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What color goes with red and black?

When putting together an outfit or designing a space, choosing the right color palette is crucial. Colors can evoke certain moods,Complement each other, make you stand out or blend in. Red and black are bold,dynamic colors that look great together under the right circumstances. But what colors go well with this fiery duo? Here, we’ll explore the best and worst color combinations with red and black and tips for wearing them well.

The Meaning of Red and Black

First, let’s look at what red and black represent. Red is associated with passion, excitement, intensity, and urgency. It grabs attention and symbolizes love, anger, danger, and action. Black is sophisticated, dramatic, and powerful. It can symbolize mystery, elegance, rebellion, and mourning.

Together, red and black is a bold, high-contrast combination that conveys intensity. It’s aggressive and demands attention. It’s linked to power, seduction, rebellion, and innovation. Red and black outfits make a bold statement and signify that the wearer is confident, edgy, or mysterious.

Best Colors to Pair with Red and Black

Some colors naturally complement a red and black palette. Here are the top colors that work well with these bold shades:


White balances the drama of red and black. It lightens up the palette and makes it more versatile. White also pops against the darker shades, creating definition. It works particularly well if you want red and black to convey elegance or sophistication rather than intensity.


Like white, gray softens the harshness of red and black. Different shades of gray can make the combo feel lighter or darker. Use charcoal gray to deepen a dramatic effect or soft silver gray to add refinement.


Gold is luxurious and glamorous, giving red and black an ornate, expensive feel. Metallic gold has a vibrant energy that complements red’s brightness. The pairing can feel elegant, indulgent, and decadent.


Blue is red’s complementary color, meaning it sits directly across from red on the color wheel. When paired, they create strong visual contrast. Different shades of blue, from navy to royal blue, make red and black feel richer.

Worst Colors to Pair with Red and Black

Some colors don’t jive well with a red and black palette. They can look mismatched, overwhelm the red and black, or create color combinations with negative meanings. Colors to avoid include:


Red and green signify Christmas when paired. While this can be fine in December, it feels out of place other times of year. Green also tends to look dated or kitschy with red and black, lacking sophistication.


Certain shades of brighter pink clash with red. They fight each other for attention. Pink also feminizes this palette, which is typically used for its bold, aggressive feel. Softer pinks can work, but avoid neon or hot pink.


Like pink, bright orange competes with red visually. Together they’re overwhelming. Orange can work as an accent color but should be used sparingly to avoid looking like Halloween.


Brown is neutral but can feel flat and lifeless alongside vivid red and black. Exceptions are rich browns like chocolate, coffee, or chestnut. But avoid medium to light brown.

Tips for Wearing Red and Black

Here are some top tips for stylishly wearing red and black:

  • Use one color as a focal point and the other as an accent. For example, wear a red dress with black accessories.
  • Add texture and patterns to soften the intensity. Try a black lace top over a red tank or red sweater with a black tweed skirt.
  • Layer lighter colors like white, gray, or blue in between the red and black.
  • Use black as a neutral and grounding color. Pair several red tones with basic black.
  • Add metallics like gold, silver, or copper to glam up the palette.
  • Size down the red and black pieces. Wearing them in smaller doses helps balance the drama.
  • Anchor the combo with neutral shoes, bags, and jackets to make it more versatile.

Red and Black Room Decor

Red and black can make a dramatic impact in home decor. Here are some ideas for using them in a sophisticated, thoughtful way:

  • Paint one wall black and use red in accents like pillows, throws, vases, or lampshades.
  • Choose a black sofa or sectional and layer on red blankets or accessories.
  • Use a bold red area rug to anchor a black wood dining table or coffee table.
  • Display black and white photography or art in red frames for contrast.
  • Add pops of red to a black bedroom with pillows, a lamp, curtains, or chair.
  • Incorporate black kitchen appliances and hardware with a red kitchen island, stools, or backsplash.

Keep the rest of the room light and airy so the red and black can shine without becoming overbearing. Gray, white, tan, and wood tones nicely balance this powerful duo.

Red and Black Color Schemes

There are a few go-to color combinations that use red, black, and accent shades. Here are some stylish red and black color schemes to inspire you:


Different shades of red paired with black for drama and visual cohesion. For example:

  • Oxblood red, maroon, burgundy, and black
  • Fire engine red, crimson, cherry red, and black


Red and black with colors located right next to red on the color wheel. For example:

  • Red, burgundy, purple, and black
  • Red, orange, burnt orange, and black


Red and black with blue for vibrant contrast. For example:

  • Royal blue, navy blue, red, and black
  • Periwinkle, baby blue, red, and black


Red and black with colors equidistant around the color wheel. For example:

  • Red, black, turquoise
  • Red, black, lime green

Outfit Ideas Using Red and Black

Here are some chic outfit ideas combining red, black, and accent colors:

Outfit Colors
Black turtleneck, red skirt, nude heels Black, red, nude
Red dress, black blazer, gold jewelry Red, black, gold
Black jeans, gray top, red purse Black, gray, red
Red coat, black shirt dress, leopard print scarf Red, black, brown
Black romper, red kimono, silver sandals Black, red, silver

As you can see, red and black pair beautifully with neutrals like nude, gray, and white. Metallics like gold and silver also complement the duo. Leopard print or animal prints can add flair when used sparingly. With the right accent colors, red and black can be striking and elegant.

Home Decor Ideas With Red and Black

Check out these red and black home decor combinations:

Room Color Scheme
Living room Black sofa, red throw pillows, white and gray rug
Dining room Black table and chairs, red curtains, silver chandelier
Bedroom Black headboard, red comforter, white sheets
Office Black desk, red desk lamp, white walls/shelving
Kitchen Black appliances/cabinets, red bar stools, stainless steel accents

White, gray, and metallic accent colors keep these color schemes elegant and sophisticated. The bold red and black elements make a statement without becoming overwhelming when used sparingly.


Red and black together convey bold intensity. They grab attention and feel powerful. The best colors to pair with red and black are white, gray, gold, and blue. Avoid matching red and black with green, pink, orange, or brown. Add lighter neutrals and metallics to soften the high-contrast combo. Use one color more prominently and the other as accents. With smart styling, red and black can be striking, elegant, and modern. This dynamic color duo makes a dramatic impact in both fashion and interior design.