Monday Musing on Colors and How They Make Us Feel

Let’s talk about how important it is to understand and value how colors make us feel. We’re bombarded with images and suggestions for what we could and should be wearing, right down to the helpful ones like a personal color palette. Weeding through those ideas to find what feels authentic for us isn’t always a slam dunk. Since Monday is the most personal post of the week, I thought I’d share my feelings about how color makes me feel.

Over the weekend, I was asked why I was wearing a gray sweater since I’m involved with fashion. I realize she may have expected a person working with fashion would wear more colorful clothes and/or noticeable details. I explained that the majority of my wardrobe is made up of neutrals because I feel most like myself in them.

Color and Your Vibration

Many believe that colors vibrate energy and have an effect on how we feel. I would certainly agree, and that’s why dopamine dressing works for people. However, just because a color flatters you, it doesn’t mean you will be happy wearing it. We all have different comfort levels with colors, and it’s wise to respect that. On Saturday, a reader eloquently noted that some colors are calming and some feel too energetic and loud for her comfort level. I feel the same way. Soft pastels may look good against my complexion, but I feel invisible in them, so seldom add them to my wardrobe.

I wear and am drawn to neutrals because I find them easier to wear and pair with other colors. I also prefer them because I like the soft, quiet energy they have. My most flattering neutrals are also shifting as my hair gets grayer, yet I’m still not drawn to bright colors.

Longer Jackets…Neutral and Color

If you wear longer tops or a tunic sweater, you need a jacket that will cover them. Chico’s sent me two longer jackets for an Instagram collaboration last week, and I want to share them here because I know many of you love to shop at Chico’s too.

woman wearing neutral outfit of black jacket and black jeans
MOTO JACKET size 0(4-6)  c/o / BLOUSE size 1(8-10) c/o / SHOULDER BAG c/o  / EARRINGS c/o

This jacket has a faux leather collar and sleeves with a boiled wool body. It’s long enough to cover almost any top and still not be coat length. The off-center zipper gives a slimming shape without all the epaulets and extra details that many moto jackets have.


I’ve always been a fan of black jeans, and when they’re washed out and softened to gray, I like them even more. These are the boyfriend style which is a bit roomier throughout, which I’m preferring this fall, and they’re currently on sale.


They also sent me this super soft, sand-washed blouse. They call this a dot print, but it looks like a cheetah print in soft black and off-white to me 🙂


The second long jacket is a quilted mid-length jacket with snaps up the front. It comes in eight gorgeous colors. I really like this blue, but it does feel a bit strong to me. Remember, color has to feel right, not just look right.

They also sent me these great-fitting bootcut jeans and a no-iron stretch white shirt.

What I Wore…a few thoughts

I always recommend taking selfies of your outfits because it gives you a unique and often better perspective of how you actually look. Over the weekend, I made this discovery…


The grayer I get, the less wearable this little camel cardigan becomes. It’s clashing with my hair and complexion. I wore gold hoops to coordinate with the rest of the outfit, but to be truthful, the whole thing felt off to me. The jeans are a warm dove gray, so they can swing warm or cool depending on what I pair them with, but the camel cardigan has to be donated. I love these animal print shoes, and they’re far enough from my face that I will continue to wear them.


For bocce this week, I wore this baby pink cotton blouse, straight jeans, and some silver accessories. The animal print saves this blouse from feeling wishy-washy on me, but just barely. Pastels can be flattering on my coloring, but I don’t like the vibe they have.

Women need to wear what makes them feel confident, and just because something is flattering doesn’t make it a winner unless it makes you feel fabulous!

Are there colors you don’t wear that you know look good on you?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.





  1. Add me to the list of ladies with white hair. A Covid transformation from highlighted brown hair. My wardrobe has lots of black that is way to harsh now. Rather than getting rid of my black clothes I have been on Etsy buying scarves. Reasonably priced, well made scarves. Check them out.

