Can fashion for over 50s, 60s, even 80s, be colourful?
To some, colour and daring fashion choices belong firmly in the realm of ‘the young’. The question of whether fifty plus women's fashion can be bright and colourful feels a bit too much out of the comfort zone of staid neutral clothing that “you’re supposed to wear”.
If you’ve clicked on this link, you are probably not a neutral colour girl at heart so we’re going to go with the assumption there’s a colour party going on inside you and you just need a bit of convincing to let it out!
The colours we wear do affect how people see us. Let’s face it, the girl all in black is going to look a bit more serious than the one in a boho rainbow dress! If you’re going for a job interview at a bank, chances are you need to wear something a bit more proper.
For everyday life, though, colour can be a wonderful expression of who we are. Think of that woman you know who has a signature colour and how it defines a part of her personality.
There’s a lovely confidence that comes with age. Eleanor Roosevelt said it so charmingly with: “Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art”.
There are some beautiful monochrome works of art - but there are also a lot more with bright colours and vibrant palettes. Think of Monet’s stunning Impressionist paintings or Picasso’s bold designs, even the richness of Rembrant’s oils. They are packed full of colour, stories, and life.
We want to encourage you - you have lived many stories by this point. You have earned the right to wear whatever you want… whatever colour you want...
So can over 50s wear colourful clothes? You bet they can and you can also bet they can wear them with an authority and confidence that comes from living a full life and experiencing so many different things.
In fact, while on the subject of mature ladies wearing bold colour, can we please consider the amazing wardrobes of Her Majesty The Queen? Never one to shy away from bright colours, she wears them with confidence and impeccable taste.
Many of our ladies do not want to wear the tailored outfits of Her Majesty, but for a lesson in wearing colour in fashion over 60, you can’t go wrong. In fact, just smirk as you wear your neon pink dress and think, “Yes, I’m matching the Queen today”.
Ok, so you’ve convinced me: now tell me how to wear colour over 50
Step one, pick your outfit. Step two, put it on.
Ok, a bit more seriously. Katie wrote a great article looking at warm and cool colour tones and that’s a good place to start. Maybe you tried wearing bold colour before and it just didn’t look right on you and so you haven’t wanted to try again.
Knowing what shades and colours will suit your skin tone can go a long way to making sure the colours you wear really compliment you. Of course, if you are a cool (seriously, read the article!) and really really want to wear a bright orange top, you totally can, you know? No one gets arrested for wearing colour!
Once you know your top complimentary colours, find out what would work well with them. For instance, mustard yellow and teal is a dream pairing. If you don’t want to look like a fairground (although looking like a fairground is also utterly amazing), then consider picking a few colours for either your tops or bottoms and having some neutrals to compliment them.
Say you love yellows but are feeling nervous about wearing too much of it - navy can look amazing against yellow so pick some navy joggers and throw an oversized yellow hoodie on top. It won’t look OTT but will add a real bright spark.
If you’re still a bit nervous of fifty plus women's fashion that is full of colour but want to stick a toe into the wonderful colour fest, grab a scarf in one of your favourite colours or buy some shoes in a colour you know you’ll want to keep re-wearing. You can pair them with your normal neutral wardrobe but get a little kick out of the extra colour.
Still nervous? Read on for our 2 Big Tips for clothing confidence for over 50s
By the time we’re over 50, it's rare we’ve escaped significant trauma or life events that have changed us. We are not as naïve as we were in our 20s and we have a bit more baggage. But we have also gained some incredible insights into ourselves and others, we have gained friendships, and we are still here. We’ve learnt how to keep on keeping on. So before we even think about clothing confidence - have some confidence in yourself, you amazing human being!
Given Andrena Sawyer’s quote: “Confidence is always the best accessory. Own the moment.”, let’s look a bit more deeply into clothing choices that can help.
- If you still haven’t read Katie’s article detailing warm or cool skin tones, go and read it now. Once you know which you are, you can choose colours with a lot more confidence. Knowing you’re wearing a flattering colour gives you that boost in confidence that you know you’re putting your best foot forward.
- Wear something you love. Don’t wear something that someone else loves on you. Don’t wear something you’ve been told you should. And definitely don’t wear something because ‘that’s what women my age do’.
Wear something you want to get out of the wardrobe and put on. Wear something that when you slip it on over your head, it makes you feel like a million bucks. Wear something that makes you smile at your reflection each time you walk past a mirror. That may actually be a neon pink dress. It may be a teal hoodie you’ve been eying up but thought ‘hoodies are for younger people’ (btw, they’re not).
Let’s go super practical: colourful pieces you need in your over 50 wardrobe
Hopefully you’re persuaded that colour does not have an age limit on it. Also that you’re in excellent company when you do embrace bold and vibrant colour. Before we leave, we want to share a couple of pieces with you that help dip your toes into the wonderful world of colourful fashion for over 50s and mean you’ve some stylish pieces to grab in a morning.
- 👖 Magical Stretch Trousers (previously Crinkles). If you’ve not heard about crinkles yet, you need to! These are the best invention since sliced bread, if not the wheel (or is that wine?).
Anyway… if you’re unsure about patterns but want some colour, consider a single colour pair of magical stretch trousers. They’re incredibly comfy and, from what our ladies tell us, go with everything.
Buy some in a bold colour you love and pair it with a navy, black, or white top, if you’re still hesitant about going too bright. (For a bit more sparkle, why not get a patterned pair and get a matching top to one of the colours in it?)
- 🧣 Scarves. Imagine a black dress with a fuschia pink scarf against it - stunning, right? Or a white summer dress with a silk teal scarf. You’ve instantly got colour but it’s a gentle step in.
If you’re already fully committed to this colour party, consider getting a complimentary coloured scarf. Have a yellow and teal outfit? Throw on that fuschia pink scarf. Don’t be scared of adding another colour to the mix.
- 🧥 Tunics. A brightly coloured tunic is pretty much an outfit in one! Get a few in your favourite ‘pop’ colours and put them on top of joggers, tights, shorts...everything! Even if you’ve still got a mostly neutral wardrobe, a few bright tunics to wear over them can give you a colourful lift and provide some more fun in your daily dressing.
Just to reiterate the main points of this article:
- Confidence is your best accessory. Wear it proudly.
- There is no age limit on colour.
- Wear what you want. Wear the colours you’ve been craving.
We hope you realise that fashion for over 60, 85, or 50 doesn't need to be quiet or boring. Fifty plus women's fashion can be an explosion of colour and comfort!
If you need a bit more encouragement, why not see if you can find a pair of magical stretch trousers in your favourite colour - or if there's a brightly coloured hoodie you’ve always fancied but didn’t quite feel you could wear.
There’s also our exclusive Facebook group which is packed full of fantastic human beings who are absolutely winning in the colourful comfy clothing department. Please do come and join us over there and be inspired by what other ‘real life folks’ wear (and prove once and for all that there really is no age limit on colour).