Where to find colorful clothes this season - une femme d'un certain âge

Some colorful options to add to your wardrobe this season

Where to find colorful clothes for your Spring wardrobe. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Many of you have mentioned that you’re struggling to find “your” colors this season. (Especially those who favor cool, bright colors.)

“I can’t find anything in ‘my’ colors…”

It’s not your imagination. I suspect that brands/retailers have decided to play it safe over the last few seasons. Scroll through page after page of many large retailers’ websites, and you’ll see a predominance of grays, black, and faded “non-color colors.”

While trends aren’t as clearly defined as they once were, I do find that colors in fashion are still very much cyclical. For the first several months after I had my color analysis, I was unable to find much of anything in my warm, bright palette. Everything on the racks seemed to be in cool, soft hues, or muddy earth tones. This season I’m finding a (slightly) better selection of warm, bright colors.

Style tip 👉 As not every color in your palette will be available every season, my advice is to stock up when your favorites are available. 😉

There are a lot of nuances to color theory, and different systems define color seasons differently. So to keep this from going too deep into the weeds, I’ll keep it simple and group by Cool or Warm. Cool colors are those with blue undertones; warm colors will have yellow undertones.

Where to find colorful clothes this season

First, I’d recommend checking out Kettlewell Colours for good quality basics in an amazing selection of colors. If you know your season you can shop and filter by season, or shop by a specific color. They are limited to standard sizes at this time. I also found their explainer on tonal analysis very helpful!

Below is a sampling of tops, jackets and sweaters from other brands in cool and warm colors. There’s much more in my COLOR SHOP

Cool

What I’m mostly seeing available in cool colors this season are pinks (raspberry, fuchsia), violets (orchid, lilac), blues (cobalt, cadet or “French” blue), and the occasional cool, soft yellow.

A note: colors can look different on different monitors. In describing colors below, I’m going by how colors appear on my monitor.

Below are just a few examples. Style tip 👉 If you see a color you like, make a note of the color name, then search by brand and color name to find other styles in that color.

White House Black market ribbed toggle cardigan in fuchsia pink

If your palette is cool and bright, here’s a longer ribbed cardigan with an interesting toggle fastening. It’s offered in both Misses and Petites. (Wool-free.)

Majestic Filatures stretch linen blazer rose pink.

Lightweight jackets are one of my Spring (and Summer) wardrobe essentials. Here’s stretch linen blazer in a gorgeous bright rose hue.

Johnny Was embroidered orchid top.

For those whose style skews more Bohemian, here’s a pretty dark orchid top for warmer days. Sizes XX-Small to XX-Large.

Vince Camuto rumple satin blouse in bright pink (hibiscus)

Still in the “Cool & Bright” arena, this popover v-neck top is available in both Misses and Plus sizes.

Halogen cotton blend cardigan cobalt blue.

Cobalt blue is a versatile “cool & bright” option. This cotton blend cardigan is offered in a few more colors (including a soft orchid) in Misses and Plus.

Talbot's shaker cotton blend sweater in larkspur blue.

Moving toward the softer side of the cool palette, mid-blues like this one are another versatile color choice, and pretty widely available. This (wool-free) cotton blend sweater is available Misses and Petite sizes, also in a pretty orchid shade. Here’s another style in a marled version of the same color, offered in Misses, Petite, Plus and Plus Petite.

Chico's toile print v-neck tee.

And if you love a good toile print, this v-neck tee is quite nice. It’s a slub-cotton fabric, so it’s lightweight, but it’s not too sheer to wear on its own. Misses and Petites, sizes 0-22.

Halogen merino sweater in light emerald.

I’m still seeing smatterings of emerald, teal and spruce greens. This brighter version of emerald doesn’t feel too heavy for Spring.

Warm

For those who prefer warmer shades, you’ll find lots of earthy tones (especially a brownish orange I call “adobe clay”), some peach, yellow, and a smattering of green.

J.Crew cashmere crewneck sweater in warm, bright green.

Speaking of warm green, here’s a shade that makes my heart sing 💚. The color of this lightweight cashmere sweater is “Garden Green,” and it’s the color of new grass. (See how I wore it HERE.)

Chico's everyday cardigan in botanical green.

Chico’s has quite a few pieces in this “Botanical Green,” which is darker, but still warm-ish green. I’m eying this longer cardigan, which is offered in Misses and Petites, sizes 00/(2) to 4/(20-22).

J.Crew cotton paisley print shirt.

Here’s a nice alternative to floral print…available in sizes 00-24.

Talbot's aqua stripe top cotton blend

Aqua is one of those colors that flatters many skin tones. I also find it a very easy color to style. Here’s a cotton-blend stripe tee, offered in Misses/Petite, sizes XS-XL.

Talbots cotton shaker stitch sweater light aqua blue.

I find this light aqua blue such a cheerful color! It’s 100% cotton, offered in Misses, Petite, Plus, and Plus Petite.

