Burgundy: A Colored Neutral

Colored Neutrals: Installment Three

Happy day, reader dearest!

I LOVE wine! No, not that kind of wine. I mean the color wine! Oh, who am I kidding? I like that wine, too. Although it doesn’t like me the way it did when I was less vintage. (True about SO many things…) #amirite

FYI: I will be using the terms Wine and Burgundy interchangeably in this post.

Why is Burgundy Wine such a great color? Burgundy manages to be solid and traditional but not stodgy. It has the powerful allure of red without the flash.

Wine can be treated as a neutral. Not convinced? What color are traditional loafers? Yes, Oxblood. Which is just another name for a deep wine. You see them worn with everything. I. Mean. Every. Thing. That makes it a colored neutral, just like the ones I wrote about in the first two installments.

If you would like an introduction to colored neutrals, and other information (and links) about color, read this. The first installment is about teal, which may just be my favorite colored neutral. To catch the second installment, about Greens, read more here.

Related to burgundy/wine is eggplant. They often share the same names, which can be confusing! For our purposes today (and in the coming Eggplant post), wine is lighter and more red. Eggplant (and more purple wines) are darker and more, well, purple. (Surprise!) How we view color is very subjective and relative to the other colors and textures around it, so if you want to call something I term wine or burgundy by another name, please feel free to do so!


Like our friend Teal, Burgundy is another skin enhancer color for many people. Think about it: When we are healthy, our lips (or at least the inside of them) are a deep red… The color of the inside of our lips, or the deep flush of embarassment is a great color for us.

NOTE: Wine and Burgundy lipcolors are BIG this Fall/Winter season. For my lips, I prefer a sheer finish wine lipcolor rather than an opaque matte look. Since you can find both warm and cool wines, there should be one out there for anyone who wants to experiment!

If you want to shop this image, feel free to click here. Nordstron does not an affiliate of the platfrom I use to make these images. No money comes my way. Alas.

If you are curious, the dress also comes in teal! It’s a tough call which I like better. The silicone and pearl bracelets may just end up on my holiday wish list.. Are you reading this, Santa?

The only place I find Wine tricky is when building a capsule wardrobe. Normally, if I am including red, I skip wine. And vice versa.

Other Ways to Look for Wine

When shopping online for wine, look for: Garnet, Ruby, Maroon, Port, Marsala and Oxblood as I mentioned above. You may also find Wine described as almost any kind of grape varietal: Merlot, Burgundy or Cabernet. Or fermented wine beverage: Mulled Wine and Sangria are common. Know that if you are thinking Bordeaux, you’ll also find it spelled Bordeau and Bordo. (My Middle Grades Language Arts self cringes.)

For an interesting romp through all kinds of fabulous color names, look for Ingrid Sundberg’s Color Thesaurus. I can’t link the site here because the security certifcate has expired, but it’s a fabulous resource… Sigh.

Fabulous Pairings

Whether you prefer Wine (deep and cool) or Maroon (deep and warm), here are some combinations to try! Time to look at the Color Wheel to find interesting combinations! (Of course, you can wear Wine or Maroon with any other neutral…)

Wine + Blush

Wine + Pink

Wine + Mustard

Wine + Persimmon

Wine + Teal

Wine + Wedgewood Blue

Wine + Light Blue

Wine + Forest Green (Uber 80’s)

Wine + Moss

Wine + Olive

Burgundy IRL

So How About You?

Do you like wine? How about the color? Is it hard to find the right shade of wine for your coloring? I know when Marsala was Pantone’s Color of the Year back in 2015, it was a challenge to find cool wines. With what color do you like to pair wine? Had you thought of Wine as a neutral before? Or as a color? Do tell! I love to hear your thoughts…

Stylishly yours,



    Liz, I’m ashamed to say I haven’t worn either the shoes or the purse!! I don’t have anything to go with them!! I really want to include this color in my wardrobe this Fall/Winter season!! I’m looking!!

    • Liz K

      I have a feeling you have plenty to “go with them”, Natalie! Try thinking of them as a neutral and pairing them with your less vivid colors.

  • Kathleen McDermott

    Love all cool burgundy shades and have always considered it a rich neutral and closet staple. I have lots of it in tops, bottoms, shoes and purses. Also coats and dresses. Always makes me think of Etienne Aigner – had their bags & shoes years ago. I enjoy a burgundy lip as long as it is bright vs dark. And nails, when I actually muster the energy to paint them! Your biker jacket is stunning and I don’t think I have that color. Must look for one in faux leather. Did just buy a burgundy faux suede from Walmart – it is quite pretty. I’m enjoying this study of colored neutrals!

    • Liz K

      What a treat, Kathleen! Thank you for that Aigner led trip down memory lane… I had one of the fishing creel handbags back in the 80’s when they were so very popular! It’s tricky to find the right burgundy lip–deep enough without going goth. Bright enough to be a bit lively. The right lipcolor is often a Goldilocks adventure! (One of the reasons I’m thankful for my color palette! It makes choosing makeup MUCH easier!)

  • Lise

    I do like cool burgundy in Autumn & Winter, Liz. Summer I prefer red. I think of it as a neutral too. I have burgundy cords and a few knits. I love your burgundy moto! I have a new-ish pair of burgundy specs that I am loving. This color has always worked for me, and even better now with silver hair..

    • Liz K

      Burgundy IS fabulous with silver hair, Lise! There are perks go embracing the grey. Thank you for the lovely compliment on the biker jacket. I waited years to find the right one!


    Liz, I love the color neutral Maroon best on me but I like Burgandy the best!! I haven’t any Maroon clothing in my wardrobe although I have beautiful Maroon shoes and a leather purse I’ve never even used!! I would love to include Maroon clothing in my wardrobe!!

    • Liz K

      Why do you think you haven’t used that purse, Natalie? I’m hoping you’ve worn the shoes! It sounds like a great color for the rest of your wardrobe.

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