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Gray Outfits for Women: 4 Tips for Wearing Gray in Fall & Winter

Read about gray fashion trend

by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)

Gray is a hot fashion statement. Not only is it a trendy hair color, but it’s also one of the hippest colors of the year… and the foreseeable future. Just a touch of gray can lighten up any boring, black winter outfit.

Read about gray outfits for women

Gray Cape Outfit

Generally, I like clean, architectural lines for plain gray clothing, and I like draping lines for gray clothing with floral and geo prints. Unexpected texture is the best way to keep gray on gray from looking boring, conservative, and old lady-ish.

Gray Really Is the New Black

Gray is so easy to wear.

  • Charcoal gray is just black without the edge, black with a bit of softness. And, charcoal is a better near your face than black is, if you’re an older woman.
  • Mid-tone gray is just like charcoal… only lighter.
  • Dove gray is almost like off-white.

Gray goes with tons of things. It might even go with your hair.

Gray Is the Trendiest Neutral of the Year

Gray is huge. You almost HAVE to wear gray this fall or you’ll look out of date… even if you just wear a pair of gray tights from your neighborhood Target or you locate a cheapo gray scarf from your favorite thrift store. I'm not into trends for trends sake... but this year, everything seems to be designed to go with gray.

1. Architectural Gray Outfits:

Most of the time, I like plain, charcoal gray when it is clean-lined and tailored. Two good examples of “architectural” gray are the two outfits on the left in the main photo.

  • The dark gray tunic is very sleek and simple, with minimal detailing. The black leggings, pumps, and envelope clutch follow through with the same theme.
  • The dove-and-cream coat has a similarly spartan feel, and even though the coat covers a flowing, cream-colored maxi skirt, the minimalist color scheme gives the outfit a sleek, modern feel.
Read tips about how to wear gray without looking old

Gray Print Dress & Scarf Outfits

2. Gray Clothing With Prints and Patterns:

Most of the time, I like gray-printed clothing to be soft and flowing. A good example would be a gray floral-print blouse with a drapey bow… the kind of thing you would wear under a charcoal gray (or navy blue) blazer.

The monochromatic floral dress and the two scarves in the picture above are three good examples of gray prints that I could wear. Well, I’m not crazy about the torn gray jeans… but I’m not a teenager anymore. That funky look is okay for younger chicks, but I’d rather wear something like the geometric-print scarf in the middle picture.

Read tips about how to wear gray without looking old

Gray Outfits With Texture

3. Texture With Gray on Gray:

If your whole outfit is gray, you might want to add interest with texture. Look for something like a gray cable-knit sweater, a gray-and-black houndstooth coat, or a gray marled coat.

See the pants outfit on the right (in the main photo at the top of the page - or bottom of the page if you're on a phone) for a great example of a perfect sweater for a gray on gray outfit. Note how the sweater’s texture adds an interesting dimension to an outfit that could have slipped easily into dullsville.

Read about gray, the latest fashion tren

Best Colors to Wear With Gray Outfits

4. Best Colors to Wear With Gray

Most of the time, you’ll find that a gray item leans a bit brownish or a bit bluish. Well, you can find grays that feel purple and grays that feel green… and grays that feel any color of the rainbow… but most of the time, gray colors feel warm (brown) or cool (blue).

When putting different grays together, you usually (but not always) want to keep the shades in the same family. And, it’s easy to create an interesting outfit using just three shades of gray: light dove, mid-tone gray, and charcoal.

If you’re transitioning your wardrobe from black to gray, you’ll want to go softer with your other colors. Neons and brights just won’t look as good with gray as softer hues do. The colors that I think look best with gray are:

  • Soft pink, burgundy, or red
  • Lilac or orchid (various shades of lavender)
  • Coral (Pinky orange seems more natural than harsh, true orange.)
  • Navy blue, cobalt blue, or baby blue
  • Black, white, ivory, or taupe (Duh… neutrals go with everything… but they seem to go really well with gray.)

Gray Outfits for Fall and Winter

If you want to get something gray, but you don’t know where to start, here are some easy-to-wear pieces I’ve seen online:

  • Soft black jeans or leggings (stonewashed gray)
  • Medium gray cable-knit sweaters and sweater dresses (Make sure the texture doesn’t add too much bulk if you’re chubby.)
  • Dark or mid-toned gray suede booties
  • Gray architectural bags (square or trapezoid handbags)
  • Gray capes (worn over black)

Once you’ve determined which shades of gray look best on you and fit in with the rest of your wardrobe, you should spring for a high-end investment piece, like a gray wool coat or a gray cashmere sweater. Classic pieces like that will go with all the black stuff hanging in your closet… stuff that’s feeling all lonely and ordinary.

