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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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.

31 Comments

  • Murph11 replied 4 years ago

    Suz, I am loving these posts! Your stunning illustrative photos and thoughtful content... an amazing tutorial! Thank you!

  • carter replied 4 years ago

    Every single one of these looks fabulous with the hair. Love the black. I definitely think the taupe top still works very well.  You make this look so easy!

  • RobinF replied 4 years ago

    I love your style! I get so into the looks that I forget to see how it is going with the hair. These are very interesting posts as I know I will let my gray grow out one of these days. I hadn't really thought about how that might change the colors of my clothing.

  • texstyle replied 4 years ago

    It's SO fun to see and read these posts Suz - wow, what a great tutorial and proof that going gray is a stylish and freeing option that everyone can consider. All of these outfits look fab to me, colors are all still great here and I think taupe works beautifully.

  • Sara L. replied 4 years ago

    I'm finding these posts very interesting even though I'm not going grey.  I love looking at your outfits and the comparison with the two different hair colors/cuts.  I think you look good in all of these although my favorite is #11 with the silver grey top. 

  • Thirkellgirl replied 4 years ago

    Suz, you look so classy, and I think your silver pixie is so much more flattering than your blonde hair! And since I thought you looked fantastic before that's really saying something.

    I am really fascinated by how women who have grey/silver hair look when they stop coloring it. I sometimes see a blonde in real life who I think looks really great, even though I know she's coloring her hair, and more rarely, a brunette, but usually a well-groomed woman with her natural silver looks better to me than a well-groomed woman with dyed hair, especially in the late 50s.That's all different online, I think, and maybe it's a function of seeing so much "mall-hair" and mall-dye-jobs. I think you look super.

  • Eliza replied 4 years ago

    Suz- thanks for posting this. I have yet to undertake this daunting journey (dark brown dye and thick hair a few inches above my shoulder now)  and will be bookmarking this for inspiration. Your hair is beautiful and lights up your face. Those color choices and tips are working for you. Bravo. This info is a gift to the forum. 

  • replied 4 years ago

    You look amazing in that shimmery light grey top.
    I think you can probably do any high contrast now. The black and white outfit is fabulous.
    I also love the taupe booties on you. I think they bookend your hair well enough and they are a great shade against your bare legs.
    The only outfit that is less good here is the one with the brown top. I think it looked better when you were blonde, but it still looks great on you and I love how the sleeves fall in that easy way.
    I too love grey and cognac together (and loved, loved the look you posted yesterday with the grey pants, cognac belt and bag and black stripe sweater). This is a direction I might in for the winter, instead of black/grey combo.

  • Angie replied 4 years ago

    YOU BOUGHT THE WHITE DRESS. Wooohooooooo! 

    Suz, you look stunning in all these new outfits. Can you BELIEVE even better than with the blonde hair? Glorious - and thanks for taking all the pics. 

    My 2 cents:

    • BIG YES to high contrast and Black & White. 
    • Don't wear black with grey because I know how psychologically unhappy it makes me - I'm guessing that you are the same  judging by what you wrote. Wear black with blue, blue denim, white or orchid. Add silver or pearly shine when you wear these combinations to match the shine in your hair. 
    • Get metallic silver booties. 
    • Taupe works just fine as long as you add silver shine to pick up the silver in your hair. 
    • LOVING the big earrings. I vote make it a signature look in Summer. We need a substitute in Winter.
    • Love the darker lipstick too. Adjusting your make-up has been important. 

    Favourite outfits here:  #2, 4, 10 and 11. 

    #11 is TOP of the list. 

  • Astrid replied 4 years ago

    Wow, Suz - you look stunning. I love them all, but your thoughts definitely make sense too. I'm really looking forward to seeing how you are going to implement those changes some more. You already look so awesome now, I don't know if I will survive if it gets even better. ;)

  • replied 4 years ago

    I haven't yet read the comments above me, and I will as soon as I press submit :)  I think you have nailed it all - and intuitively knew what was going to work and what wasn't.   I'm smiling with a bit of sadness at your mom's scarf.....I have kept my version of this too ( one I gave her and always loved).  It's so softly pretty Suz - and I can see it on top of a darker denim shirt, jacket or dress to really set off the watercolour shades.  It's a bit soft on the white dress....?   The white dress would look fantastic too with some really dramatic pops of colour ....lots you could do with it.

