How not to look old in pastels
Oliveo denim skirt, GNW tight, Harley Davidson booties, GNW leopard print cardigan worn as top, Jord bamboo watch, and sequin patched light denim jacket c/o StyleWe
    1. What are pastels?
    2. Why you may rarely wear pastels
    3. Who looks great in pastels
    4. Pastels that look plain old
    5. How to wear pastels when they are not so you
    6. How to wear pastels in fall


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What are pastels?

Pastels are colors that were lightened up by adding white. They look great on young and/or light blond women. These colors are also perennials. Thus, when you love them and look great in them, clothing in these colors is worth the investment. When you know when to splurge or bargain, you’ll stock up on great quality pieces in your fav colors whenever they have a moment.

Why you may rarely wear pastels

There may be reasons why you rarely wear pastels. One can be that you fear to look old. It’s sort of a cultural background. When we were kids these colors were worn by what we back then considered as old people. From today’s perspective, they were about the age we are now.

Another reason may be that pastels just wash you out. Thus, pastels are not so you. For example, when you follow my block already for a while, you know that my favorite color is black. I already loved black when I was a toddler. Yes, and if there were a darker color than black, I would wear it! Gray, not so me!

Who looks great in pastels

Pastels with warm undertones look perfect on red heads with cooper undertones or strains in their hair or on strawberry blondes. These pastels even look romantic when the item is lace. These looks are head-turning – think of Nicole Kidman in her pastel apricot-pink lace dress on the red carpet years ago. <3

Pastel coats in clear light blue, or clear light pink look great on light blonde young women. Clear pastels (not muted) are also so stunning on our light blonde sisters. Think of Rosie Hunnington-Whiteley or Karlie Kloss in their stunning pastel brown camel coats. <3

Pastels that look plain old

There are pastels that make you become invisible in the crowd. Can you recall someone saw a person who looked stunning in them? But most people who wear these colors have one thing in common. They just look old. Muted pastels look dirty and are non-flattering. These colors have the fashion names like greige, surf crest, sand, lavender, mauves, violet, viola, beige, Dutch white, egg shell, sandy beach, blossom, spun pearl, Spanish white, cherub, Mexican red, vista blue, just to mention a few. What a waste of black and color with a lot of white from a color mixing point of view!

How to wear pastels when they are not so you

As you know, I am a ballroom dancer. Thus, some performances require to wear pastels. They wash me out! They don’t let me play up the dramatic contrast of light skin with olive undertone vs. dark color. They compete with my skin for the contrast to the dark brown eyes and ash brown hair. I even wish I had inherited my mom’s eye color for an even starker contrast! Her eyes were nearly black with a slight brown undertone. You barely could see her iris! So beautiful. <3

So how do I pull the light colors off? A week prior to the performance I start tanning with self-tanning lotion to reduce the skin-pastel contrast. Prior to the performance I put on makeup, tons of makeup. You wouldn’t even want to see a closeup. The photo below shows the result.

Stylist’s tip: When you are in a bridal party and have to wear a pale color that washes you out, start self-tanning ahead of time so you look great in the photos.

Warmup for Dancing with the Fairbanks Stars
Wearing a salmon pink ballroom gown and donning a self-tanned skin

Try to look for a color that is on the slightly deeper side like salmon pink or brighter side like a pastel hot pink. Going down the Snow White road.

Keep the pastels away from your face when they are not flattering on you, but you want to wear them because they are a trend or you just like the shade. Wear them in small doses with colors that are more you. What about as a bag or sandals or scarf.

The outfit below is an example how to style a look with light blue when it’s a color that washes you out. The deep colors which are flattering on me dominate the outfit and make the light color work.

style over 50 woman with leopard print top and light blue jacket

styleover40 woman in Casual Friday outfit

fashionover40 woman in denim-on-denim with sequin patches

fashion over 40 woman in patched denim jacket
Outfit details: Sequin denim patch jacket c/o StyleWe with own Oliveo denim skirt, GNW tight, Harley Davidson booties, Jord wood watch, and GNW leopard print cardigan worn as top

How to wear pastels in fall

On first thought, pastels seem out of the window for fall. However, on second thought when one thinks about being in a cottage up in the mountains viewing a sunrise over a foggy valley, it is not so far taken. Basically just have that view from the cottage over the fog in mind when you choose the additional colors. In the example below, I paired my pastel layered mesh skirt (the fog with the reflected sunlight on it) with a black silk cashmere knit sweater (black spruce trees or trees against the sun light) and a winter white motorcycle jacket (sunlight on the fog) and fall sandals or call them cut-out booties if you like. The black shoes and top and the winter white jacket take the outfit to the cold season and make the skirt the statement piece. Because of the big belt I only went for earring, but large ones. They fit to fall as they are big leaves.

#over50style High Latitude Style donning a fall outfit with pastel skirt and moto jacket plus black top and fall sandals

street style blogger Nicole is street style lace-up booties black sweater and layered mesh-skirt
Outfit details: Winter white Spencer & Graham motorcycle jacket, Moda International black silk cashmere sweater, Steve Madden black lace-up fall booties, statement belt, black vintage Esprit bag, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Hermes enamel H-bangle, ethnic watch (all own) and layered mesh skirt c/o Lookbook Store

How do you wear your pastels? Do you also have an ambiguous relationship to a color or group of colors? What are your challenges with respect to the choice of your clothes colors? Let me know how I can help you. Send me an email with your styling challenges.

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Photos of me: G. Kramm

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