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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This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.

41 Comments

  • replied 4 years ago

    Although this thread isn't relevant to me, I read it anyways . I read everything of yours ;)  Although, as I type this, I realize that this could apply to any hair colour change. I'm still undecided about my change from white blonde to reddish brown. Some days it feels terribly boring. 

    I'm curious about your glasses - are you wearing them at all (I know you had the surgery but am not sure if that took care of all vision issues) with your new hair?  With my incredibly short hair (which doesn't seem to want to grow)  , I am not keen on how my glasses look so am not wearing them.  Curious what you found for yourself.....

  • El Cee replied 4 years ago

    You look gorgeous Suz. The short silver pixie is incredibly flattering. You still look amazing in grey. And Angie is right in her suggestion to add bold color. Outfit #13 is proof -- killer!

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Awww, thanks, Lisa. As for the hair, you're right -- any colour change demands some shifts in your wardrobe. I definitely felt the change from blonde to red when I did that. Very similar experiences, actually. Different needs, of course, but same idea. 

    Most of the "before" photos are from last year, and a few from the year before that. 

    I wear glasses sometimes at the computer (or reading anything at mid-range -- 18 inches). I don't wear them otherwise now (except sunnies). I used my old frames and just had readers put in. The only reason I really need them now is for a bit of remaining astigmatism that could not be corrected. 

    Thanks, El Cee -- that is sweet of you. 

  • qfbrenda replied 4 years ago

    It's a good list. I find that I wear a bit more makeup now than I used to. I feel like I lost some color around my face and need to add it somehow.

    About wearing gray... I wear less gray than I did with dark hair. It can feel like "all gray, all the time" if I wear it too much. But your mileage may vary on that one. I still like a dark charcoal gray at times.

    I'm looking forward to your next list.

  • Angie replied 4 years ago

    (YAY you, and YAY camera). 

    *HAPPY DANCE*

    YOU LOOK MORE GORGEOUS THAN EVER. Just. Wow. 

    Big thumbs up to tint lining, brow definition, and making sure that grey does not depress you BUT wearing it sooo well when you have grey hair. It truly is remarkable how well the new cool tones in your hair make your outfits EVEN more flattering, Suz. 

    My general observations:

    • Your new textured grey crop has added the avant-garde integrity that you've been after for a while. 
    • The tonal greys in your hair work better with your skin tone than the ash blonde. 
    • I LOVE it when you wear white, silver and colour. My favourites. 
    • I don't see a need for added boldness in your style. The new hair does that already - but feel free to explore whatever makes your heart happy! 
    • Black and white outfits are going to work a lot better now. 
    • The "butt vest" - and the like - is going to work a lot better than you think. Don't give up on that vibe yet. 

    #10, #12 and #13 take my breath away. 

  • skylurker replied 4 years ago

    I think white and jewel tones look stunning on you now (4,10,12,13).

    You could add boldness with jewel tones and b&w, and keep your modern classic shapes, you don't have to go all arty drapey to look bold - yeah, ok, I say that because I'm not a fan of arty drapey.

  • carter replied 4 years ago

    Great post! It helps so much to see the before and after shots. Violet is a color you should wear every single day. It is SO fantastic on you. On the days you can't wear violet...I think stark white looks even better on you now than it did before. How does black look on you these days? I know you're a navy/ink girl, but I bet black will look fantastic with the new hair.

  • merwoman replied 4 years ago

    It's fantastic to be able to see the befores and afters - thank you for putting this together.
    LOVE the afters - this hair and cut instantly strikes me as the authentic you. There's a light/glow that emanates from you. I see a strong, radiant, beautiful woman who is comfortable in her own skin.

  • Sal replied 4 years ago

    I think you look stunning.  No let me rephrase this - you look stunning!

    I agree with Angie (safe bet) that the hair is giving you the kick that you were craving.  I think these outfits look either equally good or better with the new hairstyle.

    Bold colour is hard to come by around here at the moment - except for in sports gear!!  A couple of my standard mall store retailers have so little colour at the moment...all black grey white......

  • Roxanna replied 4 years ago

    I'm finding exactly the same things, Suz. I've also adjusted my makeup to put more colour into my face, wear grey and colour more, and define my eyebrows more strongly. Interestingly, I wear blushes and creams more too, but that might just be a personal style transition. I'm actually thinking of growing my hair out to make the grey appear more modern on me (still not sure if I like the high contrast with my skin tone.)

    I love to see the side by sides and agree that the grey looks modern and fresh (especially because you've got such variegated colour!) I do like your fringe a bit longer now, as I think it looks softer. all in all, beautiful!

