How to wear pink over 40
Zoom-in on the peacock necklace over pink top

Today pink is associated with feminine clothing, sometimes even with being romantic. This post features how you can wear this young, preppy color over 40 without looking like trying too hard.

  1. Pink is a great color
  2. How to style pink the modern way
    • Break old fashion rules – so chic
    • Pink with brown is so chic
    • When layering peeling off a layer must lead to a great look too
    • Try different shades of pink in one outfit
  3. Think of outerwear as an outfit too
  4. Which pink is right for you?
  5. Wrapping up

Pink is a great color

I really love pink, and yes, I wear it a lot. One of my blogging friends once said “You wear your pink like a neutral!” Well, I guess she may be right. At least, it’s one of my signature colors.

Today, we associate little girls with this lightened version or red. This hasn’t always been the case. It just became this way in the beginning of the last century. Formerly, it was reserved for baby boys.

This post is a guide how to wear pink at any age and look effortlessly chic.

How to style pink the modern way

Pink is currently full on trend. When you are over 40, you remember the pink trend of the 80s. Every women wore pink with black. I did too! And, yes I still think it was super chic, and still is.

However, today I hesitate wearing this color combination. It looks great on the Millennials, but on babyboomer or generation X fashionistas it has a deja vu moment. By no means, I am not saying it is not chic for women over 40. We just have to wear this color combination distinctively different than we did back then.

woman in pink dress

Break old fashion rules – so chic

Starting in third grade, I was allowed to pick my outfit of the day. However, my mother had strong rules about what to wear together, and what not to wear together. For instance, I was not allowed to wear red and pink together or red and brown. My mother claimed that red and pink looks like a “rosarotes Schweinchen”, i.e. a red pink piglet. Today, one would probably say Miss Piggy alert. In the case of brown and red, she would say that these colors “beissen sich” (bite each other), what basically in plain English would mean, they clash.

Nevertheless, I think you can wear these colors together like in this outfit. Yes, it is tricky, but when you keep the colors very distinct from each other, it works as the pink and red are in the same color family. Pink and brown is a classic. And brown is a neutral. Thus, where is the problem?

Did you know that in the 19th century, pink was a color for baby boys?

fashion over 40 Various shades of red in a work outfit

over 50 years old stylist featuring a work outfit in pink and red
Outfit details: Steve Madden ankle strap pumps, cashmere sweater, G-III skirt, pantyhose, pendent necklace and blush Hinge quilted leather jacket


The pumps pick up the color of the sweater as do the dots on the socks.

style blogger in boyfriend jeans, pumps with socks, denim shirt

Casual work outfit modeled by Nicole of High Latitude Style
Outfit details: Quilted blush Hinge leather jacket, burgundy cashmere sweater and Great Northwest denim shirt, ethnic belt, London Jean boyfriend jeans, GNW burgundy polka dots black socks and burgundy patent leather Steve Madden ankle strap heels and Paloma Picasso sunglasses (all own)

Pink with brown is so chic

Currently, I am totally into wearing pink with brown. Outfits in this color combination have a fresh modern vibe. As an example, I paired my mock turtleneck pink cashmere sweater with a waterfall cashmere sweater and chocolate brown leather pants for a modern office winter look.

midlife lady in posh modern work outfit color combination

style over 40 Winter office look with pink sweater
Outfit details: Brown unbranded waterfall cashmere cardigan, Lands End mock turtleneck pink cashmere sweater, I.N.C. chocolate brown leather pants, brown Clark booties, Festina watch, Hermes H bangle,  and peacock necklace (all own)

When layering peeling off a layer must lead to a great look too

When layering keep in mind that your look should still look complete and stunning when you peel a layer off. In the outfit shown above, the necklace does the trick. It adds interest to the outfit. While with cardigan the necklace just repeats the vertical lines, it becomes a statement without the cardigan.

Try different shades of pink in one outfit

Of course, one can style a monochromatic look in this color. You also can repeat the color when it occurs in the print or pattern of another piece you wear like in the example outfit below. The motorcycle jacket is incredibly versatile despite as I demonstrated in this post on how to style 15 stunning looks with a pink leather jacket.

business casual work outfit with tapestry sheath dress

fashion blogger in chic work appropriate cutout dress
mature woman in office look with leather jacket
#maturefashion woman in work outfit with pink leather jacket
Outfit details: BB Dakota sheath, Coach bag, Steve Madden ankle strap pumps, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Brooks Brothers sweater, pantyhose, Tissot blue stone watch, blue topaz studs and Newport News leather jacket (all own)

Think of outerwear as an outfit too

Since winter is so long in Interior Alaska, I like to think of my outer layer as an additional outfit. Some of your under (indoor) outfit will show. Therefore always think of your outerwear just as an additional layer. The example below illustrates how a printed silk scarf can tie an outfit together. Its pink, bluish, tan brown, and burnt red pattern repeats the burnt red leather of the coat, the tan of the gloves and Kate Moss for Longchamp bag.

fashion blogger wearing street style
Cayenne leather coat with geometric print scarf, vintage leather hat, G-III skirt, Steve Madden patent leather ankle strap pumps and Kate Moss for Longchamp tan bag (all own)


The next example photo shows how to use salmon to add a pop of color to a winter outdoor look. A girlfriend of mine gave me this scarf as a gift when she came back from visiting her parents in China. I switched into my brown booties for better hold on the icy sidewalks.

fashion blogger in Casual outerwear
Marc Andrew shearling motorcycle jacket, London Jean boyfriend jeans, Clark booties, accessorized with graphic silk print scarf, LeatherCoatsEtc tan gloves, and YSL bag (all own)


The next photo shows how fuchsia is added as a statement to up the outerwear. To tie the look together burgundy gloves and a beret are used as a darker variation of fuchsia.

over 40 fashionista in Winter look with beret
Diamond leopard print jacket worn over chocolate brown INC leather pants accessorized with burgundy beret, fuchsia 3.1 Phillip Lim bag, and Clark booties (all own)

Which pink is right for you?

There are warm and cold, light and deep, as well as bright and soft variations. Thus, pick the hue/shade/tint of your color palette. Otherwise, you will look washed out. Another aspect is whether you prefer a style with neutrals or love a bold color statement (me).

Typically, blondes with light skin and blue eyes look great in cool powder or blush. Blondes with golden skin look great in coral, salmon, or baby pink. Brunettes with dark brown eyes look great in fuchsia.

Stylist’s tip: Be aware that like many pastels and red, pink can make you look heavier than you really are. Thus, create vertical lines when styling this shade to offset the effect.

Wrapping up

Pink is more versatile than one would think at first sight. It can be worn as a neutral or color statement. One can wear one’s best pink at any age. It’s not just for baby girls.

Do you like this color? Or do you think it is for young women and little girls? Do you wear it despite it gives the illusion of more weight? You can find more about how to not look old in pastels in this guide.

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Photos: G. Kramm

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