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3 Ways to Rock Black & White Over 50

If there’s a more classic color combination than black and white, I don’t know it. Navy with white comes in at a close second for spring and summer, but black and white is a year-round favorite. I’m back with Cindy for our Over 50 Fashion Edit. This time I’m sharing 3 ways to wear black and white over 50.

Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life wearing black and white

The sheer volume of outfits I’ve photographed over the last few years is a testament to how much I love this combination. I have linked to the things I can, but there are many that are long gone from the stores.


Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life wearing a column of black


Many women over 50 find that black is suddenly too harsh against their aging complexion. It has never been very flattering with my own low-contrast coloring, but that hasn’t stopped me from loving it. I’ve always felt stylish and confident wearing black and white, which appeals to me for its simplicity, clean look, and, yes, stark contrast.


Black and White in a Pattern


woman wearing white jeans and black top with black and white jacket


woman wearing black and white striped top with white jeans

I gravitate to white with black stripes. The narrower the stripe, the more it resembles gray, which is gentler against my complexion.  Patterns with black and white are a softer way to wear black because pattern and texture lessen the look of texture (lines) on our face.


Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life styling black and white snake print blouse and black jeans from Walmart



A black and white plaid, or houndstooth pant, similar here, here, and here, is available year-round in varying fabrics and weights. I love mine with a black sweater or crisp white shirt, but it’s also the perfect neutral to coordinate with colors.


style for women over 50


As An Accent

An all-white outfit is easily punctuated with touches of black and vice versa.

woman wearing white cardigan, black tank top and white denim skirt

Here I chose accessories in soft tan and gold and used black as a larger accent. Black makes a nice punctuation mark over any column of color, but over white, it’s especially fresh-looking.

Jennifer Connolly of A well Styled Life wearing white denim and solid black outfit

woman wearing column of white with black accents


In this outfit, I also added touches of black with my sunglasses, necklace, bracelet, and the pattern in my boots to keep the eye moving. Black boots would have looked too heavy, and I don’t own white boots.


Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life wearing black tunic and white pants with black sneakers and beige hat on the dock at Port Townsend


With Denim

Denim of all washes goes nicely with black and white. I think of denim as a neutral so the combination of three neutrals is an easy combo.

Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life wearing dark plaid LILYSILK long shirt

This black and white buffalo plaid duster feels very “grayed” to me which called for a soft gray tote bag and silver accessories.


Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life wearing tortoise sunglasses and alligator print bag in casual outfit


Jennifer from A Well Styled Life styling Clarks wedges from Macy's
WEARING –  WHITE DENIM JACKET  – similar STRIPED TEE  –  BLACK JEANS  –  similar WEDGE SANDALS  –  similar sunglasses

I also like to combine black denim with white denim for a twist on the Canadian tuxedo. Black jeans are my go-to all winter but I like them equally well in the warmer weather with sandals, a denim jacket, and a striped tee.


over 50 women walking in black and white outfit with blue jeans

I try to avoid that waitress-look of a white shirt and black pants but inevitably… that’s what I wear because I love crisp white shirts. This outfit narrowly avoided the waitstaff look, but only slightly by wearing a long white shirtdress, similar here, here, and here… open like a duster. It has a definite lab coat vibe which, surprisingly, doesn’t bother me in the least.

Bonus- it also looks great with a pop of color

If black still feels too intense for you, try styling it with a pop of color. The lack of images of me doing that lets me know I need to try it more often.

jennifer from a well styled life wearing Talbots pink sweater and white crops


As I look through my wardrobe, my most collectible pieces are in black or white, which I find the most timeless and chic.

Now let’s go see what Cindy has to say about wearing black and white Cindy Hattersley Design .  Thanks for reading, and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.


  1. Love black and white. It is a classic. Always turns my head. Just makes a statement.

  2. Michele M says:

    Black and white is my favorite combo! My hair has gone silvery salt and pepper but as long as I wear lipstick, it seems not as harsh. I love the idea of a grey purse instead when a black patterned piece reads grey! Also I never would have used bone accessories. I usually stick to silver.

    I would love to see some plus-size or size inclusive links!

    1. I will do my best to find some more plus size items. Thanks for mentioning it.

  3. I absolutely love black and white. It was so fun to look back at all your outfits. They give me great ideas. It seems I’m always trying to add color to my wardrobe but when I wear black and white it just feels so classic and I feel more confident.

  4. Sandra Sallin says:

    Love this black and white post. It seems like my whole closet is filled with it. It’s got a strong positive vib for me. I think sometimes it’s hard to find the right color with my grey hair. So I’m with you on black and white.

    1. You fabulous accessories make your outfits sing, Sandra. They’re so chic

  5. I love black and white. Have a great deal of that combo in my closet. (for all seasons)
    Love the outfits you posted today. So classic.
    Thanks for putting together such a beautiful fashion show.

    1. I’m glad you liked it, Lin. Once I got started I just kept finding more and more images. It was astonishing.

  6. My gosh, you have a lot of clothes! Yes, I know, lots of repeats here, but the various combinations make it look like you must have three closets!

    1. Just one and it’s not big. I share with my husband. Mixing and matching does make your clothes go further.

  7. How fun to look back at all your previous postings that featured black and white together. I just have to say how useful these pictures are for me. When I can see the style on someone, I can imagine if it would work for me. I generally error on the conservative side when putting together an outfit. Following some of your tips on styling, I am having more fun and it’s easier to feel put together!

    1. I’m so happy to hear that, Jan!

  8. I love a black and white outfit but dislike the long duster thing. I have never seen one that is not overwhelming. I like the ones that are a couple of inches above the knee. I use a wheelchair at times and extra fabric gets caught in the wheels. If you are standing upright, your legs look short.