  • Joyce B replied 4 years ago

    I love 10 and 11-12-13 on you but all look great.
    What is tightlining? I must have missed something there.

  • amiable replied 4 years ago

    Wow!  You look amazing with grey hair - I agree, it's fresh, modern and radiates strength.   Your side-by-side outfits prove that grey is really the right choice for you.  Well done!

  • MsMaven replied 4 years ago

    Wow, just Wow! Thanks for doing this side by side. Probably a pain but very educational. I think you look fabulous in the white and in 12 & 13 Also that first outfit--the top is navy, right? The only one that I think is okay but not fabulous is 6. You look fine, but not bold enough for your new hair.  

  • Sara L. replied 4 years ago

    Wow, interesting series of photos.  Thanks for taking the time to put these together.  I really enjoyed seeing the two versions of your hair with the same outfit.  While you look good in the neutral outfits, the cobalt blue and lilac are my favorites here.

  • Style Fan replied 4 years ago

    I love all the outfits on you but that purple (lilac whatever) is amazing.  Just WOW.  Wear it often.  You look more edgy with your new hair. 

    Make up suggestions.  You can make an appointment with a MAC artist through the website.  Also, Laura Mercier, Nars and Bobbi Brown are favourites.  I have a preference for the counters at Holt Renfrew on Bloor Street.  For MAC there is a MAC pro on Bloor Street.  I did go to a MAC artist at the Bay on Bloor and Yonge.  He was wonderful.  I wish I could remember his name.
    The new Nordstroms may have something too.

    Make an appointment with an artist.  I have just walked up to the counters over the years and sometimes they are available and sometimes they are busy.  I would not go on a Saturday.  Zoo.

  • deb replied 4 years ago

    OK, you definitely need more of that blue. I just love the new hair.

  • Runcarla replied 4 years ago

    I can't get over how well your natural colour works with your skin tone. My favourite outfit is #10, and the outfit you posted the other day - jeans with a black button down? Do you still have the fuchsia suit?

    It is interesting that the leopard and pinto footwear seems a little off to me. You will need to find an accessory to bookend with them now that your hair isn't the match for them. The strappy silver shoes might be a better match with #6.

  • Classically Casual replied 4 years ago

    As a person with quite a few years of exploring what it means to go grey, here are my best thoughts, really just a compulation of what I've learned on the forum: bookend with silver or grey shoes/sneakers/boots/sandals and wear grey pants/jeans frequently. ( Be a partial column of grey, LOL)

    I find silver footwear to be fun and festive. As you already know, grey pants provide all sorts of opportunity for color as vibrant as you wish near your face. I personally find grey as a neutral to be more cheerful in the dark months than navy or black.

    My current dilemma is the opposite of yours. My hair stylist unexpectedly talked me into a rinse that covers most of my grey, and I'm enjoying the change, until I introduce all my grey clothing which now isn't the unifying
    background anymore. It's always something, isn't it??

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Thank you all so much for the compliments and suggestions. These are GREAT. 

    Carla, you are bang on. I agree that I am probably going to have to let leopard take a back seat. It's a shame, because I found it so very useful with the blonde. I guess I'll be looking for more snakeskin or possibly pony or zebra. I really love a patterned belt/ bag/ shoe. 

    I don't have the fuchsia suit, alas...I let it go because it didn't feel modern enough in cut. But I am on the lookout for a new one. :)

    Thank you, Deb

    Style Fan, thank you so much for those makeup recommendations. Great tip to make an appointment. I can call ahead to Holt's. 

    Style Fan, Sara -- that radiant orchid colour has always been one of my best. I'm going to look for more in that tone. It's not as easy to find, some seasons, alas. 

    MsMaven, you have a good eye. I also feel that the chambray is a bit "off." I actually have a whole post waiting in line about the change to my best blues. Stay tuned! 

    Amy, thank you!

    Joyce, it's a form of eyelining that is done on the inner eyelid -- sounds gross but is actually quite easy with a tutorial or two on Youtube!  Angie explained it in a blog post. 

    Roxanna, thank you, and it is interesting that many of your changes are similar! You look beautiful in blush and creamy white. 

    Sally, Carter, Sue, Angie, Skylurker,  thank you so much. Back to say more once I deliver my daughter to her lesson. 

  • Peri replied 4 years ago

    Love 10, 12... and 13 especially! Favorite color of course, but I also love the earrings putting that color so close to your face. Very flattering!

