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How to Wear Color Over 50…Stylishly

April 11, 2024

Has someone told you that you shouldn’t wear so much color? Or that you shouldn’t wear certain colors? Or maybe somewhere along the way you got the idea that you could no longer wear color in certain places…because you’re over 50. Ahem. Well let’s set the record straight as we talk about how to wear color over 50…stylishly.

Wear Color Stylishly Over 50

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First of all, I’m personally all for you and me and our girlfriends, sisters and mothers all wearing exactly what we’d like to wear. I’ve finally learned there are no fashion police, and anyone impersonating one should be ignored and avoided. But I have a feeling the siren that most of us hear when we put certain things on our bodies is not coming from any outside source at all. That impersonating fashion cop that pulls up behind us all smug and condemning? She lives in our own heads! Sister, let’s give her the boot.

Wear Color with Courage this Spring
cropped wide-leg pants (from last year; color no longer available) and in linen blend (available in similar blue) // graphic tee // blazer no longer available (option and another option) // sandals // shoulder bag (more economical option) // belt // small necklace // compass coin necklace // earrings (use code KAY15 for 15% off sitewide)

It’s absolutely smart to learn how to dress our own body types, proportions, unique variations and coloring in a way that is most flattering and optimal. But that doesn’t mean we have to adhere to those guidelines all the time. In fact, I like to say “the stylish woman learns the rules of strategic dressing…so she can strategically break them!”

That said, I don’t think anyone needs to break any rules at all to wear color. If you’ve heard that women of a certain age should wear less color, should not wear certain colors or should never wear color in certain garments…you’ve certainly heard wrong. Whew! Thank goodness!

How to Wear Color Over 50

Okay, okay. So we can do what we want to do. That’s all well and good. But if you, like me, are less concerned about exercising your personal rights and prefer to know how to look your best in color, I do have a few tips to share with you. There is indeed a way to wear color stylishly over 50 and at any age.

How to Wear Color Over 50

If you wear color close to your face, it is smart to choose shades that make you look your healthiest, most rested and most radiant. These are the colors that light up your eyes, brighten your complexion and just make you look your best. For more thoughts on choosing the colors for your wardrobe see my recent post, Define Your Style with Colors and Neutrals.

Defining Your Style with Colors and Neutrals

My second tip is to minimize the number of colors you wear in separate garments and accessories. So sure, you can wear a multicolored dress or shirt. But I suggest you be wary of wearing, say, blue pants and a red shirt and a yellow jacket and a multicolored handbag. That’s probably just too much color going on…and on and on and on. Instead, choose one color to be the dominant color, like my bright blue cropped wide-leg pants above. These very comfortable, lightweight pants are no longer available in this vibrant blue, but they are available in a linen edition in a similar hue. The pants run a little large; I’m wearing a 29.

How to Wear Color Stylishly

You can wear that dominant color anywhere, by the way. Yes, even over 50 you can wear colored pants, skirts, shoes, dresses. I don’t know why it is that many of us start believing that we can no longer wear color in certain garments at a certain age. But let’s nip that lie in the bud. I’ve found that the key to wearing big, bold colors in, say, pants, is to balance that swath of color with neutrals elsewhere.

I like to balance bold color with neutrals such as blue denim, black, camel, grey, navy or, as I did here, ivory or white. Because my big, bold color is blue, it didn’t really make sense to me to wear a blue denim jacket. But a denim jacket in white or black would look great with these pants.

How to Wear color Stylishly

I think one risk we run with wearing colored pants is going too matchy, matchy with our top. I probably wouldn’t have thought to wear this ivory, blue and red “le baguette” graphic tee with these blue pants if I hadn’t seen the combination (with this these linen pants) on a mannequin in the store recently. I immediately felt inspired and “freed up” to try this fun duo, so I bought the tee.

