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Do I have to wear black with my new red pants?

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The question

I just bought a pair of red pants; what can I wear with them? (Does it have to be black?)

The answer

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First, allow me some tough love: What took you so long? Red pants transitioned from novelty trouser to fashion basic two years ago. I remember visiting Paris in May, 2011 and noticing that women were wearing red pants in place of blue jeans. Gap rolled out jeans in red, electric blue and green that summer and clearly, as your question indicates, the demand continues today.

Red pants lend themselves to many pairing options beyond black. A navy blazer or pullover is the most obvious, especially if you add a crisp white shirt. I also like the idea of a faded denim chambray shirt or even some type of top in a sandy khaki.

And if you're ready to take your red pants to the next level, pair them with the palest, palest pink – as in, almost white. I guarantee that if you try this, you'll be taking two steps (fashion) forward.

Amy Verner is The Globe and Mail's Paris-based style reporter. Have a fashion question? E-mail Follow her on Twitter @amyverner.

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