  • Joy replied 4 years ago

    Suz,I'm not sure if I commented on your other thread. As I was going grey, I did emphasize brows more and used self tanner on my face to add more color/contrast. I noticed that tanned grey haired people looked more youthful.
    In the early grey years I loved crisp optic white and still do, but more on the bottom. My best white has gotten softer or more silvery. Grey hair continues to change. I wear more light neutrals, especially pale clear grays and taupes. As you know, all greys are not equal and you need to find your best ones. I can see a blue/grey looking great on you rather than muddy greys. At first I wore lots of jewel tones. Now they don't do much for me except that I still like a sapphire blue and ink. Your best colors will continue to change on this journey. I first wore black for the first time ever and loved it. I still wear it but not as much.
    As for leopard, look for one with black and grey and white. My favorite piece also has blue in the mix. I love snake as my favorite animal print and hair bookender. Silver, pewter, black and white color-block, and light grey are favorite footwear colors. White and nudes are good.
    Just stay alert to how you look and feel in various color and reevaluate every couple of years. Right now you look amazing in bright white and that blue!

  • Summer replied 4 years ago

    Beautiful, Suz. I have to agree with Angie - well, who wouldn't? - that 10,12 and 13 are simply stunning.  The bolder colours near your face, and the silver shoes set off your hair colour to perfection.

  • Chris987 replied 4 years ago

    You look so stunning in all these outfits in BOTH hair versions that I'm having a hard time thinking of much to say about before and after. I do sort of see the issue with the brown leopard shoes but I still love the outfit. The grey striped top seems to have just a touch of blue so it goes well with both hair colors. And I agree that fuscia is to die for on you! Wonder if it will be "in" this fall....i always seem to want colors that are not "in" when I want them Hope you have better luck.

  • Karie replied 4 years ago

    I have never heard of tightlining, I'll have to look that up. Your gray hair totally compliments your skin tone and, combined with the short 'do, gives your outfits a bit of edge. The colors of the last two tops are absolute perfection on you.

  • Vicki replied 4 years ago

    It's so much fun to see both sets of photos, Suz, and how the "color" of an outfit changes in dram with the "color" of your hair.  I really like the new look you're proving that one's natural coloring blends beautifully with one's natural hair color.  There's an effortless beauty to it all.

    The fuchsia outfit with the amazing earrings is a stunner and I love the blues and greys, too, with white.

    Just so I understand, isn't tightlining applying the eyeliner as close as possible to the lash line?  I know some people do it with a pencil and make dots, with a little wiggle and blending.  I use a gel liner with a brush and have been quite happy with this application, because it's smudge-proof.

    Also, what was Angie referring to when she said "butt vest" in her response?

  • RobinF replied 4 years ago

    This is so interesting to see the comparisons. I liked your before looks but the new looks somehow lighter? You have great shoes and I agree that the purple looks fab!

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Sorry for the interruption -- thank  you all for your thoughtful responses. I love hearing from you all. 

    Vicki, Karie"tightlining" is lining the inside of the lid above the water line but below where the lashes start to grow. You can then add your usual liner above the lash line if you wish. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xsiwlerozo  (more variations in technique also once you look.) It makes the eyelashes look a bit thicker and the eyes "pop" but it's very subtle. Depends on which colours you use, of course. 

    I agree that the orchid is a great colour for me. Fuchsia (a bit brighter/ warmer also looks great). 

    Chris, you're right that the grey in the top is a bit blue-grey. A really nice tone. 

    Thank you, Summer!

    Joy, you are an ongoing inspiration and a fount of wisdom. Thank you for sharing your considered experience. I love you in your light neutrals!! 

    I am going to keep your footwear suggestions in mind for NAS!! :)

    Peri, thanks. The earrings are Nickel and Suede -- in case you are interested, LOL. 

    Peggy, that is a good point -- grey is at least "lighter" and grey as silver is definitely festive and fun. It sounds like you are going through quite the transition yourself -- wow! 

    Brenda, that is very interesting -- I wonder if you wear less grey because you used to have dark hair and now miss the contrast? Thank you for popping in, by the way, and I would love to see your hair!!

    Angie, you are so sweet. Thank you so much. I think I will grow the hair a little bit so it is softer while still being bold, if that makes sense. And yes -- I will try items like the butt-vest again -- though not in that fabrication. It felt too pajama -like an unstructured so that even if it had looked ok, it felt awful on me. I need structure.  :) 

    Skylurker, thank you. 

    Carter, thank you so much - and guess what? I will have more to say about black in a future post.  :)

    Sue, that is so sweet of you to say. Thank you. 

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Thank you, Robin!  

  • Greenjeans replied 4 years ago

    Wow, thanks for taking the time to do this.  Interesting and super-instructional.  The new look has something transcendent about it.  You have transcended yourself and are onto something new.  

