You are currently viewing Best Tips to Avoid Looking 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

Avoid looking old in pastels. Pastels are associated with spring, babys and Romantic Style. They can make you look heavier than you are. They also can wash you out when they don’t belong to your color palette. Read this post to look your best when wearing pastels.

  1. What are pastels?
  2. Why you may rarely wear pastels
  3. Who looks great in pastels
  4. Avoid looking old in pastels
  5. Pastels that look plain old
  6. How to wear pastels when they are not so you
  7. Pastels look great in spring
  8. Summer Pastels Outfit Ideas
  9. How to wear pastels in fall

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.

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 want to avoid looking 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 are perfect colors for red heads with cooper undertones or strains in their hair as well as 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 Karlie Kloss and Rosie Hunnington-Whiteley both in their stunning pastel brown camel coats. <3

mature style blogger in Father's Day outfit for brunch
Hinge quilted leather jacket, Keep Calm T-shirt, Jaeger tote, statement belt (all own), Akoya pearl necklace c/o The Pearl Source Inc., double layer tulle skirt c/o Lookbook Store, and Musse & Cloud wood sandals c/o coolway

Avoid looking old in pastels

This outfit inspiration with seersucker pants uses all light colors. Seesuckers need to be styled with other light colors to look stunning. When wearing all light colors means for you going out of your comfort zone add a bold color like the yellow bag. It helps to not look old when wearing pastels.

fashion avoiding to look old in pastels by adding a bold color

Stylist illustrating how to avoid looking old in pastels by mixing patterns
J. Crew seersucker cropped pants with Carhartt gingham button-down shirt, Kieselstein Cord belt and buckle, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Juicy Couture slides, Longchamp bag, and Ray Ban sunglasses (all own)


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. Unfortunately, most pastel shades wash me out! Wearing them, I can’t play up the dramatic contrast of light skin with olive undertone vs. dark color. Light colors 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 increase 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.

dancer wearing salmon pink with purple to avoid looking old in pastels
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.


stylist showing how to avoid looking old in pastels

fashion blogger over 50 in denim-on-denim with sequin patches to look young and hip

sequin patches on lightblue denim jacket to not look old
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

Pastels look great in spring

Most pastels are neutrals. Be aware they may wash you out when you are a deep color type. In this case, wear them away from your face. Unsure on wearing pastels as they are associated with old people?

You can try to wear two pastel shades in one outfit: My placid blue leather pants, and my beloved pink cashmere sweater. Since now the parking lot is snow free, I was able to wear my floral pumps, the first flowers of spring so to speak. 😉

Pastels scream spring is in the air. #springtrends Click To Tweet

over 50 years old fashion blogger wearing an all pastels spring outfit

mature blogger adds burned orange to avoid looking old in pastels
Outfit details: Burned orange leather coat with pink Brooks Brothers sweater, geometric print scarf, black structured bag, light blue Halogen carrot leather pants, pink pearls, Paloma Picasso sunglasses, and Madonna True or Dare floral pumps

mature woman in fall look

mature woman in mesh skirt
Outfit details: Isaac Mizrahi cashmere sweater, statement belt, Longchamp bag, Ivanka Trump pumps (all own) with double layer mesh skirt c/o Lookbook Store in a flowers-blooming-in-the-desert color combination.


Summer Pastels Outfit Ideas

The following looks feature the same pastel floral print summer skirt in different looks. The shirt and sling backs, jacket, bag repeat the bluish and pink shades of the skirt, respectively.


Alaskan style blogger in pastel floral skirt, chambray shirt, Chanel belt, Coach bag posing in the morning

mature fashion blogger wearing a floral pastel look in April with layers

Alaskan woman in a layered pastel outfit to avoid looking old
Outfit details: Bisou pastel floral skirt, Great Northwest denim shirt, Chanel belt, Via Spiga sling backs, Hermes collier de chien bangle, pale pink Hinge leather jacket and Coach bag (all own)


In this second look, a suede utility jacket, cap-toe pumps and fuchsia bag pick up the olive green and the two pink shades of the skirt . When you compare these two outfits even though the use the same recipe (shirt, jacket, same skirt) they look quite differently. The trick when wearing the same item one day after the other is to give it a different vibe either with the colors like in this example or the vibe.

mature fashion blogger in pastels print skirt and suede utility jacket

over 50 years old woman in suede utility jacket, button-down shirt, pastel floral skirt
Outfit details: Great Northwest suede utility jacket, Bisou Bisou pastel floral skirt, Oliveo linen shirt, 3.1 Philip Lim bag, smoky quartz flower statement belt, Ray Ban aviator sunglasses, and Ivanka Trump pumps (all own)


In the third look, I changed the vibe to a little bit more dressed up, i.e., less casual. I added a pantyhose, high end bag, whimsical peridot beads and pearl necklace and upped the style with a more fancy belt.

yellow pastel floral skirt with blush pointy toe slingbacks, Chanel bag, utility jacket and belt

style blogger in a pastel skirt with Chanel bag

blogger Nicole avoids looking old in pastels by pairing with olive
Bisou Bisou skirt, Via Spiga patent leather sling backs, Hermes collier de chien bangle, peridot beads and pearls three strings necklace, vintage Chanel quilted chain bag, cat eye Paloma Picasso sunglasses, unbranded pantyhose, Great Northwest suede utility jacket, Hermes H-buckle, and Kieselstein Cord belt (all own)


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. The example below picks up the idea of fog with the reflected sunlight on it and black spruce trees or trees against the sun light. Blush, winter white, black. 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 long earrings.


When you like the blog, you may also want to get my book How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Buy it now.


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

street style blogger Nicole adds black to avoid looking old in pastels 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 avoid looking old in 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.

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Photos of me: G. Kramm

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