Should Older Women Wear Bright Colors? Fashion Over 50
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What Are Your Best Colors?
There are several color systems for fashion and my favorite one is “Color Me Beautiful” (from the fashion book of the same name). The "Color Me Beautiful" system says that you are one of four seasons... however no color “system” is perfect. And, this type of color system is definitely imperfect if you have a mix of nationalities (or races) in your coloring, as I do, but I've found it to be a good starting point.
I have also found that the best way for you to learn your best colors is to get some fabrics and hold them up to your face in natural light.
Tip: You’ll know you’ve found a good color when you break out in a smile... because your wrinkles (and the bags under your eyes) don’t look so bad.
Next, you should get something inexpensive in that “good” color, like a T-shirt or a cheap scarf, and see how people react to you when you wear it. They may not say anything, but you will be treated better when you look better (and you will look better if the color you’ve picked is right).
Note: For Reference, in the “seasonal” color system, women with spring coloring can wear warm pastels like peach, summers can wear cool pastels like baby blue, autumns can wear deep, warm hues like rust (or mustard), and winters can wear deep, cool hues like ruby or sapphire… but almost no one fits perfectly into one "seasonal" category.
Many Older Women Need to Wear More Color
I can only go by my own experience, but from what I’ve seen, many older women look better in colors than they do in grays or in black and white. And, I think that MOST women look beautiful in jewel tones of some kind. However, I want to add that I'm biased... jewel tones are my favorite colors.
A Closet Full of Black Clothes
Some older women (with my coloring) look like Death-Warmed-Over in stark black, but they have a closet full of black clothes... I know I do. And, there's a good reason to have black clothing. It all matches. It doesn't show dirt. It's practical.
However, if you feel that you look better in color, you can always accessorize yourself like a Parisienne and add a scarf (or a necklace) in one of your best hues to make your black clothing more flattering to your complexion. (Or, if your favorite camel coat no longer suits your coloring, just add a turtleneck or a scarf in your best color.)
And, I do want to mention that... if black looks good on you, you are lucky and you should wear it. If monochrome (black and white) looks good on you, it's the same. Mostly, I am speaking to women who feel that they "must" wear dark colors. For years, older women have been told that they should NOT wear brights... that neutrals are better for women "of a certain age"... and I have found just the opposite to be true in my own life.
Why Color Is Your Secret Weapon
For me, I have found that I can’t wear bright red lipstick, gobs of blusher, or colorful eyeshadows anymore. My lips are too thin... and those deep, dark lip colors will bleed into my wrinkles. Of course, bright, colorful rouge will make me look like a clown… and massive amounts of eye makeup will turn me into Tammy Faye Baker... unless I'm in front of a camera with bright lights.
So, like many older women, I am forced to leave my face and makeup colors somewhat neutral. And, if you are like me, you may want to wear more color in your clothing to compensate for your neutral makeup and to give your face a youthful glow... but I don’t mean brighter colors, I mean more of the “right” colors.
Of course, not all of you have pale coloring or "colorless" skin from aging. Some of you will always be able to wear whatever color you want, even black or neon colors, but many of us older gals will have to update our clothing and go from bright red to a softer, deeper ruby or a rustier, reddish orange, or a complex, baby pink, or a softer peachy pastel.
However, you should not be afraid to be a bit more daring or experimental with color and color combinations. Sure, you may make a few mistakes, but it’s better than looking old and drab.
p.s. Stop laughing at the older woman (with the pink hair) in the main photo. She’s an artsy clothing designer named Zandra Rhodes, and I think she’s fabulous. Hey, it's better to have moxie than to be mousey.
Here are some books and videos to give you courage:
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