Many women today are transitioning their hair to their natural gray or silver color. They don’t want the expense, or time, it takes to dye it every month for many reasons. But this also changes their coloring in their clothing. Colors that once looked good on you can either wash you out or even worse make you look sickly.
The gray hair transition period is a fun time to experiment with new colors and styles to suit the new you! What are the best color clothes to wear with white hair?
Jewel tones such as royal blue, deep reds, and bright shades of purple look best. Wearing the complementary colors of yellow helps to brighten up the complexion and make your gray hair stand out.
If you wear white, opt for snow white because shades of brown will make you look ill.
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Knowing your color season helps in choosing clothes.
I remember falling in love with the book "Color Me Beautiful" over 30 some years ago. It's based on your hair and eye color, plus your skin's undertones. Each of the 4 seasons has 3 subseasons. Today we have 12 color palettes designed to harmonize with your natural coloring.
Take this quiz to discover your season:
Click the image below to see the complete seasonal guide:
I know that I am a Bright Winter and look best in bright and cool colors. This didn’t change much when I stopped coloring my hair. What did change was making sure my wardrobe leaned more towards the darker jewel tones and super bright colors. I avoid light greens as that makes me look ghostly. Nobody wants that!
Try adding softer shades of the colors you’re used to wearing before going gray to add new shades to your wardrobe. Look for scarves with the old colors you’re used to wearing mixed with the new colors you want to try.
I have purchased many silk scarves from Amazon. When you search on Amazon, make sure to choose what color family you want. You can find it as you scroll down the Amazon search page on the left-hand side and looks like this picture.
OH! You can also choose care instructions.
But there are other things you should know when considering what colors you should wear with gray hair.
Knowing your type of gray hair helps in choosing clothes.
Not all gray hair is the same tone. There are actually 4 types of gray hair. It can be all white (like mine), battleship gray, salt & pepper, or champagne gray. What shade you will be when you start to go gray is due to the natural tones in it when you were born.
So blondes get more of a champagne color. Brown and black hair will gray in salt and pepper tones. If you have any red in your hair it will become white.
If your gray hair is more of a silver color you will look your best in blues, pinks, charcoals, and plums.
If your hair is pure white try teal blues, dark purples, or hot pinks.
Women with salt and pepper hair usually have cool tones in their skin and look good with pure whites or jet blacks.
Treat champagne gray as if you are a blonde and aim for ruby red tones.
Knowing what colors flatter gray hair the most.
While it is true that knowing your season, and the tone of your gray helps in choosing colors to wear there are tones that look great with every color gray. Why are we looking at yellow? Because gray hair is more that color.
Purples and Pinks
Looking at the color wheel we see that the opposite of yellow is purple-violet. Purples that look great with gray hair are ones that have either ruby red undertone or a royal blue undertone. Think colors such as lavender, amethyst, or periwinkle.
Pinks also make your gray hair shine but can make you look too pale if you aren’t careful. Aim for fuchsia, hot pink, or a true pink. Stay away from purples or pinks that have any brown in them, like mulberry, plum, or salmon.
Blues can bring out the coolness of any shade of gray hair. Navy blue is always a best bet and looks great with gray hair. Look for blues that lean towards a purple or red undertone. Aim for royal or sapphire blue, navy blue, or denim. You can even try lighter blues but look for icey tones such as arctic blue or cerulean.
If you’re wanting to make sure you stand out in a crowd always opt for a red top or dress. The warmth of the shade will brighten up your cheeks instantly. Stick with a true red, though. Red can have brown tones and that won’t look good on you. Shades such as candy or rose would also look good on you.
I love wearing green because it does make my eyes pop. But I go for tones that are either an emerald green or have a blue undertone. Greens that have any kind of yellow, again, make me look like maybe I should rest a bit. My favorite is wearing jade or lime green colors, especially near my eyes.
Women with gray hair can look stunning in a white top. The caveat here is it must be snow white with no tones of brown. You will also have to pump up the color on your lips and cheeks. Shades such as taupe or tan will be good enough but maybe try a brightly colored scarf or sweater to pair with it.
A black shirt or dress can make you look sophisticated even if it’s a linen shirt. This also goes for shades such as silver or gray. These colors bring out the darker tones in hair. Be sure to use purple shampoo before wearing black to wash out the yellow undertones. You want your gray hair to be the star of this show.
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Knowing what colors do not work with gray hair
Avoid mustard, olive green, camel or rust. These colors bring out the yellow undertones of your skin. With age the skin can get thinner. Yellow tones will make you look jaundiced.
This is the same situation with brown or orange tones. They will play up the sallow undertones of your new coloring.
Knowing how to slowly add new colors to your wardrobe.
Start with a scarf or a jacket in the new shade over your current colors that match well. There are many ways to wear a scarf. Try one with different shades, not all one color. Find the color of your shirt that you already have and add in a new color that you want to try.
You May Also Be Wondering...
What color glasses go best with gray hair?
Many of the same principles to follow for clothing colors for gray hair also applies to what color glasses you should wear with gray hair.
To learn more, and see real-life photos of different colored glasses on various skin tones and gray hairstyles, see my post 10 Best Color Glasses for White Hair that will Make you Look Fabulous!
It will give you a great idea of what color glasses may look good on you!
What colors should not be worn with gray hair?
If you have gray hair and want to wear beiges or tanks trying pairing with a very bright lipstick. The yellow undertones in brown shades make your paler skin look sickly. The same goes for green, which can make your hair look green.
What about wearing white?
A monochrome look isn’t flattering with gray hair because that will make your skin look paler. Try wearing a scarf near your face with one of the brighter colors.
What kind of scarf should I wear with my gray hair?
Choose a scarf in a bright color that goes with your skin undertone. Longer rectangular scarves are better than square for gray hair because you can do so much with them.
How do you not look washed out with gray hair?
Use a quality purple shampoo at least once a week. My favorite is Shimmer Lights Conditioning Purple Shampoo for Blonde and Silver Hair by Clairol. Also wear bright blush or lipstick to brighten your face.
12 Best Hairstyles for Gray Hair
To see beautiful gray hair ideas, check out my post by clicking the button below!
A big thank you!
Were you just loving those gorgeous photos of Missy and Erika? They are two of my favorite silver-haired Instagrammers, as not only are they gorgeous with their beautiful smiles, but they post amazing photos and stories of their gray hair journey that I know you will love.
Be sure to give them a follow and say hi! You can follow Missy HERE and Erika HERE.
about the author, Jackie Masek
Jackie lives in the city of Pittsburgh, PA, with her husband of 20 some years and her dog. Their two boys flew the nest to make their own way in the world after graduating from Masek School for Wayward Boys. So now she has the entire 3 floors of a hundred-year-old house to herself. To this day, people still show her their wrists with rubber bands on them.