September 16, 2019

9 Ideas for How to Wear Burnt Orange

The color that's not only for Longhorns this season!

All About Burnt Orange

Editor’s note:  

I know, I know… Green is the color of the month through the end of September is green. However, with football season upon us, with me planning a trip back to campus soon, and with just generally being excited about my alma mater and the fall season, I couldn’t resist writing a guide to how to wear burnt orange. Plus, I’m really impressed with the burnt orange items available this season, so I’m thrilled to share those finds with you! 

The Color Orange

Orange is the new black. 50 shades of orange! Orange you glad it’s fall?

No matter how you pun it, orange really is a hot color this season. The fashion runways have been filled with shades of orange for several seasons now. So, it’s time we address how to wear this sometimes tricky color. For today, we are going to talk about a specific hue close to my heart: how to wear burnt orange. This shade of orange is perfect for fall with its with its rusty autumnal tones.

So, sit back, cozy up with a pumpkin spice latte, relax, and read all about burnt orange… I’ll make a bold prediction: by the end of this article, even the most ardent Texas A&M Aggies among us will be tempted by this most beautiful warm shade of orange. You’ll be saying, “Bring on the burnt orange!”


The History of Burnt Orange

Well, my personal history with this hue extends back twenty plus years to my time at The University of Texas at Austin.  That’s right – I went to the school known for this shade of orange. And you know what? I found burnt orange to be a difficult color to wear stylishly. Granted, I wasn’t very stylish in college, but I digress. That’s a story for another day…

In terms of burnt orange at The University of Texas, well that in and of itself has an interesting history! If you are a history trivia buff, you might enjoy this video about when burnt orange and white first made an appearance as UT’s school colors. I won’t spoil the story, but it involves a train, a baseball game, and ribbon in the year 1885. Yes, 133 years ago! You can read more about the circuitous history of our brand colors here. Side note: I need to track down one of those original vintage sweaters! What a treasure that would be.

UT takes its burnt orange very seriously. The color is trademarked. As you can see here, the university has brand guidelines regarding its use. And you are never, ever to use tints of burnt orange! Only the real deal, please and thank you.

Funny story: at my previous house, I had a third floor game room. When I decided to paint it burnt orange, I went to a home improvement store. They had a collection of Big XII conference team paints, so I assumed they’d have burnt orange. Wrong! It turns out that they had eleven of the twelve conference team colors. UT does not allow licensing of their color. Fortunately, my painter happened to have painted parts of the football stadium and knew the secret formula. Whew! Crisis averted.

Okay, enough about the history of this color. Let’s jump into how to wear it!

9 Ways to Wear Burnt Orange

Now, as far as colors go, orange can come across as very aggressive. It’s almost “in your face” so to speak. Think of traffic cones. That energy can also read as very optimistic and enthusiastic. Color theory explains that it can even encourage action. It’s a courageous color!

So, without going too deep into the psychology of color, let’s embrace all the positive aspects of burnt orange by wearing it in flattering ways this season! Here are nine creative ideas for wearing burnt orange.

1. Do it with denim

The most obvious choice is to pair your burnt orange pieces with denim. That might mean a dress with a denim jacket or a blouse and denim jeans, or some other burnt orange and denim combination. This is the most casual option – and definitely one to peruse if you are attending any UT Longhorn football games!

Similarly, navy is a beautifully classic color to pair with burnt orange. If you’re feeling bold, you can even try cobalt blue.

2. Make it monochromatic

A way to have the color make its own bold statement is by way of a monochromatic look. As you might have seen here, I found a simple, yet beautiful, dress that is truly a perfect shade of this burnt orange hue.

3. Give it a go with green

Green is a complementary color to orange, so pairing these two colors together works wonderfully. They key is using the same tone for both.

4. Go gorgeous with gold

In terms of jewelry, gold accents the burnt orange color so very nicely. They are both bold and rich feeling, and they complement each other very well. So, go for the gold!

5. Ban black and brown

We certainly don’t believe in rules in fashion. So we don’t want to say don’t wear burnt orange with black or brown because either can, in fact, be a pretty option.

However, be careful when wearing too much black or brown with the color, as you want to steer clear of looking like a Halloween decoration or a tree in the fall. Plus, those dark neutrals can drag the color down even more, making it drab and mundane rather than bold and extraordinary! If you need to incorporate some neutrals, opt for lighter toned neutrals.

6. Yes to Yellow

One of our favorite colors to pair with burnt orange is yellow. Both are happy, positive colors. They invoke the image of a new day dawning! And who doesn’t love a fresh, sunny start to her day?

7. Always Accessorize

You know we love accessorizing, and there are some beautiful ways to bring the burnt orange color into your accessories, such as with the clutch I wore with this look.

8. Pick a print or pattern

Wear orange as a print or pattern, such as with this embroidered top I wore here. There are tons of beautiful printed pieces out there that are in this shade, including this dress and this skirt.

9. Break from the “burnt” 

When all else fails, Longhorns, break away from the burnt shade of orange. Trust me, no one is going to question your school loyalty if you go for a different shade of orange like coral or rust. Just don’t wear traffic cone orange when you’re playing the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

How I’ve Worn Burnt Orange

How You Can Wear Burnt Orange

Admit it – we have you excited about burnt orange, don’t we? The color you never knew you needed! Never fear – from casual to dressy, we have options for you.

In Closing

What are your thoughts? Are you loving burnt orange as much as we are? Anything you’re eyeing from above?

For more tips on wearing other shades of orange, check out this guide on how to wear orange.

Have a great day!


  1. Frida says:

    Carrie, Thank you so much for ‘MORE COLOR PLEASE’!! My closet if full of dresses in every color, every style and every fabric. In 2014, I wore a different dress every day, stepped into the back yard with green grass as a backdrop to take a selfie and post the daily pic to FB until I exhausted my dress collection. This Saturday I plan on going back through the dresses and reviewing your posts to get the best color combination with accessories. I’m totally loving your efforts here!! Thank you!

  2. Frida – thank you so much for the comment! The whole team here really appreciated your message! What lovely encouragement. Thank you. And we are dying to see your dress collection. 😀

    More color please!

    All the best,

  3. Kim Gordon says:

    Thanks for reposting all of these burnt orange looks! You know you’re a Longhorn, if one of your laundry colors is burnt orange. You can never have too much…🤘🏻🧡

    1. Haha! I’m glad you agree with me Kim. 🙂

  4. Abimpe says:

    Help me out, I intend to wearing a brunt orange head tie with a faded pink gown.

  5. Paula Carlson says:

    Ok I picked up the cutest skinny burnt orange corduroy jeans… please what should I pair these fabulous Jean’s with

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *