Duchess Sophie’s sultry wine coloured dress with scalloped neckline proves why we all need a pop of red in our wardrobe

The Duchess of Edinburgh loves wearing bold colours and her deep red dress at a 2013 reception is still one of our favourites

Composite of Duchess Sophie wearing a red wine coloured dress at a reception marking the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who in 2013
(Image credit: Image 1:Photo by Eddie Mulholland - WPA Pool/Getty Images // Image 2:Photo by Eddie Mulholland - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Duchess Sophie’s sultry wine coloured dress made a statement in 2013 and we're still inspired by this look all these years later.

When you’re putting together a summer capsule wardrobe you might be tempted to stick to only neutral pieces, but you shouldn’t be afraid to incorporate some eye-catching colours too. This is something the royals are experts at doing and Duchess Sophie in particular has always loved to mix and match neutral tones with bolder pieces. Dark red is one of the biggest spring/summer fashion colour trends of this year but jewel-tones are always coming back into fashion and Duchess Sophie showcased her love of wearing red in the most statement way in 2013. 

Hosting a reception to mark the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who at Buckingham Palace, the Duchess of Edinburgh stepped out of her styling comfort zone with a sultry off-shoulder dress by Valentino. The neckline framed her décolletage in such an elegant way and the scalloped detailing transformed the classic Bardot neckline into something a little more contemporary.

Duchess Sophie during a reception to mark the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who

(Image credit: Photo by Eddie Mulholland - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

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If you’re wondering how to wear red and find yourself a little daunted by vivid shades, then a more muted burgundy red like Duchess Sophie’s red wine coloured dress is a great alternative. She also chose a very simple yet effective dress design which had the colour as the main focus and which was otherwise plain and this also helped make it more wearable.

The long sleeves, bodycon fit and knee-length hem gave this dress a sophisticated edge and more versatility. Unlike the admittedly gorgeous gowns and very formal ensembles the Duchess of Edinburgh often wears, this wouldn’t look at all out of place for a lovely dinner out with friends or for a special low-key party. To make it more casual, simply style with a pair of ballet pumps and throw over a leather jacket.

Duchess Sophie hosts a reception for the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who

(Image credit: Photo by Eddie Mulholland - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

However, Duchess Sophie went all-out with the glamour at the Doctor Who reception with some neutral accessories. This is another easy way to balance out a more statement colour and makes the most of your wardrobe staples. Her shoes were court shoe heels in a soft nude-beige suede and she finished off her look with dainty diamond drop earrings and a necklace.

Going for a side-swept hair look Duchess Sophie had her blonde tresses tied back away from her face in a low bun which also accentuated the top of her fabulous dress. The royals tend to favour more modest necklines but this was a risk that definitely paid off for the Duchess of Edinburgh.  

Duchess Sophie at a Doctor Who reception

(Image credit: Photo by Eddie Mulholland - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Although she didn’t dip her toe into wearing red lipstick to match her dress on this occasion, Duchess Sophie’s lip colour did have a berry undertone to it that brought out the warmth of her choice of red. 

During the reception she chatted to cast members including Jenna Coleman, Catherine Tate and The Crown star Matt Smith, as well as getting to meet a Dalek that had been brought into the palace. She looked delighted throughout the evening and Duchess Sophie’s sultry red wine coloured dress couldn’t have been a more perfect choice for this special occasion.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!