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Pantone Fall Colors: Women Over 40 & 50

by Christina Gregoire

I’m really into color. Actually, when it comes to clothing, I care more about color than almost anything else. And, I’m really happy with the fall Pantone colors, because there are lots of mood-lifting brights and I can wear most of them.

I love seeing new fashion trends for fall.

1. French Roast

One website described French Roast as “tasty” and I think that sums it up. Take your coffee grounds out of your coffeemaker after you’ve made your brew, and you’ll get the idea of what this color offers. No one seems to mention it, but I have seen many women wearing dark brown with black in Paris. So, this lovely shade will go with all of your other neutrals and dark brown is not as harsh next to your older skin.  This is a color that you will wear for years.

2. Honey Gold

As much as I like this Honey Gold, I can’t wear it near my face. If you are an Irish redhead, this is your go-to color. Buy it up. All of you fashionistas who already have something honey gold in your closet, try wearing a scarf in French Roast, Olympian Blue, or Rhapsody to give your face a beautiful glow.  Remember that you can use this same trick to wear anything that isn't your best color.  If you have a suit that doesn't suit you, wear it with a blouse in a color that you love.

3. Pink Flambé

I like all the new colors. However, the one shade I know I can wear near my face is Pink Flambé. However, acres of fuchsia fabric may not suit everyone. If you have summer or winter coloring, wear this next to your skin. Lots of sites are showing Pink Flambé lipstick, but this color may be too deep and dark for women over 50 or 60. Well, whether you can wear Pink Flambe on your lips depends on your coloring and how friendly you are with your plastic surgeon.

4. Tangerine Tango

This vibrant red-orange, Tangerine Tango, is Pantone’s color of the year, so it will be easy to find online and in stores. And, I think you should give it a try even if it reminds you of the go-go sixties. If you have winter coloring, you will look great in this no matter what your age.  If you have dark hair or winter coloring, this will be fabulous with your face.  If you think it will be too overpowering for you, you can use it as an accessory for a little pop.  Most women can use Tangerine Tango as a facelift for their wardrobes.

5. Ultramarine Green

Ultramarine Green is not quite emerald, too green to be teal, but appears to have blue undertones. If you’re over 40, all you can do is hold it up to your face in outdoor lighting to see if this hue makes your face glow or if it makes the bags under your eyes glow. I know I can wear Ultramarine Green because I look good in almost every color that is similar in intensity to a jewel tone.  I'm not sure I could wear this exact style, but I can never tell for certain until I try it on.

6. Bright Chartreuse

This hue is the surprise of the season for me. On a whim, I bought a tunic (online) from Target in chartreuse because I thought it might go with one of my hats. And, I was shocked to see how good this color makes me look. It’s not supposed to be one of “my” colors.  Actually, when I read The Color Book, I remember that this is supposed to be a terrible color for me.

(See how good this color looks on DVF in the video at the bottom of the article.)

7. Olympian Blue

Olympian Blue is gorgeous. Almost everyone on earth, and probably a few aliens, will look amazing in this color.  (Olympian Blue is the darker color in the photo.)  I'm not a blue person, in general, but this is strong enough to be similar to a jewel tone.  Most pastels and grayed hues wash me out.  On the other hand, I can't wear sharp Crayola colors either, because I'm too washed out at (almost) sixty years old.  I really do think that you should try a blouse or tee in Olympian Blue.

8. Titanium

I never get excited about neutrals, but I know I need them because I don’t want to look like a crazed Scarlet Macaw or a colorblind bag lady from Guatemala. If you have any gray in your hair, Pantone Titanium will be gorgeous on you, because this color is a beautiful gray with silver undertones. It will also look fab with black.  Actually, I think Titanium will look amazing with black and it will go with all kinds of colors in your closet.  See what it looks like with pink in the main photo.

9. Rhapsody

Yes. Yes. Yes. Just buy something in this color. Rhapsody is a gorgeous grayed-down plum... no it's lighter than plum, but it's darker than lavender.  If you want something new but inexpensive to update your "same-old same-old," try a scarf in Rhapsody (this lavender color), Ultramarine Green, or Olympian Blue.  I know this is a good color for me and there are very few things that really look good on me, so I can almost guarantee that this color will be beautiful on you.

10. Rose Smoke

This nice, pinky, nude neutral will go with all the other colors in the palette. Actually, all of these hues are made to go together. This tint makes me look like I've been kissed by the Grim Reaper, but it looks amazing on my mother and my sister, so go figure. Try wearing Rose Smoke with black, French Roast, or Titanium.

I am truly happy when I see these fall colors, especially the jewel-ish ones. I hope you get a chance to try a few of them. And, you can add these hues without breaking the bank. I bought my chartreuse tunic at Target and it’s really great for such a small outlay of cash.

More Articles for Women Over 40 or 50:

Burgundy Color for Fall & Winter: The New Black

Hot Boots for Fall: Women Over 40 or 50

How to Wear a Peplum If You Have Curves

How to Wear Leggings If You're Over 40 or 50

What do you think of these colors? Leave a comment at the bottom of the page. We never publish your email address. We just need to know you're human.

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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  1. Laura

    I like the premise of this web site BUT, I would like to see the models actually be women over 40 or 50.

    • Christina Gregoire


      I absolutely agree with you. I'm almost 60 myself. However, I don't have an expense account that allows me to hire older models, professional photographers, and props that would give me the kind of photos I want. If I were unscrupulous, like many websites and blogs, I would rip-off copyrighted photos from other websites.

      So, I'm sorry that some of the photos feature younger models. In the main photo on this article (Pantone Colors), I ended up using this image because it was a good example of the colors that are hot for fall. Yes, this girl is young enough to be my daughter...or granddaughter...(I had my children late in life)...but, as an artist, I try not to use copyrighted material. I suggest you write to prshots.com (as I have many times) and ask them to use older models for some of their shots.

      It would take thousands of dollars to put together the photo shoots that would be gorgeous enough and high-res enough for my website. Someday, I hope to do that. Right now, this is a startup company and I'm not ready to add to my overhead. I promise I will find a way to come up with older models, but I can't do it right now.

      If I wanted to steal images from other websites, I could show the right fashions on the right people, but everyone who writes for baby boomers should tell the great people at prshots.com (a fashion photo source) that not everyone is 20-years-old. I know they listen to me, but I don't think the photographers and their assistants know what we want to see.