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What color goes with reddish brown?

Reddish brown is a rich, earthy color that can be tricky to pair in fashion and decor. However, with some color theory knowledge, you can easily find colors that complement reddish brown beautifully. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the best color matches for reddish brown and provide color combination ideas to inspire your own stylish look.

Understanding Reddish Brown

First, let’s break down what defines the reddish brown color. As the name suggests, it’s a shade that combines rich red undertones with brown. It’s darker and more muted than basic red but has more vibrance than traditional brown. You’ll often hear it described as rust, cinnamon, clay, or copper.

Reddish brown sits between the warm tertiary colors on the color wheel. This means it pairs best with other warm earth tones as well as neutral and monochromatic shades. Cooler tones like blues, greens, purples, and grays can work but require more finesse in balancing the temperature contrast.

Complementary Colors

Complementary colors are directly opposite each other on the color wheel. This creates the highest contrast and vibrancy when paired. For reddish brown, the complementary color is blue-green.

Some examples of appealing blue-green shades to pair with reddish brown include teal, seafoam, aqua, and light blue-green. These create an eye-catching color scheme that flatters both warm and cool complexions.

For a more subtle look, try soft powdery blue, sage green, or slate blue. Muted blue-greens work nicely with the natural tones of reddish brown.

Analogous Colors

Analogous colors sit directly next to each other on the color wheel. This creates harmony and visual interest when combined. For reddish brown, analogous colors include:

  • Red
  • Red-orange
  • Orange
  • Yellow-orange
  • Yellow
  • Yellow-green

Bright warm shades like tomato red, burnt orange, and golden yellow pair beautifully with reddish brown. They pick up on the vibrant red undertones. For a more muted look, try softer terra cotta, peach, mustard, or ochre shades.

Triadic Colors

The triadic color scheme uses three colors equally spaced around the color wheel. For reddish brown, this includes blue-violet and yellow-green.

Triadic color schemes tend to have a vibrant, playful effect. Combining reddish brown with contrasting shades like lime green, chartreuse, plum, and periwinkle can create an energetic look.

If you find these combinations overpowering, try instead pale sage green, soft lilac, powder blue, or muted violet-gray. The triadic approach offers lots of flexibility.

Split Complementary Colors

This popular scheme takes a base color and pairs it with the two colors adjacent to its complement. For reddish brown, this includes blue-green with yellow-orange and blue-violet.

Try combining reddish brown with contrasting split complements like orange-red and cobalt blue or yellow-green and eggplant purple. This creates both vibrant contrast and color harmony.

For a more subtle effect, use pale sky blue and mustard or slate gray and terracotta. The split complementary approach works for both bold color statements and understated elegance.

Monochromatic Colors

Monochromatic palettes use a single base color and its tints, tones, and shades. With reddish brown, this includes:

  • Light tints like beige, tan, and cream
  • Medium-dark brown tones
  • Deep shades like chocolate, coffee, and charcoal

Monochromes have an elegant, soothing effect. Mixing lighter tints, mid-range browns, and rich chocolate shades creates depth and interest while keeping a uniform palette.

For variation, add neutral black and white. Crisp white helps light tints pop while black accentuates the drama of the deepest shades.


Natural, muted neutrals complement reddish brown’s earthiness. Try pairing it with:

  • Cream
  • Tan
  • Beige
  • Taupe
  • Heather gray
  • Charcoal

Softer neutrals help tone down reddish brown’s intensity while harmonizing with its natural look. Black and white add modern contrast.

For more interest, add neutral prints and textures like animal prints, tweed, nubby knits, and soft flannel.

Best Color Combinations with Reddish Brown

Now let’s look at some specific color palettes that look beautiful with rich, earthy reddish brown.

Reddish Brown and Sage Green

This natural color pairing combines reddish brown’s warm earthiness with refreshing green. Use muted sage green, jade, moss, or olive shades to complement the red undertones.

