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Zoom-in on the cable knit and DIY necklace

Monochromatic red looks are tricky to style as the color gets noted. Read how you can wear all red over 40.

  1. Why you should embrace monochromatic outfits when you are petite
  2. Be aware – red and pink add weight
  3. Tricks to keep a monochromatic outfit from boring
  4. Lady in Red inspired look
  5. How to wear all red over 40
  6. Know when to add a pop of color

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Why you should embrace monochromatic outfits when you are petite

Wearing one color all over is a monochromatic look. Such outfit creates a long vertical line and gives the illusion of height. This look is especially flattering on petites when styled in dark (visually slimming) color like black, navy, hunter green, dark chocolate, you get the idea.

A monochromatic look gives the illusion of being taller than you are. Click To Tweet
fashion blogger wearing a monochromatic red work look
Anne Klein turtleneck cable knit cashmere sweater, Gloria Vanderbilt pumps, lew magram suede pants and DIY necklace (all own)

Be aware – red and pink add weight

When red is tricky to wear for you, make sure that you pick a vertically structured pattern or anything that enhances the vertical line, e.g., a V-neck, open cardigan, open blazer, or like I did, a vertical cable knit. The long necklace adds a vertical line too to provide the illusion of height, i.e. offset the “seemingly added pounds.”

lifestyle blogger illustrating how to wear all red in winter at work
Lew magram suede pants, LeatherCoatsEtc pea coat, Michael Kors leopard print bag, head band, floral print scarf, brown gloves and Coach booties (all own)

Tricks to keep a monochromatic outfit from boring

Wearing a monochromatic outfit requires some thoughts to not look boring. Monochromatic – as the word says – means one color only. To get the monochromatic look right create interest with a play of texture vs. no texture and/or matte vs. shine. Here I picked a sweater with a small cable knit pattern (see last photo for a close-up). The leather of the pumps is polished and shiny, while the suede of the pants look duff.

Lady in Red inspired look

At the last dance training, the song “Lady in Red” gave me the inspiration for this work outfit. A red cashmere sweater paired with a suede red straight skirt. I have both items in my closet since late last winter. It had never occurred to me before to wear them together.

I really missed out a great outfit for way too long.

I first tried out to go for an ageless monochromatic look and added my red high heeled Gloria Vanderbilt pumps. But I did not like what I saw. It looked liked trying too hard or maybe even like a costume. It reminded me of “Rosenrot” (rose red), a character in a German fairy tale, who used to wear red roses, a red bow in her hair, a red dress, a red bag, red coat, red shoes, red everything.

Thus, I tried these neutral kitten heel pumps which work much better because they do not call for additional attention. Their heel is relatively low and the colors are neutrals. Two colorful bangles, a watch, earrings, and a necklace complete the outfit.

stylist showing how to wear all red over 40
Anne Klein red cashmere sweater with G-III red suede skirt, Celine bag, Hermes bangles, and multi metallic kitten heel pumps


How to Wear All Red over 40

You don’t need to pass the hot red trend though with these easy tricks. The turtleneck red cashmere sweater’s cable knit pattern adds interest with its texture. The vertical lines of the knit offset the “adding weight” by the red color. The suede breaks the light differently depending on how the suede is orientated with respect to the light. The low heel cap toe pumps have a snake pattern on the caps (read different structure and reflection of light) and two different shades of red. The black belt and pearls help to break the all red outfit up a bit and define the waist. More on accessorizing with belts.

More on wearing red as a red head at this link.

blogger wearing a monochromatic red look with pink opera length necklace
Peter Kaiser cap-toe pumps, Anne Klein cable knit turtle neck sweater, GNW tights, G-III suede skirt, Seiko watch, opera length rose pearl necklace, Hermes collier de chien belt and bangle


Pro tip: When wearing red in midlife, look for vertical lines (darts, knit pattern, stripes) to give the illusion of height.

Styling Outerwear with a Monochromatic Red Outfit

For the commute to work I wore my red pea coat and swapped the red pumps for winter appropriate booties. I added a big leopard print purse to carry my pumps, a red floral print scarf, head band to keep my ears warm and brown gloves. Adding these minimal colors keeps the outerwear outfit from being boring. The look of the red suede and the coarse molten are too similar to keep the look in all red.

Always pick up the colors that show from the “indoor outfit” in your outerwear. Repeat colors for extra style. In the outfit below, I wore my short shearling coat and added a red floral patterned scarf, a black hat, and my red Celine bag.

stylist pairing a monochromatic red outfit with black outerwear
Salamander shearling boots with shaft flapped over to show the sheared fur, GNW red tight, shearling coat, beret, Celine tote, LeatherCoatsEtc leather gloves and silk oblong floral print scarf with wool lining


More on wearing bold fashion colors at any age.

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Photos: G. Kramm

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