Can mature women wear pastel colors, or do they make you look old and frumpy? That’s a question you may struggle with, especially if you have always worn these softer, quieter shades. As we get older, our skin and hair start to fade, and pastels can wash us out, exaggerate our age, make us look like the Golden Girls.
The good news is, there are ways to keep on wearing pastels; it’s more about the way you wear them that counts. Here’s what to keep in mind when wearing pastels at 40, 50, 60, and beyond.
1. Avoid Grayed Out Pastels
Pastels come in pale and brighter shades. Muted pastels are matronly. It’s best to avoid pastels with gray undertones and choose more vibrant pastels instead. Gray-toned pastels will wash you out, drag you down, and make you look weak and even frail. Brighter, clearer pastels will give you life. Fortunately, right now, we are seeing a lot of pumped-up pastels, so they are very easy to find this spring.
2. Be Cautious About Wearing Pastels Head to Toe
Baby pink, pale blue, mint green, pale yellow, soft peach, and lavender are all lovely colors, but worn head to toe over a certain age can wash you out, make you look meek, or just too cutesy. ( Remember we dress babies in head-to-toe pastels)
3. Wear Pastels with Neutrals
Pastels look fabulous worn with neutral colors like white, camel, gray, beige, tan, and even black. Neutrals ground sugary pastels and create a sophisticated look. For example, a pastel lavender blouse with an inky black skirt looks chic, and a baby blue sweater with cropped white jeans is classic.
4. Wear Pastel Colors with Brights
Another way to tone down the sweet character of pastels is to pop them with a bright accent. So for example, you could wear a baby pink dress with a Fuschia colored bag and fuschia shoes. This is a form of colorblocking.
3. Choose Modern Silhouettes
The cut of your garment can make a huge difference as to whether you look fabulous or frumpy in pastels at midlife and beyond. Go for clean, sharp lines, strong shapes, and simple cuts to capture the look. The emphasis needs to be on the piece itself, not the color. For example, a sheath dress, a classic pair of flat front pants, a boxy handbag, a gorgeous trench coat, or a cropped jumpsuit in a pretty pastel shade all look grown-up and chic.
4. Keep Details Minimal
It’s also important to avoid a lot of detail and embellishment. Delicate pastels naturally convey softness and sweetness, so stay away from girly details like frills, lace, or ruffles since these things will instantly age you. If you are after more drama, choose architectural pieces like a jacket with bold shoulders mint green, or a lemon yellow one shoulder column maxi dress.
5. Think Twice About Pastel Florals
If you prefer pastel prints, be careful of florals. Pastel floral prints (especially ones with tiny or traditional florals) are dated, unless there is some modern twist. Abstract, graphic, painterly or bright pastel prints are easy, fashion-forward ways to rock pastels.
Color is a key element in looking fabulous after 40. Color can give you energy and make you look youthful, or it can drag you down and make you look old. Discover the colors that will make you Look Age-Amazing™ with my popular e-book Color Me Fabulous. Check it out and discover how to look wow in color!