Banana Republic lightweight field jacket clay.

It’s always nice to find a utility-style jacket in a color other than military green. (This is an example of the “clay” color I was referring to.) This is available in size XS-XL.

Eileen Fisher crewneck jersey top in Terra Cotta.

Although this “terra cotta” almost falls into that “non-color color” category, I’m showing it to you because I find it’s a versatile shade that can play either a neutral or color, depending on what you pair it with. Available in sizes X-Small to 3X. (There’s also a Dark Terra Cotta, which is a nice redwood.)

Vince Camuto v-neck popover top bright coral

I haven’t seen as much bright coral this year as last, but here’s one in a “fan favorite” top…sizes X-Small to XX-Large. Lots more colors HERE.

Boden cotton pineapple print sweater

Finally…can’t decide what color to wear? Why not wear them all? 🌈 This fun pineapple 🍍 print sweater is 100% cotton, sizes XS-XL.

What colors do you wear most often? Do you prefer brighter or softer colors?

(And if you favor neutrals, I’ll be working on a roundup soon!)

Stay in touch.

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24 Comments

  1. Robyn
    March 17, 2021 / 2:55 am

    I love the time and thought you put into your blog boards. It got me thinking of how I choose clothes. Color isn’t first, the silhouette is. Does this item fit my body type? Which is a short waisted rectangle boarding on a V. This in itself eliminates a lot of clothing. Then, does it fit my style?-minimal classic, with a little edge or softness at times. By the time I’ve gone through this process there really isn’t much to choose from. This is when color comes in. While color is beautiful, I’m not sure everyone is “colorful”. My best friend is a fiery red-head and a force of nature. She lights up in color. On the other hand I tend to be overwhelmed by a lot of color, so I lean to the more classic cooler colors, blues seem to be the exception. Navy is my best friend!- Next to the fiery red-head one.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      March 17, 2021 / 6:43 am

      Hi Robyn, thanks so much! I agree, not everyone will want to wear bright colors. I wanted to respond to those readers who have commented in recent weeks that they’d like to see more options in cooler, bright colors.

      • Robyn
        March 18, 2021 / 2:35 am

        You provided beautiful options,. Thank you for your care and consideration of your readers. For me, the colors are beautiful but sadly, some of the silhouettes don’t suit my shape. Which is usually a problem for me. Attempting to make my rectangle shape look less rectangular. I’ve become very picky in this area. There are so many considerations when dressing. Maybe that’s why I’m a formula dresser and an outfit repeater.

  2. March 17, 2021 / 5:53 am

    I totally agree with the comments that Robyn offered this morning. I would add, that for me, budget would #3 on my list. If I am adding a trending color or just a fresh pop of color, it might not become a piece of clothing that gets a ton of wear. It may last only a season in my closet. Most generally, I stay in the neutral camp and add my color through accessories or possibly that brighter tank or t-shirt peeping out under a denim shirt or cardigan. It just seems that by a certain age, we’ve developed our own unique style that offers use the confidence to pull off a specific style.
    Thank you for doing all the research to show us a clearer path to choosing our best colors!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      March 17, 2021 / 6:48 am

      Hi Jan, everyone will have a different comfort level with color. My suggestion is to invest in and wear what colors are most flattering to you and what you love, regardless of whether it’s “on trend” or not. For some that will be a lot of color, for others, not so much.

  3. Laura Heitz
    March 17, 2021 / 6:12 am

    A lot of us have gone gray or silver during the pandemic. Some of my warm shades and gold jewelry are no longer flattering. I’d love to get some tips on flattering colors for gray haired women!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      March 17, 2021 / 6:54 am

      Hi Laura, my understanding is that going grey doesn’t usually change your “season,” because it’s all about the effect of color on the skin. But you may find that your best colors within your palette may shift. So someone can be gray and still an Autumn or Spring (warm palettes). I know one of my readers is a grey-haired Autumn, perhaps she can chime in 😉

      • Laura Heitz
        March 17, 2021 / 9:37 am

        Thank you!

      • Michele
        March 17, 2021 / 5:16 pm

        I’m still a winter although my hair is all grey. The grey hair I have is definitely cool toned!

  4. Susan
    March 17, 2021 / 6:42 am

    Thank you for your effort to show a range of possibilities in your posts, Susan. You’ve given me several new and good ideas. And, my feet thank you again for the Sole Bliss reference.

  5. Penelope
    March 17, 2021 / 8:10 am

    I do select first by color. As an artist, it speaks to me. I am a Summer but as I have aged and have grey hair, I find the paler cool tones wash me out and I need to go more vibrant. Lavenders, pinks and blues are my favorites especially in tops. Thanks for searching on our behalf!

