vases with fresh greenery.

– Hang velvet drapes in a deep wine hue.

**Dining Room**

– Burgundy dining chairs or table runners add richness.

– Bring in ambience with burgundy candles and napkins.

– Use a bold burgundy wall color to frame artwork.


– Up the romance with burgundy bedding and pillows.

– Paint an accent wall in a muted raspberry shade.

– Toss velour burgundy pillows on a tufted headboard.

**Home Office**

– A burgundy leather desk chair channels luxury.

– Bookcase or filing cabinet in oxblood red makes a stately impact.


– Set a refined tone with a burgundy front door and decor accents.

– Add depth with an eggplant-hued area rug.

So whether using velvety fabrics, rich paint colors, or dramatic floral arrangements, burgundy adds a touch of elegance to any space.

How to Wear and Style Burgundy

From formalwear to casual looks, burgundy flatters across ages, body types, and styles. Here are fashionable ways to incorporate this refined color:


– A burgundy sheath dress and heels for the office

– Jeans and a burgundy sweater for weekend casual

– A wrap coat in merlot wool for warmth and style

– Statement burgundy heels or bag to make an outfit pop


– A sharp burgundy suit with a white shirt for professional polish

– Burgundy trousers paired with a navy sport coat for dapper flair

– A burgundy tie to lend some sophistication to a business look

– Burgundy sneakers as a trendy accent shoe


– A cashmere scarf in rich cabernet to add instant elegance

– Bold burgundy-framed eyeglasses make a style statement

– A structured burgundy crossbody or satchel for upscale flair

– Winter coats in shades like oxblood, cordovan, or garnet

So whether you’re dressing for the office, a cocktail party, or casual weekends, a touch of burgundy communicates refined, classic style.


With its long aristocratic lineage and mix of passion and luxury, it’s no wonder burgundy is considered such an elegant, classy color. Both stylish and versatile, burgundy flatters diverse skin tones and works for formal and casual looks. Beyond fashion, burgundy adds richness as an interior design accent. Psychological associations with attributes like power, ambition, and introspection also drive burgundy’s sophisticated reputation. So next time you want to infuse a touch of refinement into your wardrobe or décor, turn to this timeless, regal hue.