    1. They wouldn’t be very easy to wear with a wheelchair. Great point

  9. These all look fantastic on you. I too love to wear black and white. It is sophisticated in a casual look as well as a dress up look. And you are absolutely right about boosting confidence. I find red, as well as black and white, to boost my confidence whenever I am wearing those colors.

    Thank you for this posting.

    1. I’m going to keep trying to find the right red for me. I love the whole concept of it 🙂

  10. Honestly, I think you’ve done well in all of selections in your pics. Scrolling through quickly, the one that strikes me as your best look is the narrow black and white stripe tunic with white jeans. You commented that it reads as gray. Maybe that’s why???

    1. Great point!! I love gray and it’s softer on me

  11. I would wear every one of these outfits, and you look great in them, too. According to color charts, I’m not supposed to wear black, but I ignore it and wear what I want. I always feel confident and sophisticated in black, charcoal, or navy with white or a pop of color (maybe) and will continue to wear those colors til they put me in the ground.

    1. I love your attitude, Nancy. It’s never been part of a color chart for me either;)

  12. Vickie a Swenson says:

    I agree…you look great in all of these combos! I just love your blog – always uplifting and inspiring. No drama…just fun.

    1. I’m so glad you like it, Vickie

  13. You look great in all of these Jennifer! I’m curious, in almost all of the pictures you have black sunglasses on. It seems that that may help the black look more flattering around the face?

    1. Great point. All my RX sunglasses all happen to be black too. But I do think you’re right!

  14. You look great in all of these black and white outfits. It’s a classic combination that I love to wear, too, although I’m trying to add a bit more softness and colour as I age.

  15. Linda Simpson says:

    Like you, I have a fair complexion, but I simply adore black and white together. It is timeless, classy, and makes me feel so pulled together. I think of Jackie O when I see these two “colors” together. Thank you for the reminder of this classic combo. I also love the pink with black and white. I have been know to sneak in red or coral with black and white.

  16. I like it that your ideas also translate to navy and white, which is more of what is in my closet. Thanks!

    1. Yes!! Or any two colors you love.

  17. Francesca B. says:

    i adore black and white together! Reminds me of that wonderful Ascot scene in “My Fair Lady” with Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn and the glorious costumes. Lovely post thank you Jennifer. Love pendant necklaces and the way you style them ….can you do a post on some good ones for summer?! Cheers 🙂

    1. Thank you. A post on fun pendant necklaces for summer or how to wear them?

      1. Francesca B. says:

        Ooooh both sounds really good. I love pendent necklaces and Etsy have some good ones and then there are always the splurge ones which pack a punch and just look so sophisticated.I like you way you style multiple ones too. Happy day Jennifer! Thanks friend:)

      2. Got it!! I’ll be on the hunt.

  18. The mix of black and white is definitely one of my favourites as feel it is so versatile (casual to sophisticate) however IMHO it requires the right accessories to transform it into stylish chic as in the photo of you on the harbor footbridge. (i.e.: All seven of them including your watch …. ☺.) Also love black ‘n ecru/bone or tan together as well.
    P.S.: That striped tote bag is a keeper.

  19. cindy hattersley says:

    Hi Jennifer

    I was thinking the same thing as I was doing this post, even though I am trying to wear color, I am always comfortable in black and white. I had no trouble finding pictures from the past either!! I love you in that long sweater with white jeans. Both looks are great on you. I hope many of your petite readers took note of how you pulled that off. I know those of us that are shorter think we can’t wear it. Yes we can you proved it!!

    1. There were so many pictures of black and white it was eye opening.

  20. Leslie Greaves Radloff says:

    Love it. Black and white all year long for any and all occasions has been a wardrobe go to, and not just my ‘concert black ‘ performance wear. Always chic even in hot weather.

    1. I love it too. I wear less black during the summer now because we live in such a hot climate, but it’s always my favorite.

  21. Your black dress and white denim jacket has inspired me to try to create a similar look. Thank you.

  22. Jennifer, thank you for inspiring me to recommit to clothing that is not only comfortable but fashionable too. I LOVE black and white, but hadn’t given much thought to such things as the effects of black stripes against white for a more muted look. Every one of your examples is stunning—and something I see myself wearing. At almost 67, I strive to look my best, and I’m grateful for your fashion advice, much appreciated!

    1. I’m so happy to hear that! Have fun with it.

  23. I love just a black top, in my case, I wear linen tanks not tee shirts,(I’m busty) and a pair of white pants. I think I might just get me some cheetah flats. I love that. Your posts remind me again how important accessories are. I don’t own any black jewelry. It really sets these outs off. Great post Jennifer. 😊

    1. I love adding animal print to a black and white outfit. Such a fun combo

  24. This is my favorite blog page you have presented. Love, love, love everything. ❤️

  25. My favorite black and white look on you is the one where you are wearing black jeans, a striped shirt and a white jeans jacket. Perhaps it is flattering because the white is near your face, lightening the look. Yet it is the classic black and white look that we all admire. I am going to wear a similar look this summer. Thank you!

  26. Love the looks – thank you for giving me ideas for my wardrobe.

  27. Oh, I love black & white for the drama and high contrast – it’s my signature look.
    My favourite outfit above is the B&W Tee with the white jeans and black duster. A look I may just try to emulate today 🙂

    1. I never get tired of wearing black and white 🙂 Happy Tuesday

  28. Sarah London Style says:

    Jennifer! You nailed it! And you look so classic in this palette! I’m one of those who finds this colour combination harsh, so don’t wear it as much as I age. Thanks for inviting me to chat about this with you this month 🙏🏻

    1. Thanks for joining us Sarah! It’s been fun

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