Should older women wear pastel colours?

Blue sweater & cape close up 2




There are two pastel colours at the forefront of S/S 2016 fashion trends. They are Serenity blue and Rose quartz.

I am not suggesting that you buy into a current season’s fashion colours. Choose flattering colours that complement your natural hair colour, skin tone and personality. It does however raise the question “should older women wear pastel colours? Many well respected fashion journalists say no.

I think it is a question of what? when? and how?



The what depends on the style of the garment. If it is modern and stylish and suits your figure I would say yes. The when depends on your lifestyle. Not the most practical choice if you are playing with small children. The how I would recommend mixing pastels with your best dark neutrals. This will ground them.

We do not want the classic button down cardigan in a washed out pastel teamed with a herbaceous border skirt. Not a good look!




Blue cashmere sweater with scarf




Winserlondon blue sweater, navy trousers + pendant




Some zany accessories will lift pastels from the ordinary to the current. My pendant necklace is Fion Pearl Lariat from Hobbs jewellery collection. They also offer some good bargains in their outlet section. 



Winserlondon Blue sweater with cream shirt & pendant



My sweater, poncho and scarf are all by Winserlondon. They call their equivalent to Serenity blue “chambray blue”.

Audrey cashmere by Winserlondon  Blue merino wool reversible poncho by WinserlondonCashmere scarf also by Winserlondon. Wide trousers from a selection at MeandEm and layering shirt by MandS.











  1. Sharon
    12th March 2016 / 13:17

    As my skin and hair have lightened (hair was dark chestnut and is now similar to yours but more beige) I have been replacing my brighter colours with softer ones. I always wear them with dark bottoms, usually navy. I think the softer colours suit my pink skin and blue eyes better. If I had different colouring they might not look as good as the brighter colours. I think you look very harmonious and current in this outfit.

  2. Margo
    12th March 2016 / 14:21

    Hi Josephine. I really love this look and bought the Chambrey sweater this week. I will have to do the poncho and scarf too. I hadn’t thighs of wearing a shirt underneath but it looks great. Your wide leg trousers suit the look too as you know as a pear I am always looking for the right trousers to balance things and this works well for you. Thanks for the guidance. Margo

  3. Poppy B.
    12th March 2016 / 17:07

    I think pastels look fantastic with lighter hair. My mother has taken to wearing a lot of lavender now that her hair is silver.

    If you’re afraid of looking like an Easter basket, grounding them with a darker color works well, as you’ve demonstrated here. Also, pastel shades can be sophisticated when they’re a bit muted, like ashes of roses or grayed blue.

    To be honest, I think women should wear what they want. Pastels can read unsophisticated, but if you do what you can to convey that you are, in fact, a grown-up woman, why not?

  4. Mary Ann Pickett
    12th March 2016 / 19:14

    Lovely. I like rose too.

  5. Jodie filogomo
    12th March 2016 / 20:18

    I believe in wearing colors that look good on you, but I do hope we stop limiting ourselves! We should wear every color available and if it’s not a great match with our complexion then 1-say who cares or 2-wear a better color closer to the face!
    There is so much psychology with color, and it really can make up feel so much better, calmer, bolder, etc!! I think this blue looks great on you! jodie

  6. Laurie
    12th March 2016 / 20:30

    I’ve actually discovered that I am more partial to pastels near my face since I’ve stopped dying my hair and let it return to its darker shade with gray streaks. I tend toward the cooler end of the palette now that I have darker tresses for contrast.

  7. Melissa
    12th March 2016 / 21:21

    I think that this debate about what colours women of a ‘certain age’ can and can’t wear is quite bizarre. As at any stage of life, you choose the colours that suit your complexion. For a winter person like myself, that covers a huge range from vibrant jewelled purples, and fuchsia to baby blue and ice pink and silvery greys. What looks dreadful on me, and always has, is anything with a yellow base, from coral, apricot, taupe, beige, olive, any yellows and any brown but chocolate brown. If you want to see what a versatile palette an older woman can wear with grey hair, have a look at The Queen. It is all a bit like that odd rule about what day you can start/stop wearing white trousers!

    • 13th March 2016 / 08:03

      Hi Melissa
      I was trained as a colour consultant and ran seminars in the corporate market for about 15 years. I do think that the colours that suit us can change with time. I have certainly found that since my hair turned from a dirty blonde to grey with blond streaks I can now take clearer and brighter colours better than the muted tones I used to wear.So it can be worth having a re-thinking and trying some new colours if you hair has changed.

  8. Susan (une femme)
    12th March 2016 / 23:44

    This color is stunning on you! And your photos are gorgeous…what a pretty spot.

    • 13th March 2016 / 08:04

      Forget to say that photos are by Mr.P taken on a short trip to Ross-on-Wye.

  9. M-T
    13th March 2016 / 00:53

    With my skin tones, pastels can wash me out, if I’m not careful; however, a touch of vibrant color in an accessory or scarf near my face can easily do the trick. You wear them beautifully, Josephine.
    Cheers, M-T

  10. Mary Graham
    13th March 2016 / 15:37

    Inspired by your blog, I was at Bloomingdales yesterday and saw a lovely pale blue sweater by a new brand, Jigsaw of London. The saleswoman said this was one of only 4 US stores to carry it. Are you familiar with the brand? I also got a couple of cute t–shirts. They seem to be of good quality at a reasonable price.

    • 13th March 2016 / 17:42

      Hi Mary
      Yes very familiar with the brand. We have a store in the village where I live. Good quality and as you say reasonable prices. I must feature them more often. Thank you for telling me that Bloomingdales stock the range.

  11. Rita
    13th March 2016 / 16:56

    It seems silly to consider anything other than skin tone when choosing colors. If the color is good on you, wear it! If not, don’t. What could be easier?

  12. Julie
    14th March 2016 / 22:23

    This colour looks beautiful on you Josephine! It’s actually really flattering and a colour that almost shouts ‘Spring in the air’. I like the addition of your jewellery which makes the whole look more interesting. Chic a la perfection:)! Julie x

  13. Nicole Mölders (@HighLatitudeSty)
    16th March 2016 / 03:44

    I think that these pastel colors only love great on blondes, not matter how old they are. They just look awful on brunettes. They was us out. You look fabulous in this serenity.

    • 16th March 2016 / 08:03

      Hi Nicole
      I have a friend who is a brunette and she seems to be able to wear and look good in a pale blue in the summer as long as it is a clear tone and not muted.

  14. Jeni
    20th March 2016 / 20:56

    Your haircut looks great in these shots Josephine!
    Love this look on you. I sent off for the pale pink merino v neck but when it came I chickened out.. too stuck in neutrals….

  15. Joan Shea
    9th May 2023 / 13:47

    I’m very senior & considering wearing a pale pink, very conservative dress to a June wedding. It fits well and covers all my issues. Think it’s ok?

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