Abu Juhayfah RA says:
"I saw Rasulullah (SAW) wearing a pair of red (coloured) clothing. The lustre of the feet of Rasulullah (SAW) is still before me."
Sufyaan RA who is a narrator of the above Hadith says:
"According to my understanding - the pair (of clothing) was printed red."
The Ulama specialising in Hadith and Seerah say that this incident took place at the time of the Hajjat-ul-Widaa (Farewell Hajj) of the Prophet Muhammad SAW - as is stated in the Sahih Bukhari and other kitaabs of Ahadith.
With regards to red-coloured clothing for men, there is a difference of opinion among the Ulama. Thus, in normal practice of everyday life, before choosing red-coloured clothing, an 'Aalim should be consulted. Nonetheless, it is generally understood from the point of Taqwa and piety that - it is better for a man not to wear red-coloured garments, since there is a substantial difference of opinion among the learned scholars of Islam.
Abu Rimthah Taymi RA says:
"I saw Rasulullah (SAW) covering himself in two green-coloured sheets."
Qaylah bin Makhramah RA says:
"I saw Rasulullah (SAW) in such a state that he was wearing two old waist wraps that had been dyed a saffron colour but there was no sign of saffron left on it."
The Ahadith of the Prophet Muhammad SAW have given clear indication about the prohibition of using clothing dyed with saffron. For this reason it has been pointed out in the above Hadith that the colour of the saffron had faded, so that there remains no contradictions in the Ahadith.
Rasulullah SAW wore the two old sheets as a sign of humility. It is for this reason that those under the regimental training of Tasawwuf have chosen a rugged way of life. This leads one towards humility and keeps one away from pride and arrogance.
However, it should also be borne in mind that if the wearing of such clothing does not cause this effect then this manner is not preferred. It will cause more harm than good as we see it happening in this day and age. Many a time this way is asopted to show that one has reached the stage of perfection whilst the tongue is begging from people.
An incident of Abul-Hasan Shaadhali RA who is from among the great Sufis saints is a famous example. Once he was wearing smart clothing. Some raggedly dressed person objected.
"My dressing in this manner shows praise and gratefulness to Allah, whereas this state of yours shows a state of begging. You in your present state are begging from people."
In short, it is better not to wear showy clothing but only with the intention of humbleness, and on condition that it does not lead one towards some other harm. On the other hand, if it is worn for some religious benefits or to please a confidant who has given it as a present, then in this case to wear elegant clothing will also be Mandub (desirable) and better.
Rasulullah SAW once purchased a set of clothing in exchange for twenty seven camels and wore that clothing for this reason. The Mashaaikh of the Naqshabandiyyah and Shaadhaliyyah Orders usually wear elegant type of clothing. It has been given preference becarue it saves one from the appearance of a beggar.
Imaam Abul-Hasan Shaadhali RA has said:
"It is important that one should keep away from the deceit of the heart from both angles. The gaining of fame by dressing shabbily, to show off by being humble, and to show pride by wearing smart elegant clothing, all are dangerous to our spiritual upliftment."
In the extension of the above Hadith, is mentioned incidents fo the early period and experiences of Sayyiditina Qaylah RA after her acceptance of Islaam. In a few narrations it is also mentioned that Ralsulullah SAW was sitting with his old clothing in a humble manner. He had a branch of a palm in his (SAW) hands. A person then entered his (SAW) noble assembly. He saw Rasulullah SAW in this state of humbleness and due to the awe-inspiring appearance of Rasulullah SAW, began shivering. Upon seeing this person in this state, or being made aware of it, Rasulullah SAW said to him: "Keep calm." As soon as Rasulullah SAW said this he became calm, and all the signs of fear vanished. In some Ahadith we gather that this incident relates to Sayyiditina Qaylah RA herself.