Style shift silver Part 2: Forum members' tips

Hi, all! 

Yesterday I reported on Angie's top tips for those who go grey, along with how or why I'm incorporating them. Today it's your turn. In this post I'll respond to some additional tips generously offered by forum members who've already made the transition. I'm not mentioning names here because the list is long and several people offered the same suggestions. But you know who you are, and I'm so grateful for the wealth of your experience.  :) 

Beginning with one of the most often-mentioned suggestions:

(1) Get a sharp haircut —well, I took care of that one, didn't I?  ;) 

In all seriousness, my goal now that the dye is gone is to grow my hair very slightly into a softer (but still very short) pixie. The fringe will still be piecey and the sides also, but just a bit softer. This will take about 2 or 3 months, I guess.

(2) Go bold (jewellery)

You will notice I’ve been wearing a lot more statement earrings and cuffs. I’ve also just ordered a silver statement watch, which if I keep it, will be my first watch in years. 

(3) Choose prints that incorporate white/ grey  

You have seen some mixed grey/ white prints in yesterday's thread, and you can also see before/ afters in black and white prints in one of my first "going grey" threads.  I'll have more to say in another post about prints and colours, but it's clear to me that for now I feel my best in prints that include white, silver, or grey.  This is a shift that will have more impact on my fall/winter closet. My summer closet always included a lot of white, but I may need to do some re-jigging of my tops and scarves for the cooler months. 

Pics 1 and 2.

(4) Choose grey footwear and bright footwear

I am really lacking in bright footwear but would like to add some. Silver footwear in summer is fab, as some of the photos attest — and luckily, I have many pairs to choose from.  Black and white patterned footwear is also great. That makes summery weather a breeze, but how I'll deal with it in winter, I don't know. Grey footwear can be so tricky, I find -- it's easily the "wrong" grey. And that is darned frustrating. 

(5) Wear high contrast

I am not a high contrast person. I have fair eyebrows (soon to be rectified, I hope), light hair, light skin. True, my eyes are darker blue. But people with my general colouring are not "supposed" to look good in high contrast. 

Problematically for this theory, I've always loved wearing high contrast, and I've always worn some versions of high contrast surprisingly well. 

Now...well....what do you think? A few high contrast outfits to compare. in pics 3 and 4. Pic 1 also shows a high contrast print, of course.

I'm also wearing lighter, more monochrome outfits in some of the other pics and that offers a basis for comparison as well. My prediction? Some people will prefer higher contrast, and some the softer look of the light neutrals.   

(6) Black comes back — but not for all

As you can see, black never left my wardrobe. I love black -- especially with skin showing or with hits of white. My main "problem" with black, if you can call it that, is not so much aesthetic as psychological. I struggle with the depressing and "heavy" qualities of all black in our grey, grey, grey winter landscape. 

Going forward, I expect to continue to wear black. Navy and ink and grey will remain my preferred dark neutrals, but I can see myself adding more black in a judicious way.  (Pics 5/6 offer comparison)

(7) Get rid of brown.

Brown in my closet pretty much takes three forms: cognac accessories, leopard print, and taupe. I won't get rid of cognac; I like it with grey. Leopard is "iffier" and I might need to balance it in outfits. 

As for taupe, I'm not so sure I need to get rid of it. My suit is a really soft mauvish taupe, which still flatters. (Sorry, no pic yet). This top (my only other real taupe item) is a much yellower taupe, but even this still works, I think?  (Pics 7/8

Having said that, I think I'll transition the taupe out, and include more blue-greys as I move forward. 

(8)   Add white, shine, silver.

You bet!! Here are a few outfits incorporating this idea. 

The white shirtdress was one I picked up at Winner's and ended up keeping -- a bit hospital gown like but super comfortable in the heat. The scarf has sentimental associations...I found it among my mother's things. I had given it to her as a gift years ago. (Pics 9, 10, 11

(9) Add softer colours or brighter colours.

Consistent with point 5, softer colours (other than white) are a bit of a bust so far. More on that in a Part 3 of my series, coming up tomorrow. Overall, my choice is going to be brighter instead. In the fall I hope to add more.

Stay tuned for my analysis of blues and more developed thoughts on patterns with my grey!

Again, thanks for reading if you got this far, and thanks also for your thoughts. 

I really hope this might be helpful to others making the transition in the future. 


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Silver style shift, Part 1: Angie's Top Tips

A few weeks ago, I canvassed the forum for your tips about style shifts on transitioning to grey hair. I’ve had some time to digest your ideas now, and wanted to share my own thoughts. Because I have a lot to say and lots of pictures to share, I will break it down into parts. Today, Angie’s top tips. (Yay, I have my camera back!) 

Here's what Angie said: 

“FWIW, my clients who transition to grey hair seem to: change their make-up routine, re-address their brow definition, add more grey to their wardrobes, and wear more colour.”

