Gray Outfits for Women: 4 Tips for Wearing Gray in Fall & Winter
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.
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 You almost HAVE to wear gray this fall or you’ll look out of date… even if you just wear a pair of gray tights from your neighborhood Target or you locate a cheapo gray scarf from your favorite thrift store.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.
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.
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.
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:
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.