I’ve always been a northern miserablist when it comes to wearing colour – regularly shying away from the brighter shades and sticking to murkier greens and blues. And yet, in my mid-50s there has been a surprising metamorphosis; growing in my natural hair colour has opened a whole new kaleidoscopic world – both on my head and in my wardrobe. With a head full of greyish hair, I’m taking a colourful outlook, much more willing to experiment with my wardrobe and introduce warmer tones. While I can wear black again – and occasionally do, in the form of a turtleneck jumper or tuxedo jacket – it’s never head-to-toe. Placing carefully chosen brights – in this instance switching khaki for Kelly green – alongside a neutral backdrop allows me to stay within my zone of comfortable colours.
As a fashion editor, I quickly learnt how an eye-catching item lifts an outfit and looks strong on the page. A quick Instagram scroll reveals the power of a colour pop – whatever your age. Personal trainer and influencer Grece Ghanem (@greceghanem), 56, who has over 700k followers on Instagram, is often snapped on the street in bubblegum pink or brilliant orange. She has been named “the internet’s Queen of Ageless Style” by Vogue. “I always liked elevated basics, bold colours and power prints,” Ghanem said in response. “Age is not a factor in how you choose to dress.” Well said. The CEO and fashion director of Tank magazine, Caroline Issa, 44, also enjoys multicoloured tailoring. “As I get older, I enjoy playing around more,” she told me. “I’m more confident in who I am now and like to express myself. I love colour and texture and tailoring gives me that masculine-feminine twist I like to fall back on.”
Knitwear designer Jo Gordon is known for her outstanding colour combinations. “Colour is an important ingredient in my work. I love the flexibility it can give. And wearing bright colour expresses joy and an optimistic, positive outlook,” she says. “Simply changing the colour of an item of clothing can totally change the mood.” The last point is reiterated by Judith Boyd, 78, a former psychiatric nurse who blogs as Style Crone (@stylecrone) and has 89k followers on Instagram. “Bold colours make me feel more alive and engaged, indicating that it affects my mindset and behaviour,” she said. “It brightens my mood, and it also lifts the spirits of those around me. When I’m wearing vibrant colours, I receive compliments and smiles.” Colour can make you (and others) happy…
Increased age diversity, the democratisation of fashion and dopamine dressing all fall on social media’s positive side. Whether the pandemic has played a part in the brighter mood is hard to say. But right now, a wardrobe booster might just do the trick. As Boyd continues: “I speculate that the popularity of wearing colour has to do with having been intermittently isolated for more than a year and a half. Though the danger isn’t over, dressing in colour is a way to express positivity in an unpredictable world. It’s something that we can control, when so much is beyond our ability to manage. Why not join in the fun!”
Team it with…
ExprEssie Quick Dry Formula, Orange Coral Red nail polish (£4.70) Essie; Wool cardigan (£125) Toast; Flannel shirt (£145) Essentiel Antwerp; Waves gloves (£35) Quinton + Chadwick; Shoulder bag (£240) Mimi; Katie ankle boots (£120) Camper
Read more from Alyson at thatsnotmyage.com
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