How to Wear Colour When You're Over 50

Stepping outside of your colour comfort zone can be daunting. Have you ever rocked a bright green, for example? Do you shy away at the thought of a sunny yellow? Not all colours were created equal, and some suit different skin tones more than others. The right colour, and more specifically the right shade, can give your look an instant lift. Much like makeup and hair, figuring out the best colour for your skin tone is the best way to brighten up your wardrobe.

To enhance your natural colouring, the first step is to identify your skin is cool or warm. A common misconception is that fair-skinned women can’t be warm, or that dark-skinned women can’t be cool - but this is a myth that needs putting to rest! So how do you go about determining which type of skin you have? Use these little tips and tricks below.

  1. Check your veins

The quickest way to work out your skin tone? Take a look down at your wrist. Those with cool undertones tend to have blue or dark purple veins, whereas warm-toned people have greener shades in their veins. Don’t worry if your veins look green, though - they’re not really! The reason? The blue of your veins mixed with the yellow tone of your skin makes them appear green.  

  1. Silver or gold?

Think of your favourite jewellery and the tones that suit you best. Do you automatically opt for gold, for example? If this is the case, then you’re more likely to be warm. Cool-toned people tend to suit silver jewellery better.

  1. Do you tan or burn?

Are you constantly reaching for the Factor 50 and tend to go pink if you stay out in the sun too long? You’re cool. (Or not, depending on how burnt you are!) In contrast, those with warm undertones tend to tan more easily.

Now you’ve identified whether you’re more cool or warm-toned, it’s time to consult the colour wheel!

If you’re cool:

Cool as a cucumber? That’s you! If you’re cool in tone, then your colour palette should be inspired by the depths of the ocean and the icy shades that we associate with winter. For bright colours, think of the sea and go for bold blues and emeralds. Our Juliette Blue is the ultimate mermaid-esque dress and would look totally great with your colouring! Purple is also a colour that looks good on both cool and warm tones, so don’t be afraid to try it out! Frosty shades of lavender, ice blue or pink will look great against your skin - especially with silver jewellery which we already know looks best on you. For slightly richer colours, go for ruby or rosy reds - anything leaning towards the pink shade of red will look striking against the blue undertones of your skin. For neutrals, you can rock cool gray, bright white, and navy. Because your skin is more pink in tone than orange, steer clear of oranges, bright tomato reds or bold yellows as these will clash with your skin.

If you’re warm:

Feeling hot? It’s because you are! If you have a warm undertone to your skin, you should look for clothes in rich, autumnal shades. Peaches, corals, oranges and golds will look gorgeous on your warm skin, and bright reds will bring out a subtle glow. Our Lakeside Mustard Dress is the perfect summer piece for bringing out a tan, or else try our Dagmar Coral for a pop of colour that will look totally striking against your skin! Steer clear of chilly colours like icy blues or ‘jewel’ colours like sapphire, as these can make your yellow-toned skin look more green or grey - not the look you’re after! Neutrals that are best for you are more brown than grey - think taupe, cappuccino, cream, and mushroom grey. And don’t forget those hints of gold when you put on your jewellery!

So there you have it - get trying out those colours and don’t be afraid to try something new!

If you're in need of some more confidence boosting ideas about rocking that colour, why not read our blog post "5 Tips for Clothing Confidence for Over 50s" where we break down a few more ideas?

Need some advice? Get in touch and consult us for some styling tips! (Or check out our new "Colourful Guide to Over 50s Fashion" page!)