Burgundy vs Maroon | Unraveling the Rich Tapestry of Red Tones

Maroon suit

Written by Sonia Su

In the world of colors, the realm of red offers a captivating spectrum that includes hues like maroon and burgundy, each possessing its own unique allure and personality. While these two shades often overlap and are thought of as the same color, distinguishing between them can be as elusive as it is intriguing.

In this article, we embark on a journey to decode the intricate distinctions between maroon and burgundy, exploring their origins, characteristics, and the delightful world of fashion in which they play pivotal roles.

Whether you're a passionate color enthusiast or simply seeking clarity in the sea of red, join us as we unravel the rich tapestry of burgundy versus maroon and unlock the secrets behind their timeless charm.


Origins of Maroon and Burgundy

The origins of these colors can be traced back to their respective historical and cultural roots.

Burgundy derives its name from the Burgundy region in eastern France. The color burgundy has become synonymous with the deep red color of the red wine produced there.

Burgundy wine

This shade of dark red has ancient roots, dating back to the medieval Kingdom of Burgundy, which encompassed parts of modern-day France, Switzerland, and Belgium. The dyes used in the region gave rise to the color we now know as burgundy. Burgundy gained prominence in fashion during the late 19th century, becoming associated with luxury and opulence, especially in textiles and clothing.

Both maroon and burgundy have evolved over time, influenced by cultural and historical factors. Today, they remain popular and versatile colors, finding applications in fashion, design, and various forms of artistic expression, while continuing to evoke a sense of elegance and richness.

The word "maroon" finds its origins in the French word "marron," which means "chestnut." Initially, it referred to a dark reddish-brown color reminiscent of the chestnut's outer shell.

Over time, the term evolved to describe a darker shade of red, often associated with the color of ripe chestnuts or the robust hue of red clay soil. Maroon has historical significance as it was a color used to denote the clothing of certain social or religious groups, such as the robes of Roman Catholic cardinals.

Roman Catholic cardinal 

Characteristics of Burgundy and Maroon

Burgundy and maroon are distinct shades of dark red, each with its own set of characteristics:

Burgundy Color

Burgundy cotton

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  • Richness: The color burgundy is known for its deep and luxurious appearance, often resembling the color of dark red wine. It exudes opulence and sophistication.
  • Purple Undertones: Burgundy typically contains subtle hints of violet or purple hue, giving it a complex and regal quality with its deep purplish red color.
  • Versatility: This shade of red can range from dark to medium, making it versatile for a wide range of applications, from clothing and accessories to interior decor.
  • Elegance: Burgundy is associated with a refined and classy aesthetic, making it a popular choice for formal wear and upscale events.
  • Timelessness: It has a timeless quality, and its popularity in fashion and design has endured through different eras.

Maroon Color

  • Warmth: Maroon is often described as a warm, earthy red with brown tones. It evokes a cozy and inviting feel.
  • Rustic Charm: This color is reminiscent of autumn leaves and the natural world, making it suitable for rustic and outdoor-themed designs.
  • Traditional Appeal: Maroon has a traditional and classic quality, making it a popular choice for academic gowns, uniforms, and vintage-inspired designs.
    Maroon color
  • Variation: Maroon can vary in its exact hue, sometimes leaning more towards brown or red, allowing for flexibility in design applications.
  • Comfort: It often gives a sense of comfort and nostalgia, making it a favored choice for casual clothing and cozy home decor.

Both of these colors have their unique personalities and can convey different emotions and aesthetics depending on their use and context. Understanding these characteristics helps individuals choose the right shade to achieve their desired look and ambiance for your next occasion.


Roles in Men's Fashion: Burgundy and Maroon

Burgundy and maroon play distinct but complementary roles in men's fashion, each offering its own style and versatility:

burgundy vs maroon men's suit color infographic

    Burgundy in Men's Fashion

    • Sophisticated Elegance: Burgundy is associated with sophistication and luxury, making it an excellent choice for formal occasions. Burgundy tuxedos, blazers, and collared shirts are popular for upscale events.
    • Footwear: Burgundy color dress shoes, particularly oxfords and loafers, are highly favored for formal and semi-formal wear, adding a touch of refinement to suits and dress pants.
    • Accessories: Burgundy ties, pocket squares, and bow ties are staples in men's formal wear, enhancing the overall deep burgundy look with a regal touch.