    Interesting about the browns - I absolutely agree that the top in pic 8 still works ! In fact, I quite like it with the white linen pants. Interesting ! Did you tweak your makeup accordingly ?  

    The silver sweater/white jeans outfit is one of my favourites here - SO gorgeous! What is the sweater?  

  • Joyce B replied 4 years ago

    All are lovely outfits on you. I particularly love 11 and I think I will copycat 4. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Style Fan replied 4 years ago

    I am enjoying these posts Suz.  All your outfits are lovely.  Interesting about black.  I avoid it as well.  Brings me down.  I love the statement earrings.  Great addition to your look.  I am very excited to see and hear about your eyebrows. 

  • deb replied 4 years ago

    The black and white work really well with your coloring. #'s 7 & 8 just do not do it for me. The brown seems to muddy your complexion.

  • AviaMariah replied 4 years ago

    You look smashing in all of these!!  And I love the white dress.  I'm so glad you went back for it.  You look radiant and joyful and like you're enjoying fashion.

  • Nishaa replied 4 years ago

    Two thumbs up, very detailed and informative.
    Looking forward to #3.

  • replied 4 years ago

    Wow and wow. You look incredible.

  • MsMaven replied 4 years ago

    You look fabulous in every photo. I find it hard to get past your smile--it was great before, but with the new hair there is more room for it. The smile gets my attention first before I can look at the clothes. You look really happy.

  • Peri replied 4 years ago

    Holy cow wow! Special love for #1, 10 and 11. Maybe 11 most of all! I really think you can do no wrong. 

    Personal question if you are willing to share...what do you wear under that white dress? It looks like show through could be an issue, but it isn't, so you must have some solution! That is the kind of thing I would love to love, but would reject on account of not having the right "foundation".

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Thank you all so much. 

    First a little secret. The anniversary of my mum's death is next week..and I am the furthest thing from happy right now. It has been a rough time. But playing in my closet has been very therapeutic and it's been fun to have my camera back after months of not having one. 

    I really appreciate your thoughts and support. 

    Peri -- the dress is way less see-through than it would seem. It's a cotton linen blend and has a bit of heft, yet is very cool. I'm just wearing nude undies and that's it. I think if I worked in an office I might be self-conscious in it, but for my lifestyle it's totally fine. 

    Ms. Maven, what a sweet thing to say -- thank you. 

    Delurked, Nishaa, Avia Mariah, thanks. 

    Deb, I agree the taupe is not my very best. I may keep it for the autumn and then pass it along. It has served me well and was a gift from Celia!! 

    Style Fan, thank you -- I will let you know how the eyebrows go!

    Joyce, thank you!

    Lisa, the sweater is Club Monaco from last year. It didn't work so well with my blonde hair but I had a hunch it would be great with silver, so I kept it. Wore it once or twice last year but will wear it more now. 

    I didn't tweak my makeup with the browns. I just wear the same colours all the time -- there isn't even a darker lipstick, as Angie believed. Just looks darker or lighter in different lights, I guess. I absolutely can't wear any type of brown or taupe makeup and never could. I remember a makeup artist putting taupe eye shadow on me once and staring back in absolute confusion horror. It seemed like a good idea. It works on most people!!! But my skin is so cool in its undertones, brown makes me look red-eyed and muddy. 

    Re the scarf -- so interesting to hear you have one of these, too. I agree this one might be better with denim. I also agree the white outfit is a bit "soft" and "ladies who lunch". It didn't feel completely true to me. I just wore in memory of my mum, who'd have loved it. I do like the white dress, though, and will probably do as you say and pair it with bolder hits in future. 

    Thank you, Astrid! 

    Angie, thank you so much for weighing in. I confess I have timed these posts to hit before you are busy with NAS!! :) Rushing to get them all in if I can....  :) 

    It's amazing how the contrast works, isn't it? I always intuitively gravitated towards it and now I have visual proof that the theories, whatever, are just plain wrong! 

    Great suggestions about pairings for black. I think that makes total sense. I like all-black with skin in summer. It's winter when it drags me down, because I can't show skin. 

    You had better believe I'll be looking for metallic booties. :) At least one pair! 