  • rachylou replied 4 years ago

    Omg. You do the best threads, Suz. It is immensely educational to see the same outfits with different hair. These all still (?) work tremendously, but with your new hair... Definitely bolder. Really quite vividly energetic.

  • Angie replied 4 years ago

    Suz, I LOVE the idea of growing your hair a little longer. Softer, and my guess is - even MORE dramatic. (I hear you on knitted bottoms. That's why my harems are silky and woven, and I wear jeans under my shirt dresses and tunics). 

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Rachy, Greenjeans, thank you for the kind words. 

    Angie, yes -- I have a picture of my pre-YLF pixie that is, I think, about the length I will aim for -- shorter and more textured and jagged than my asymmetrical cut, but a bit longer and softer than the current cut. I'll show you all when it gets time for my next trim so we can consider what direction to go. Fortunately, my hairdresser is really great so she will understand immediately if I give her a good image to work from. She needs photos, though -- words are hopeless! 

  • JAileen replied 4 years ago

    You're such a quick learner. Even though I went grey a few years ago, I feel like I could learn from you. I look forward to seeing what you do with your hair.

  • Lyn D. replied 4 years ago

    Funny I was just thinking about leopard print last night in bed (as you do!)
    and was wondering if it will have to go.
    It still picks up your skin tones but might also need a similar shade elsewhere to blend it in? 
    I will save my which blue comments until your next post!
    Must add that you are looking so lovely in all these pics, and I appreciate all the work that went into them!

  • Amy replied 4 years ago

    Luckily, there is  leopard print with backgrounds other than tan. I frequently wear those with grey and white backgrounds. They look better on me, usually. Maybe they would work for you too?

  • Nishaa replied 4 years ago

    Amazing..
    Love #10, 12, 13.but specially #13. I see the short-hair-big-earring trend incorporated beautifully. It looks like a part of your personality. This is going to be my motivation when I go short and grey. Not soon though.

    You rock.

  • replied 4 years ago

    I love #13 because it's so 80's, kewl, and goes really well with grey hair!
    When I look at the before and afters, I see a difference at head level but it's very hard for me to say you look better or worse in an outfit because of your hair.
    I think your natural hair is a beautiful "coyote" colour and it'll be fun to see what you do with it.

  • jenanded replied 4 years ago

    Suz, how great to have both sets of pics. Most has been said before but just to repeat- love the drama of your hair, the statement earrings and your colours work even better here. Joy is so wise about how the natural colour itself will keep morphing. After red being my go to colour as a celtic brunette, I was no longer able to wear it when I stopped colouring. I now have a couple of little pops of red this season and loving it. Tightlining and lash and brow tinting are important! Just stunning Suz!

  • Brooklyn replied 4 years ago

    What an interesting exercise and thanks so much for sharing. To me the one where the change is most dramatic is 9/10. You looked good in that colour combo before but now you look sensational. And of course the vivid cobalt and violet is fantastic on you. I do think your whole look is bolder now, so you could go bolder in your outfits (if you wanted to). I look forward to seeing what you do.

  • shevia replied 4 years ago

    Oh I love this Suz! The last three (white jacket, blue top, lilac top) are spectacular with your new hair! The thing about silver is that it is metallic - it positively gleems in the right light. I should try tightlining, I am just afraid of poking my eye out. Anyhow it is not just that the new hair is better (although to my biased eye it is) but that I think it gives you that statement that you have been trying to express.

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Thank you all so much. You've made such great points.

    Shevia, that's right. Silver in accessories and also in the hair...I was probably more used to that already as a blonde. But my blonde had started to lose its lustre, whereas the silver still has it. 

    Brooklyn, I agree, I can afford to go a bit bolder and less classic now if I wish -- the hair may balance this. Looking forward to it. 

    Jenn, so interesting that you could not wear red after making the change. I think my own range of red has expanded. More on that later!

    Smittie -- "coyote" -- ha! I like it over here on the wild side.  :) 

    Nishaa, thank you. 

    Amy -- yes! I have a leopard print scarf like that; it will still work. I'm sad anyway, though, because it was great to have an easily available patterned item I could draw on for cohesion. But such is life.  I'll find a substitute. :)  Lyn, you are also right, of course -- if make use of two leopard items there will be enough cohesion for it to work. Tan's a pretty awful colour on me in general so a solid won't work, but there are options. 

    JAileen, you're way too modest. I have seen a glimpse of you in your favoured olives and greys and you look great. 

     I'm off to post the second in my series of discoveries. 

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