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Burgundy or Maroon?

Burgundy or Maroon - do you know which is which and do you know how to recognize the one for you?

Identifying the difference between a WARM and a COOL shade of 'burgundy' can be a problem!

Why is it so difficult? And how can you ensure you choose your own best shade?

The color BURGUNDY is actually COOL and yet it's used quite generically to cover lots of different shades. The WARM version is actually called MAROON which sounds an old fashioned term - but there is a distinct difference between the two.

Burgundy or Maroon? what's the difference? 
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Kellyann (left above) blogs at www.thisblondesshoppingbag.com. I analyzed her colors recently as COOL but she encountered this problem recently. She ordered a moto jacket in 'burgundy' (right above) only to find the color was completely wrong for her. Fortunately, second time around she was able to recognize her best shade - left above. Save time and money with Online Color Analysis! 

Autumn or Winter - but something for everyone!

Burgundy or Maroon are both fabulous colors and it's worth taking a little time to discover the best one for you. 

The undertone of a color, whether it's influenced by Yellow or Blue, will decide whether a color is Warm or Cool - and consequently whether or not it's going to flatter your complexion.  

Many burgundies look great on both Autumn and Winter coloring (Warm and Cool) but if a color leans too heavily one way or another it may cause you a problem. So let me explain the difference. 

Burgundy or Maroon? what's the difference? 
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Identify Burgundy or Maroon

Red is a primary color with no undertone, but when another color is added it takes on an undertone of either Warm or Cool.

When Purple (primarily a Cool color) is added to Red it becomes Burgundy and is COOL. 

  • So BURGUNDY is actually a dull purplish red taking it's name from the color of the wine produced in the Burgundy region of France. Alternative names such as wine, claret, bordeaux, grape, damson etc. are often used and follow the wine connection.

When Brown (primarily a Warm color) is added to Red it becomes Maroon and is WARM.

  • The word MAROON is a rich browny toned red taken from the French word 'marron' for chestnut - the rich reddish brown chestnuts and conkers we enjoy in the Fall.  
Burgundy or Maroon? what's the difference? 
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Make it easy

There might not seem to be a great difference in these two sets of colors but, if you know your skin tone or are trying to understand a Color Swatch, this is an easy way to understand the most flattering color for you.

Use your Color Swatch as a 'blending tool' on any fabric or garment and see whether the two 'sit' happily together.

Alternatively, if you are not sure about the color you are choosing, look around at several different shades in this color range and the purple tones or brown tones will identify themselves when you put them next to each other

So Burgundy is Cool, Maroon is Warm

Above left the purplish deep pink tones of Burgundy blend into the Cool colors of the Winter color swatch. 

On the right, however, the rich, russet, chestnut tones of Maroon blend happily into the Warm colors of the Autumn season.

You might see lots of 'burgundies' that will blend easily with either color palette and if this is the case then don't worry, it's not essential to distinguish between the two unless the difference is obvious.

For some great inspiration check out 30 ways to wear Burgundy!

Spring and Summer can Wear Burgundy too

Shades of Cool Burgundy

Shades of Warm Maroon

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