    Absolutely -- big earrings a summer signature. For winter I will for sure need something different because scarves and turtlenecks get in the way. 

    I don't even have darker lipstick on. I just think the new colour reveals more contrast -- thus proving your point that colour is always viewed in relation to other colours! 

    Thirkelgirl, thank you, and my observations are similar to yours. When you see a lot of bad dye jobs you start to get sensitive about how your own might be coming across. I think mine absolutely worked until 3 years ago. And then, suddenly, it wasn't doing it for me any more. Perhaps that is when the preponderance of my natural hair was grey, or maybe they started having to dye more often...I just don't know. 

    Smittie -- I'm so glad you still like the taupe shoes. I think they still work, too. They're almost like a nude for me. And super comfy!! Agree with you about the brown, and high five on the grey/cognac!! 

    Eliza, what a sweet thing to say, and we are here to hold your hand if you feel ready to transition!! 

    Sara, really sweet of you to read when it's not directly relevant -- thank you. 

    Tex, Robin, Carter, Murph -- thank you!!!!!

  • jenanded replied 4 years ago

    Suz, again, just beautiful! I am copying some ideas myself. A couple of little points, Imogen also did the transition and she was dark celtic like me and she now calls herself medium contrast. I think the dark tightlining, lashes and brows give some contrast which can be picked up in clothing. It seems to work.
    As for the cognac and leopard, this should go in the category of just flattering enough. I looove my blues, silvers etc but its nice to lash out sometimes with a bit of oomph. I had been going to wrie you a separate post about my experience today when I grabbed a leopard print scarf to keep the sun off my neck during the day. For some reason it just made me feel very glam even though I know its not fantastic on me per se, and this one is even very yellowy which is blah. Anyhow that is my rationale and I am sticking to it.
    Oh and the other thing regarding which grey, I found a good grey or two in a fabric store and carry a slip in my wallet. If an item tones with my swatch then I know its ok. If its throwing green or brown I can mov we on.

  • jenanded replied 4 years ago

    And enjoy playing for therapy at this tricky time. Sending hugs and kisses for you and your mumxxx

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Jen, those are great ideas -- thank you!! And yes -- sometimes we have to branch out and still choose patterns we love, no matter what! Leopard is classic. :) 

  • MsMaven replied 4 years ago

    Sorry about your Mom, Suz. Anniversaries of those you loved are difficult.

    Just another couple of thoughts on colors: I too find that brown, camel or even beige no longer work for me except for accessories. I've got a pair of khaki beige pants that I have tried to make myself wear. They fit well and look good, but don't work. And despite advice from magazines and make up professionals, brown or taupe make up don't work for me. I experimented with some drugstore stuff a few months ago and nothing has changed there.

    I wore more blue as a blonde, but am having some trouble with many shades of blue. I've never like gray very much, but more and more gray is coming into my closet. I still prefer it in bottoms. And because I have two black cats, gray jeans are my new white jeans.

  • JAileen replied 4 years ago

    I love #11 especially. Love your hair! Re the advice obviously you have to use the advice that works for you. For example, high contrast is bad for me. Metallic shoes are the best. I can't remember how many I have - 6 or 8 pairs. Anyway, I love them for bookending. Also, I can still wear brown, but tan couldn't be worse.

    I'm glad you're having fun as well as enlightening the rest of us.

  • skylurker replied 4 years ago

    So far, I think you look great in : Black&white. White. Jewel tones. Silver.
    Denim blue, pale grey, black and taupe, I like less.

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Thanks, Isabelle -- super helpful to have your eye on it. I mostly agree with you! 

  • Beth Ann replied 4 years ago

    OK -- I'm running behind on Forum time, so I'm trying to do a quick catch up.

    Do you know how marvelous you look?  I'm particularly loving #11, and your high contrast choices.

  • rachylou replied 4 years ago

    Excellent compilation...must think deeply about brown...

  • Summer replied 4 years ago

    White, shine  and silver is an absolute winner on you, Suz.  Please repeat often!
    Agreed, brown is not so good with grey hair, but I'm surprised at how well the taupe suits you.
    I'm with you on black.  Used judiciously it can look great.
    11 is stunning!

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Thanks, Summer, Beth Ann, Rachy. That CM sweater turned out to be a winner. Thanks to Gaylene, who suggested it to me. 

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