    1. That’s a great idea.

  2. Another great post on colour Jennifer. Now that my hair is white, I’ve looked closely at all the colours I used to wear to see if they still complement my colouring. I’ve always relied on black & white for the high contrast, and that still works (yay) as do the bright blues, greens, fuchsia, teal, navy and greys (which are even more flattering now). What doesn’t work anymore is taupe which worked well when I was a brunette, but doesn’t seem to go with white hair.
    I like to wear bright colours in a sweater, shirt, scarf and other accessories, but never have felt comfortable wearing all-over colour. Neutrals plus an accent colour works best for my style and comfort level.

  3. Janice in Ky says:

    I can relate to you. Hair had been a strawberry blonde since high school, so now at 73 that has been a while ago ☺️ After chemo mind is white around my face and salt and pepper in the back. The fall warm colors don’t work anymore. Have gotten rid of most all of my warm color clothes. Am keeping my leopard cashmere crew neck sweater, it has enough black that I can still wear it.
    Otherwise I’m in jewel colors, the brighter the better. Bright pink is my favorite it makes me happy. I got a cobalt jacket a month so ago from Talbots and I love wearing it. Alway get compliments when I have it on.

  4. Such a great post, Jennifer! I recently purchased a fleece jacket, light enough to wear indoors in Minnesota, in a shade a little more vibrant than cobalt blue. As a summer with low contrast hair and fair skintone, blues are great on me, but this one just feels too intense. I think mid tones suit me best, with soft white and lite gray as neutrals. Would love to see more posts on color!

  5. I so agree with you about the big difference between colors you like, and colors you feel comfortable wearing. I love pastel pink, but it’s tricky to wear without being an “old lady” color. I find really bright pinks and blues overpowering to my personality – and, as I age, to my complexion as well. The shade makes the difference between a “yes” and a “no” in my wardrobe. Trying to coordinate clothing and finding prints that are the right shades is an extra layer of challenge when trying to build a capsule wardrobe. Perhaps that’s why we all love neutrals so much!

    1. I agree, that could be why!

  6. I, too, had to change from the taupe, kakai colors that I loved because I let my hair go natural. I was an ash blonde and now a beautiful shade of white surrounds my face yet I still have dark gray under layer in the back and tones of blonde. I find black and navy have become my neutrals. I do like teal and blue as long as they aren’t too strong in brightness. Not fond of white too close to my face either. Love your tips and suggestions.

  7. Many years ago I had my “colours done” and have found this to have saved me many dollars and many fashion faux pas. I am an autumn and keeping to that palate has made shopping and putting outfits together so much easier. These are the colours I have been naturally drawn to all my life and in which I feel most comfortable and confident. Even as I age and my hair has turned more gray, these colours still work for me. Jennifer, I’m sorry you don’t feel comfortable in the brighter colours because you look fabulous in that cobalt jacket!

  8. I love the outfits you show today, however the blue is a little too bold for me. I don’t think I would get very much use out of it.
    The hair color change for me has been hard. I was dark blonde/ light golden brown for years, now am between a silver white and lightest blonde growing out. My makeup has changed as well. I noticed if I go without makeup I look really washed out! I need more rose, peace/pink, or mauve now. I am a warm skin tone, so some warm tone clothes don’t cut it.

    I will be all white silver in near future. We will see how that goes. I started with a few grays when I was 21. I started coloring in my 30’s. I think I have been over 80% for a long time, and 90% white silver. My hair is a almost shoulder bob. I like not having to color recently, just not sure if I will keep a very light toner on or not. I do use the purple shampoo. You know I think white silver could be a challenge to keep.

  9. Both jackets are great! As my hair transitioned to it’s natural gray/silver I’ve found that camel, ivory. golds are not my colors.

  10. I would say, my colouring is very similar to yours Jennifer as so is my taste in fashion. That being said; I have been on the hunt for the last two years trying to find a winter coat in a camel colour as not all are equal. (One of my favourite wool blend blazers is such, but to date haven’t found any comparable in dye lot that works for my skin tone/hair and classic style preference.) Do like the cobalt blue jacket on you and agree ‘colour has to feel right, not just look right’.
    – Brenda –

    1. I love camel too but taupe will be a better option for me these days.

  11. Your posting really struck home with me. I’ve been told that I can wear the bright winter colors, but being able to wear a color vs being comfortable in it are two different things! Now that I’m retired and dressing much more casually, I shifted my neutral color from black (which was so easy for work) to navy. I might wear a bit of a color accent and sometimes a top with some bright color in it as part of a pattern or stripe. I also really like grey, but for some reason it is a harder color for me to find it in the right tone. Thank you for your postings, they are always so thoughtful!