Wearing Blue Pants
cropped wide-leg pants (from last year; color no longer available) and in linen blend (available in similar blue) // graphic tee // blazer no longer available (option and another option) // sandals // shoulder bag (more economical option) // belt // small necklace // compass coin necklace // earrings (use code KAY15 for 15% off sitewide)

But I do love how the ivory lightweight blazer tempers the look a bit. That blazer is a few years old and no longer available unfortunately. But you could get the same effect with this blazer or this one.

My final tip is to use your accessories to “ground” your color, too. I think the cognac trim slides, belt and shoulder bag keep this look a little more sophisticated, less childish.

Wearing color Over 50
cropped wide-leg pants (from last year; color no longer available) and in linen blend (available in similar blue) // graphic tee // blazer no longer available (option and another option) // sandals // shoulder bag (more economical option) // belt // small necklace // compass coin necklace // earrings (use code KAY15 for 15% off sitewide)

Since I really focused on tips for stylishly wearing color over 50, I may have missed details about the items I’ve worn here today. Just let me know if you have questions. I’ll try to stay on top of comments today. Thank you so much for dropping in. You bring me great joy!

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Blessed for My Day

You cannot serve God in public if He’s not your Lord in private. Not really. Not consistently. Not sincerely. Gideon was told to tear down the altar to Baal that was in his backyard and replace it with an altar to God. That’s what repentance is, too. Gideon’s task was similar to the ways we sometimes must clean up our personal life so we can live effectively for Christ in our culture. This was a task. It was an investment of labor and time. And it was a risk. Faith is not obeying God without fear of what might happen; it’s obeying God despite the fear.

We’re all looking for brave people to rally behind in these culture-shifting times. Many of us want to do the right thing; we just want someone else to go first and we’ll gladly fall into step behind that brave soul. But maybe you and I need to be that courageous person. 

Now on the same night the Lord said to him, “Take your father’s bull and a second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal which belongs to your father, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it; and build an altar to the Lord your God on the top of this stronghold in an orderly manner, and take a second bull and offer a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah which you shall cut down.” ~ Judges 6:25-26

xoxo, Kay
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10 thoughts on “How to Wear Color Over 50…Stylishly

  1. Kay, that is a really pretty outfit and so “springy”. I wear alot of color but only on top so this is a good inspiration to maybe mix it up. Thanks for the idea!

    1. Wonderful! I’m so glad you like it. Yes, colored pants can be really fun, and they’re quite on trend right now, too.

  2. You look so nice in this outfit!!! Just love it.
    I normally would pass a bright color like this by but after seeing this I will be changing my mind and trying things.

  3. The tip about the shoes, belt and other accessories grounding the outfit really makes sense to me. You’re right it does make it look more grown up.

  4. Nice casual outfit. I love color and have always liked color. Thank you for verifying that we can wear color at any age. I am over 50, in fact I am over 60 and I wear color most of the time. Thank you for listing other affordable options in the items you show. Gives us other choices. Good BFMD as usual.

    1. Absolutely. Thanks for reading and sharing, Sherry. I find that while some women love and wear a lot of color (and look amazing in it!), others are afraid of it. Honestly, it scares me a little. I have to really work to pull together a good outfit with color.

  5. Great post! Thanks for pointing out the linen pant from Anthro, I love the honey, holly, and dark orange colors! I also like how you use neutral accessories to ground the look.

    1. Lovely! Thanks so much for letting me know. I did try the linen pants on recently and they are lovely. In fact, I purchased the green ones, but later returned them only because I got the green linen pants from J.Jill. But they’re great!

  6. You look so cute and stylish in your outfit. I’ve been avoiding graphic tees, thinking that they seemed too young for me. I love this La Baguette tee and just purchased it! Thanks for inspiring me to get out of my rut!

    1. Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed it, Anne. I think graphic tees – chosen wisely – are a great way to look modern and youthful without looking like you’re trying too hard. I generally choose those that are not too busy, don’t say anything risqué on them, are not too cutesy and look a little minimal. But that’s just my personal preference. I hope you enjoy the tee!