It took me a while to warm up to this latest fashion trend because I’ve never owned anything gray. I don’t know exactly how I’ll incorporate gray into my fall and winter outfits. Hey, I seldom follow trends… but I’m actually getting into this (non)color. I think I’ll try some gray leopard-print gloves or a gray fedora… or maybe a pair of gray boots… or some gray jeggings. Black is starting to feel so old and plain and out of touch.

More Fashion Articles for Hip Women Over 40:

The Year of the Tunic - Fashion for Women Over 50

Wearable Clothing Trends for Fall

Baroque Fashion Trend for Women Over 40 50 60

Hot Boots for Fall and Winter

 

read about gray trend women's clothing

Main Photo - Gray Coats & Suits for Women

Photo Credits: prshots.com.

  • Main Photo: Gray Tunic - House of  Fraser, Gray Coat Outfit - M&S, Sweater and Gray Skirt - Maryling, Gray Jacket - Asos, Gray Pants Outfit - Hobbs.
  • Gray Cape Outfit: Wallis.
  • Gray Print Dress & Scarf Outfits: Floral Dress - Phase Eight, Gray Print Scarf - Johnstons, Gray Print Scarf - Religion.
  • Gray Outfits With Texture: Gray Sweater - LaRedoute, Gray Cardigan - LaRedoute, Gray Dress & Blue Jacket - M&S.
  • Best Colors to Wear With Gray Outfits: Blue & Gray Outfit: Topshop, Red & Blue Scarf & Jacket Over Gray Top - East, Gray Jacket & Jeans - LaRedoute.

What do you think of this article? Leave a comment at the bottom of the page or give us a Google Plus.

Tina Boomerina (AKA Christina Gregoire) is a Baby Boomer born at the end of 1952. Her mission is to make the internet a kinder and gentler place for Baby Boomer women around the world. Tina's specialty is fashion for women over 50.

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8 Comments

  1. kay kerns

    Great article! I have been loving gray for the last ten years. You have expressed why I have been loving it.

  2. Phyllis

    Gray! Yay! I'm 65 (okay, in the middle of Sept.). My hair is nearly all silver now and black is no longer my friend. Gray, however, in nearly all its permutations, always has my back. I have gray suede shooties, a gray fly-away cardi, a few gray scarves in assorted textures, a gloriously large gray patent handbag with bright silver accents and a really lovely gray/cream leopard print cashmere cardi. I totally agree with your go-with suggestions. My skin tone likes cool shades, so everything in my closet looks terrific with gray.

    Gray is the neutral my husband and I chose as we update our home. Those of us who's skin tone is not flattered by any color with yellow undertones are thrilled.

    A terrific article, as are they all. Well done! I look forward to each piece and forward them to my friends.

    Phyllis Kennedy

    • Tina-Boomerina

      Phyllis,

      You're adorable. I love you.

      Hey, doll, I'm so jealous. I wish my hair would go totally gray. I only have one or two strands of silver and it's not like I'm a teenybopper... I'm almost your age. I still have to color my hair to make it lighter.

      Please write a comment from time to time, Phyllis. You've just made my day.

      Tina Boomerina

      • Phyllis

        You are so welcome, Tina. I find myself checking back in with your site daily. I must catch up on all your articles, excellent advice and LOL observations. A woman after my own heart. Thank you for all the hard work and thought that obviously goes into each posting.

        And incidentally, you surely make my day(s), too!

        Phyllis

  3. sandy

    Wow. I'm glad I found your blog. Gray is becoming the new black for me as my hair is gray with shades of silver as the ombre. I like the way you captured the essence of gray. There's a wide range of grays: the warmth of gun metal to frosty. Once I could see the warm and cool of grays things took off for me. I'm loving the outfits you've put together.

    • Tina-Boomerina

      Sandy, I'm so glad.

      I can't wear gray, so I can't really write about it like you could. However, I've seen many gorgeous women like you wear gray and I love it. I'm still working on ways to incorporate it into my life.

      T