Think Christmas, Fourth of July and several holidays in between — red is a color that’s perpetually front and center, and the same is true for the crimson pieces hanging in your closet. The hue is easy to match in theory, but less so in practice; the dominant nature of red can make teaming it with anything other than black or white a bit of a head-scratcher. Look to a bit of color theory and — naturally — red-carpet inspiration for ideas to rock the rouge.

In many ways, red works like blue denim, anchoring a look and handling a multitude of color pairings. Light and dark neutrals are an easy place to start when building an outfit with red.

The idea of the same shade moving from light to dark or dark to light is the crux of ombre coloring. Apply this principle to your red clothing for some fashion-forward and unexpected pairings — namely, varying hues of red and pink. You can channel actress Emma Stone with a fuchsia skirt and candy-apple red blouse; finish the look with leg-elongating nude pumps.

Teaming pink with red is certainly not for the faint of heart — if it’s too much too soon, ease into the idea by wearing a blush pink silk tank top with dark red skinny jeans and a printed scarf that ties the shades together. Finish with beige ballet flats and a coordinating leather bag.

Tips

Printed add-ons — shoes, handbags, scarves — and mixed-color jewelry make it easy to pair bold colors.

As a primary color, red is at home with the other two — blue and yellow. The combination of two or all three of these shades makes for a mod take on color-blocking.

For a nautical nod, wear red shorts and a blue-and-white striped boatneck top with three-quarter-length sleeves. Add a chunky charm bracelet and espadrille-style canvas slip-ons, and carry a blue anchor-emblazoned canvas tote for good maritime measure.

Combining all three is almost as easy: Slip into dark denim jeans, a light blue button-down and a crimson cardigan. Carry an oversized canary yellow shoulder bag, and roll up the jeans to reveal matching yellow ballet flats.