Try reddish brown and green together in rustic cabin decor, earthy bohemian styles, or organic spa designs. Green’s renewing properties balance the cozy warmth of reddish brown.

Reddish Brown and Sky Blue

The cool tranquility of sky blue or pale powder blue beautifully contrasts the warmth of reddish brown. Together they create a soothing complementary pairing.

Use different shades of blue and brown to decorate bedrooms, living spaces, and other relaxing retreats. Blue’s serene effect complements reddish brown’s grounded, natural beauty.

Reddish Brown and Cream

Cream or off-white has an elegant neutral effect with rich reddish brown. The creamy ivory undertones bring out the red warmth while softening the intensity.

This timeless, sophisticated color pairing suits formal spaces like dining rooms and studies. Try cream walls with reddish brown furniture and accents for a fresh, inviting look.

Reddish Brown and Charcoal

Charcoal gray and black provide bold contrast to reddish brown’s muted vibrance. The depth of charcoal’s near-black richness complements the red undertones.

Use this dramatic pairing for bold modern spaces and uniform outfits. Charcoal suits, black accessories, and reddish brown shoes or bags create stylish cohesion.

How to Decorate with Reddish Brown

Now that you know the colors that complement reddish brown, here are some tips for incorporating it into your home decor or wardrobe:

  • Use reddish brown as a neutral base for room colors. Pair with accents in various shades that complement it.
  • Choose reddish brown furniture like dining chairs, sofas, or tables to anchor a room. Layer on accessories in coordinating colors.
  • Bring in reddish brown with pillows, area rugs, curtains, or other removable decor touches.
  • If using reddish brown on walls, opt for a lighter shade to keep the room feeling open and airy.
  • Incorporate different shades of brown to create depth. Try lighter cappuccino, deep mahogany, and richer espresso.
  • Use texture such as wood, leather, suede, and knits to add interest to monochromatic reddish brown palettes.
  • As an accent color, a little reddish brown goes a long way. Use it strategically in small doses.

With any color scheme, remember to create balance. Don’t go overboard with too many competing shades. Use 60-30-10 as a handy guideline – 60% dominant color, 30% secondary, 10% accent.

Reddish Brown Color Schemes in Fashion

Reddish brown’s natural earthiness also translates beautifully in fashion. Here are some stylish ways to wear the color:

  • Pair reddish brown jackets, pants, or skirts with cool blue denim on top.
  • Team a cinnamon brown dress with charcoal tights and black booties.
  • Mix different shades like tan shoes, rust bag, and chocolate jacket.
  • Add a pop of sea green or bright white against an all-brown outfit.
  • Wear a neutral outfit in cream, gray, tan and add a rust-colored scarf or hat.
  • Usereddish brown as a base color and layer on patterned shirts or accessories.

Like decor, aim for color balance in fashion. Don’t overwhelm your look with too many competing shades. Start with one or two main colors and accent with smaller supporting hues.

Reddish Brown Color Combinations

Here is a quick reference table summarizing some of the best color pairs for reddish brown:

Color Scheme Paired Colors
Complementary Blue-green
Analogous Red, orange, yellow
Triadic Blue-violet, yellow-green
Split Complementary Blue-green, yellow-orange
Monochromatic Brown tones + black/white
Neutrals Cream, beige, tan, taupe, charcoal

Use these suggested color pairs as inspiration when coordinating reddish brown for your own stylish looks. Have fun and get creative with different shades and combinations.


Reddish brown is a versatile, natural color that pairs beautifully with a wide range of shades. By following basic color theory, you can easily identify colors that complement and accentuate its rich, earthy essence. Use this guide to help select color schemes featuring reddish brown that harmonize in both fashion and decor.

Remember to aim for balance, use 60-30-10 as a handy ratio, and you’ll be styling reddish brown combinations like a pro. So embrace this grounded yet vibrant shade and explore fresh new color palettes for your own stylish look.