(1) Makeup & brows — As you will see from O’s recent thread, makeup is a bit of a mystery to me. I wear it, but rarely change it up much. My new trick, thanks to Angie and the forum — tightlining. I learned how to do this on the weekend. I still need a better pencil but I actually find it quite easy to manage even with the less-than-perfect one I have.

In the next few months, I also plan to (1)  visit a good makeup counter for some suggestions about possible new products to try (any suggestions for who or where, in Toronto?) and (2) go and get the microblading done on my brows.

(2) Add more grey: Grey was already a major neutral in my wardrobe and will remain so. Below you can see some "before and after" outfit photos of my summer greys. Some of the befores are taken with flash and the afters are taken without, so the colour values are not identical, but you get the idea.

Grey has always been a good neutral for me. My challenge? To ensure it doesn’t depress me. In winter, especially, I live in a very grey city. Grey limestone, grey sky, grey water, grey pavement (when it isn’t snowy). I need colour to bring me joy.

Which is a nice segue to Angie’s final suggestion: (3) Wear more colour. I don't have a whole lot of vivid colour in my closet right now, but I may have to rectify that. Here are a few outfits involving colour, one in which you can compare to the way the same shirt looked when I was blonde.

Next up: Top tips from forum members, and how I see those working in my style. 

My main observation is that my ultra-short silver crop both provides added boldness, and demands added boldness. 

More to come and thanks for reading and any thoughts or observations you might have! 


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WIW thanks to LisaP

One advantage of having gained a few pounds in the last couple of years is that I may be able to get away with more open necklines occasionally. I hope I'm not fooling myself with this one -- the fit under the arms is neat and snug and the neckline does not droop, which certainly helps.

Anyway, my need for tops this year has been great and my search largely fruitless, so when this one that LisaP modelled went on sale at the Bay I thought I would give it a bash. 

Thanks for the idea, Lisa! It works with this charcoal VC skirt as well as white bottoms and fills a definite hot day need. 


Grey transition update

It was six weeks since my first "get rid of the dye" cut, so I went back yesterday for a trim and some much-needed thinning. We decided to keep it short for now, including the bangs, but my stylist left the sides a bit softer. Our thinking was that we'd get rid of as much blonde as possible this way, while preserving drama. Super short works for me for summer in particular. In the fall we can reconsider length and specifics of the style. Although I have to admit, I am really enjoying the ultra pixie, especially now in its softer form. 

These photos are awful Photobooth quickies but they do have the advantage of having been taken in the same spot. Pic 4 shows the first cut. 

Pics 1, 2, and 3 show the current look. My stylist said that all the blonde dye is gone now! So this is the colour I'll be living with for the next while. I am happy with it.   


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Parisienne your own backyard?

In Shevia's thread about Parisienne style, I was struck especially by this remarks. 

"French style seems ultimately practical and based on appearing elegant and

charming through wind, rain and cold, while walking on uneven pavement. The vibe was freedom

within structure rather than anything goes and I had the impression of a culture that is more

Haiku than free verse."

Skylurker added the explanation or context that: "Wearing statement clothes - too luxe, too sexy, too eccentric or too loud - is seen as vulgar, esp in bourgeois circles."

This got me wondering. If it is true that Parisienne style is ultimately practical and based on appearing elegant and charming in the actual conditions of city life (in that city), then how does that translate to Miami, or New York, or Tel Aviv, or Toronto? The scarves and motos and sober tailored cuts that make sense in Paris -- what are their equivalents elsewhere? 

What are they, where you live? 

Shevia also suggested that self-knowledge seems to be the basis of great Parisienne style. Perhaps it goes further and includes knowledge of the environment, acceptance of it. 

We've talked numerous times about how important it can be for us Canadians, for example, to develop a real "coat capsule" -- either aiming for variety (if this is a need) or the very best quality coats we can afford. I am thinking that is one example of "translating Parisienne style" to our own reality. 

Well, Angie's been saying this stuff for years (Dress for your body today; dress for the life you lead). I guess it just takes me a while to let it sink into my noggin. 

Or maybe I am still wishing that I lived in Paris....    :)

How about you? How can you "do Paris"?


Retail therapy

Feeling sheepish because I just ordered a ton of stuff I don't need. And don't even necessarily want! 

I don't usually do this. And I was supposed to be saving up for NAS. 

I know what I'm up to. It is getting close to the anniversary of my mum's death. 

Anyway, all of it was on sale and all of it is returnable. It could be a while before I receive most of it, with the Canadian postal strike. And by then I'll have had time to get a grip on myself. 

Copying LisaP on the Kenzie tank (though it will not suit me as well).

Got the earrings today and will return; they don't look good on me.

The BR sequin culottes are not returnable -- a $26 wild card. Fortunately they fit and seem like they might add a fun element to my small dressy capsule. 

I couldn't resist trying an Equipment silk shirtdress for $100. CoH jeans on clearance -- if the fabrication is right they will make me happy. And the shirt is a top pick and a good replacement for my old pale chambray shirt which doesn't flatter me any more with my grey hair. 

Sunglasses are the main reason I ordered. I lost mine the other day in the park and I know I love Wayfarers.