In retirement, or any situation where one can dress as casually as one wants, we want to avoid the schlump.
In hyper-casual outfits, I’m not going to be experimenting with silhouette, or shoe height, or really anything. So what I want is a way to ensure that when I throw on any old thing, shorts, jeans, a tee, sandals, sneakers, an inexpensive linen blazer, and/or a field jacket, I’ve got a shot at style. As one who always shunned colors any more saturated than, say, navy, I am surprised to find how much I rely these days on not-black and not-white, and even not-brown-and-not-gray, to add that little je ne sais quoi.
Color, you see, is always available.
But I was never going to go rainbow. Or popping. Even if my being could handle intensity, my particular over-50 coloring could not. I may not be melting like the Wicked Witch, but I’m fading. So I want my style subtle and balanced.
To try this out, just start with your fail-safe color. For me, that’s blue. For you it might be green, acid yellow, or peach. We’re inclusive. Now add one or two complementary blue-based shades, and one that contrasts.
I’m wearing navy UNIQLO shorts, blazer and rather intense radiant orchid tee, along with orange Havaiana flip flops. I like to keep strong contrast away from my face. I’m also wearing these 20-year old handmade gold hoops. Gold provides a contrast too, just gentler.
You can also take a more muted tack.
A blue (Citizens of Humanity boyfriend jeans), two purples (you can just see the lavender UNIQLO t-shirt peeking out from under my heathered purple sweatshirt), and forest green Supergas. The more yellow the green, the strong the contrast to the purple. (By the way, I love this sweatshirt, cotton, comfortable, fairly flattering.)
Tonal values should be similar across your outfit. In my case, all are “dusty,” That’s because I’m kind of dusty myself, low contrast, neither pale nor dark. I’m also wearing these earrings – because the color play here is more subtle, I wanted to add a little interest with variegated stones. You can go all pale, or all vivid. As I said, inclusive.
Also, extra side benefit, not expensive as stylish goes.
Here are a few options if you’re dusty too, but yellow-undertoned. Feel free to tell us all how to put these colors together better than I have.
One more thing about basing my wardrobe on “Blue: Its Friends And Its Enemies?” The strategy brings out my eyes, which, as I fade, seem to be getting brighter. I wouldn’t mind becoming that old lady with bright blue peepers and the purple shoes.
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