Growing up ginger, there are certain things you hear a lot: "Someone call 999 and report a firecrotch," for instance. "You're gross and no one will ever love you!" for another. And yet, perhaps most damaging to my young, pallid life was the much more innocuous-seeming: "Redheads can't wear red." Unlike the idea that no one would ever love me based on my hair (don't make me do this, but: Jessica Rabbit, Rita Hayworth, Ariel, Ann Margaret etc. etc. etc.), the premise that redheads can't and shouldn't be wearing red was gospel for me until only very recently. What was I THINKING? What were we ALL thinking. Here are a few more shades of the clothes-night we need to take back.
This one can be tough. Depending on which breed of ginge you are, your skin tone likely ranges from pure white to dappled with freckles to ruddy as all get out. I form the latter group and I am here to tell you to things: 1) pop on some green primer and then go about the rest of your makeup routine un-rouged, and 2) Just look for richer, deeper pinks. Magentas, deep salmons, neons, even. It's totally do-able, just shy away from things you could hold up against your face and find a match with.
People will tell you you can't wear pastels. "They wash you out," they'll say. "You'll look like the ghost of a mum," they'll say. "We are no fun and being very prescriptive about your clothing choices for almost no reason," they won't say but maybe should. Pastels caaaan be tricky, but you're more than capable of wearing them. Even soft, blush-y pinks can happen for you if you find the right shade/article of clothing. The world is your fashion oyster and don't you forget it!
Basically we're back to the skin tone problem we had with pinks, but with hair this time. As we all know, redheadedness is not one colour but rather a hirsute rainbow from auburn to strawberry blonde, and many strands of this rainbow are orange: it goes ROOOOOOOOOOOOOYGBIV, more or less. Again, all you're trying to do is not be dressed head to toe in any one colour. Therefore, if you're the proper Anne Shirley, "carrots" kind of ginger, try to find a darker, more burnt orange. If you've got brown-y red hair do whatever you want. Use your beautiful, satin-y heads, guys!
Go completely freaking wild with the reds. There is no shade of red you can't pull off, and I mean this. As always, the deeper and richer the colour the better, but honestly just go shopping and figure it out. You'll be fine. There's a reason red hair goes so well with your skin tone. Red fabric does too! Clothe yourself in cranberry! Bust out the brick! Swathe yourself in Siena! Alliterate however you want but do it in R-E-D!
I believe in you. Joan Holloway believes in you. You can do this.