      Classic Red Pocket Square

      Shop Pocket Square

    • Versatility: Burgundy's versatility allows it to transition from formal to smart-casual settings, making it suitable for dress shirts, sweaters, and even chinos or jeans.
    • Outerwear: Burgundy overcoats and trench coats make a bold fashion statement during colder seasons while maintaining an air of sophistication.

    Maroon in Men's Fashion

    • Traditional Elegance: Maroon exudes a classic and timeless charm, making it a popular choice for traditional men's clothing, including suits, blazers, and ties.
    • Academic Attire: Maroon is often associated with academic robes and gowns, particularly in universities. It signifies dignity and tradition in academic settings.
    • Casual Comfort: In casual wear, maroon is ideal for sweaters, hoodies, and T-shirts, providing a cozy and approachable look.
    • Footwear: Maroon-colored shoes, such as loafers or sneakers, can add a touch of sophistication to casual outfits while maintaining comfort.
    • Accessories: Maroon accessories, like leather belts and wallets, offer a subtle yet stylish accent to men's attire. Check out our guides on how to pair belts and shoes and how to match dress socks with your outfit.

    In summary, maroon and burgundy have well-defined roles in men's fashion. Maroon leans toward traditional and comfortable attire, while burgundy excels in sophisticated and upscale ensembles. Both colors add depth and character to a man's wardrobe, allowing for a range of clothing color combinations for men across different occasions and seasons.


    When to Wear Maroon and Burgundy

    Choosing between maroon vs burgundy colors depends on the specific context, desired aesthetics, and the message you want to convey:

    Choose Burgundy For...

    • Formal Events: Opt for burgundy when attending formal events like weddings, galas, or upscale parties. Burgundy's luxurious and regal appearance makes it an excellent choice for tuxedos, blazers, and ties, especially for white tie attire.
    • Sophistication: When you want to exude sophistication and refinement, burgundy is the way to go. It adds an air of elegance to your attire, making it suitable for important business meetings or upscale social gatherings.
    • Accessories: Burgundy accessories, such as ties, pocket squares, or dress shoes, elevate your outfit, particularly when you want to make a stylish statement without going overboard. Check out our classic solid burgundy tie and other men's accessories like fun dress socks.
    • Fall and Winter: Burgundy complements the rich, warm colors of the fall and winter seasons. Coats, scarves, and sweaters in burgundy can help you stay stylish and cozy during colder months.

    Choose Maroon For...

    • Traditional Look: Maroon color is a classic and timeless choice, making it perfect for traditional and vintage-inspired outfits. Consider maroon suits, blazers, or vests for a refined yet traditional appearance.
    • Casual and Comfort: Maroon is ideal for casual and comfortable wear, such as sweaters, hoodies, and T-shirts. It provides a relaxed and cozy vibe, perfect for everyday activities.
    • Academic Settings: If you're part of an academic institution with maroon-colored robes or uniforms, maroon accessories like ties or scarves can complement your academic attire.
    • Autumnal Aesthetics: Maroon aligns well with the warm and earthy tones of autumn. It's an excellent choice for outerwear, including jackets and coats, during the fall season.

    Ultimately, the choice between burgundy and maroon comes down to the occasion, your personal style, and the atmosphere you want to create. Both colors have their unique charm and can be used effectively to convey different moods and aesthetics in various settings.

    For more on colors, check out our separate guides on the differences between teal and turquoise and royal blue and navy blue.


    Frequently Asked Questions about Maroon vs Burgundy

    1 — Is burgundy the same as maroon?

    Many think burgundy and maroon are the same color and are often used interchangeably, but there are subtle differences. Burgundy typically has a slightly redder hue with hints of purple, while maroon tends to be a deeper red with more brown tones. Despite these nuances, they're closely related shades within the red-purple spectrum.

    2 — Is crimson close to maroon or burgundy?

    Crimson is closer in hue to burgundy than to maroon, which comes from the French word "marron," meaning "chestnut." While all three colors share a deep red base, both burgundy and crimson are closer in color, as crimson typically has a slightly brighter and more intense red tone, similar to burgundy, whereas maroon tends to be darker and more brownish-red in comparison.

    3 — Is burgundy a luxury color?

    With its name deriving from the Burgundy region in eastern France, Burgundy is often associated with luxury due to its rich, deep hue reminiscent of fine Burgundy wine. It exudes sophistication and elegance, frequently found in high-end fashion, red paint in décor, and luxury goods, contributing to its perception as a color of opulence.

    4 — Is burgundy cool or warm toned?

    Burgundy is typically considered a warm-toned color. It falls within the red-purple spectrum, with undertones that lean towards red, making it warmer in appearance.

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