  6. Mary
    March 17, 2021 / 9:30 am

    Hi Susan….something I have wondered about…what if your color palette suits your skin tone but not your personality? I’m a Spring but I don’t like wearing those tones..those warm, bright colors just don’t feel like “me”. I am much happier in very tailored clothes in navy, black, creams, olives and greys. I wear black T-shirts 90% of the time because that’s what I am happiest and most comfortable in.

    • Ainsivalavie
      March 17, 2021 / 10:02 am

      I agree with you Mary. Personality is often over looked. If a Winter feels comfortable in cream, beige or olive then she should wear it. Sometimes people feel uncomfortable with any colour at all even as an accessory and some eschew any jewelry. Ultimately it’s what makes one feel confident and comfortable. I often see that women who prefer their neutrals have a strong sense of style choosing precise tailoring, luxe fabrics and accessories to express themselves sartorially. Colour is lovely but it is not the whole fashion story.
      On the other hand when a woman laments that her ‘colours’ have changed dramatically after turning gray I wonder if she was ever wearing the right colours in the first place. One’s skin tones, eye colour and personality don’t change.
      My mother was a summer from dark to blonde to silver hair. Wore the same colours throughout her long life and she always looked amazing.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      March 17, 2021 / 10:28 am

      Hi Mary, yes, personality is part of the equation, and I’d never suggest anyone wear something that makes them uncomfortable (physically or emotionally). There are days when I just want to wear dark neutrals (navy for me now, instead of black). Or the more neutral-leaning shades in my wardrobe. Sometimes your “eye” and preferences will shift over time. You also may find that you can skip the brightest colors in your palette, while still creating harmony with your coloring.

  7. Mary Wilson Jarrett
    March 17, 2021 / 9:46 am

    I’d love to see a post on what to wear with gray hair. I’m sure many of us decided to stop coloring hair due to the Pandemic.

    • Nancy Karpen
      March 17, 2021 / 12:52 pm

      I watched a webinar from Your Color Style and other videos on YouTube on what colors to wear with all different shades of gray and white hair. I was having the same dilemma with my white hair but it’s not new, I stopped dyeing it about 11 years ago. I found lots of inspiration and am slowly expanding my color choices.

  8. Anon
    March 17, 2021 / 9:57 am

    Where can I find a terracotta lipstick, for when the masks one day come off — one that won’t make my teeth look yellow?

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      March 17, 2021 / 10:31 am

      Here’s my take, if your lipstick color complements your skin tone, you’ll look brighter and more vibrant overall.

  9. Ruth
    March 17, 2021 / 10:09 am

    Thank you for this post Susan. I have never had a colour analysis done but I am always drawn to winter colours and get the most compliments when I wear them. Give me cobalt blues, emerald greens, ruby reds, bright pinks! But as you said I am having a hard time finding these colours the last year or so. Everything is geared to a warmer palette! So frustrating!

  10. Linda
    March 17, 2021 / 11:35 am

    Hi Susan, is it too early to be thinking about casual skirts and dresses? I’m in Arizona and tend to live them, but I wonder about lengths and what’s flattering. I’m about your height and weight and over 50. Perhaps a future blog can include this topic if others are interested. I tend to go knee length, tea length or longer. I’m still in good shape but I don’t want to look inappropriate, too overly bohemian or frumpy wearing the wrong length. It’s also hard to know what shoes to wear with different styles that aren’t too dressy. Sometimes I just throw on blingy flip flops to keep it casual but that just feels wrong. Sometimes it’s hard to “see” yourself and make the right choices. I love your fashion advice and hearing others views as well.

  11. Nancy Karpen
    March 17, 2021 / 12:48 pm

    Fantastic! Now I need a fabric website set up the same way! It’s definitely hard to find cool bright colors in fabric since I sew most of my clothing. I’ve been looking to expand the colors in my wardrobe and Kettlewell is really in sync with all of the talk on choosing your colors. on the internet and YouTube. Thanks for the information.

  12. Carolyn
    March 17, 2021 / 3:56 pm

    Thank you for all the time and effort you put into writing this post. So many helpful tips. I was also told that hair color doesn’t affect our “season” color, but as my hair has gotten gray, I’ve noticed that I’m drawn to brighter , clearer colors to keep me from looking so washed out. Usually that means a top or scarf to brightened me up. I also added brighter eyeglasses instead of my tortoise ones.

  13. March 20, 2021 / 11:59 am

    Thank you, Susan, for the wonderful color choices. You always put so much time and effort into your blog and it is most appreciated.

  14. Julie
    March 23, 2021 / 10:43 am

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading today’s post. I stopped colouring my hair during Covid. Instead of brown hair, my hair is now salt and pepper with black. My colour tones have completely changed. I look absolutely terrible wearing browns and beiges with gold earrings. I’m now wearing more grey and blue with brighter accessories. Bright colours are new for me. I picked up a bright cobalt blue, lime green scarf at a second hand store and it made a huge difference. I received many compliments.

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