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Should Older Women Wear Bright Colors? Fashion Over 50

clothing for women over 40 50 60 boomerinas.com

by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)

Over the years, I have read a lot of articles about what colors (and clothing styles) are “appropriate” for women over 40, 50, 60, or 70 years old. And, some of the articles are so biased (and so definite in their opinions) that they make me want to scream... Well, can “old ladies” wear bright colors or not? I say, “Yes, they can, but they have to be the right colors.”

What makes me an expert on the subject of older women and colors? A. I am “older”. B. I am a colorist.

Note: I don’t do people’s colors. My college art professors always called me a “colorist” because my paintings were all about creative color. (What my teachers meant by the word colorist was that I painted with unusual, but fabulous, color combinations… and that I had a good eye for color.)

what colors to wear if your over 40 50 60

There Are No Bad Colors

I’m paraphrasing here, but I once read a quote that said something like, “There are no bad colors. There are only bad color combinations.” I wish I could give credit to whoever said that, because it’s true. And, when it comes to clothing, this quote is doubly important. Not only do you have to look at color combinations in your clothing, but you also have to look at colors in combination with your face… your skintone… your complexion… your hair… your eyes… your own basic coloring at this stage of your life.

Once you get into your 40’s or so, your coloring starts to change. After that, your skin and hair seem to transform from time to time… or maybe all the time… and this means you should not be wearing your fave colors from your disco days of glory. Well… not exactly. It is, also, my opinion that your very best colors will always be your very best colors forever, but some of your favorites will have to be grayed down (neutralized) or kicked to the curb.

Find Your Best Colors for Clothing and Accessories

I have a bit of a color bias based upon my experience with my own coloring. I am a naturally pale, mousey-brown brunette, with yellow undertones in my skin. I am Northern European and English, with something like Brazilian thrown in, but no one really knows for sure because my grandmother was adopted and adoption was all “hush hush” back in the day.

fashion for women over 40 50 60 tina boomerina

Anyway, I know what colors look good on me: deep magentas, dusky plums, sapphire blues that are a bit off and not too strong, most shades of teal or turquoise, and so on. However, there are times when you might see me overdoing the color thing a bit and going a little wild, but that’s because I’m constantly experimenting with different combinations of colors.

And, you should be experimenting, too, because we are all different. For example, I know that I can’t wear mustard yellow, because I once wore a mustard-colored top and the undertaker showed up at my door within minutes. However, my Irish friend (a natural redhead) absolutely glowed like an angel when she wore that same color. (article continues)

Keep reading about colors for women over 40, 50, or 60 on page two.

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. kay kerns

    I want to work more color into my wardrobe I hate looking washed out

  2. Cristina DiCapua

    Hello!! I stumbles onto your site through a streampunk google search. I will be 50 in six months and I find I am drawn to more, shall we say, outstanding styles as I have gotten older. I think I have gotten less inhibited. I can still wear black and my red lipstick but the steampunk surprised me at first. Your article mentioned Mary Poppins and it came together. I have always LOVED Mary Poppins clothes. I may not go the whole nine yards, well if they have a showing of Gaslight I might, but I am going to add steampunk and your advice on color to my selections. Great articles!!

    • Tina-Boomerina


      I love Steampunk. How could I not? I love hats, long skirts and boots or booties. It's very cool. Don't be afraid to step out of the zone. Some women go all the way with it in Seattle (and London).

      Tina (Christina)

  3. Polly

    Here in Japan, only the elderly women dye their hair electric colors. I think it's usually the ones who's hair has turned gray or white and the color really shows up. I asked a Japanese hairdresser about it and she said it was a status symbol.

  4. Haven

    I feel like I've fallen down the rabbit hole and found this wonderful website! Searching for petite & plus fashion brought me here and I just love it! I've just turned 50, have a very boho soul and style, but lack the supermodel body to pull it off. I'm working on that, but at just 5'1" there's only so far I'll get. Anyway, I just had to leave a comment and THANK YOU for this wonderful site. I've visited so many that didn't "fit" and this one does. Love it!

  5. Elizabeth

    For colorful lips, I use a lip stain then clear lip gloss over it. It works great! I get lasting color, but the color doesn't work its way into the lines around my lips. Plus the gloss makes me look years younger (my husband says it makes me look fresh).

    • Tina-Boomerina


      I love the way gloss looks but I haven't found a gloss that's not sticky-icky. I'm going to google around and see if I can find a stain and gloss to try. If you see this, let me know which brands you like.


      • Elizabeth

        Tina, this is kind of embarrassing, but I like the Wet n Wild cheap stuff at Walmart. I also like Hard Candy (which is also at Walmart) and Bare Minerals. It seems like all lip glosses are either sticky or oily; I suppose it's the nature of the beast. I like the look so much that I just put up with it.

        • Tina-Boomerina


          That's not embarrassing at all. Thanks for the info. I will try those brands. I think my lipstick is from Bare Minerals. It's Moxie, which I think is made by Bare Minerals.

          It might be worth putting up with with sticky lip glosses if it makes one look fresh. God knows it's worth a try... for me!

          And, I'm GLAD the brands you like are cheap ones at Walmart. Who wants to blow money on expensive makeup when something inexpensive will work?