  12. This post was if I had written it. When I colored my hair dark blonde or light brown with highlights, it would go brassy. I could wear warmer colors. Now that the hair is white/gray, those colors are horrible. I like color, and have spent a fortune trying to wear it. Give me white white tops, taupes, grays, denim blues, and I’m comfortable.
    Good post!

    1. I’m glad this resonated with you.

  13. suzanstew says:

    My mother told me that royal blue or cobalt was “my” color. So I used to scoop up every item I could find in cobalt. I am now gray and I feel like that has expanded my possibilities. I am also enjoying feeling decent in colors other than jewel tones. I may have to run out to Chicos to see if they have that cobalt jacket, though.

  14. Jennifer,
    Thanks for this post. You helped me make sense of my thoughts regarding color choices for my clothing. We all need to be comfortable with what we wear!

  15. I have very similar coloring to you, Jennifer, but with dyed buttery yellow hair. I’m told light pink is flattering on me, but as someone who struggles with her weight, I never wear the color, as I feel that, from a distance, the light pink could look like skin. Lots and lots of skin! My hangup, I know … but I guess we all have a few. Thank you for this post and for reminding us to wear what makes us feel confident!

    1. That’s an important feeling to pay attention to.

  16. I wanted to wear the “it” color of green that was so popular this year. It would have worked for me in my 20s. Not now! It had the effect of making me disappear: way too strong. Maybe if it had been mixed in a pattern with softer colors instead of a solid block of color?

  17. Everyone talking about color is do interesting. Probably the brightest color I wear is red. But everything I wear with it is generally neutral. Since I have silver and dark hair I think black and silver looks good on me. This year I bought a camel colored sweater and I thought I might look washed out but my friend and husband said it brought out my eyes. I think I still have a lot to learn about this subject, lol

  18. Thanks for your comments on color today. I am finding that while I like some colors they are definitely not giving me my best over-all look. I like the idea of taking selfies and checking out how I really look.

  19. You raise such an excellent point that I have not seen mentioned in all the discussions about finding your colors. You wrote, “just because a color flatters you, it doesn’t mean you will be happy wearing it. We all have different comfort levels with colors” and it’s so true. I think color choices could also be influenced by one’s personal style profile and, of course, where you live!

  20. Terri in Ohio says:

    Brassy blonde highlighted hair, which I grew out to naturally silver streaked taupe, with light, cool skin tones. Before the color change I wore bright, bold, high contrast clothing. Now I look best in low contrast, mid tone, neutrals. Perfect for me is denim blue and gray. I’ve also discovered taupe as a replacement for the caramel color that is so popular in fall fashion; taupe is more difficult to find however. I also like a pop of color, like the burgundy cashmere scarf you highlighted the other day, Jennifer. I purchased it and it is lovely. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and knowledge. Look for you every day!

    1. Taupe is my favorite neutral but finding it is a challenge.

  21. Colour is a funny thing, isn’t it? My colour challenge is red, I look good in some shades of it but do not really feel comfortable wearing red clothing. Like you and others have mentioned, these awkward colours can often work with footwear and I do enjoy wearing red-shaded boots. A peek at my winter wardrobe showed acres of dull grey, black and navy and it is a joy to encounter the occasional lighter coloured item.

    1. Red is a challenge for lots if us. Its such a look at me color!!

  22. Hi Jennifer! Thanks for the color post! Basically I feel fortunate that my hair hasn’t turned gray or white yet but has always been mousy dark blonde so I keep warm highlights in it. I’m 72. Warm red has been my go to color for decades and I still love it. My closet seems to have all red, many shades of blue but no pastels and black. All my pants are dark gray, some denim blue and black dressier ones. I never wear a dress unless I can wear the one black dressy one I have or recently a long deep rusty red one I got for an art show. I attend many gallery openings so usually jazz things up with an artsy vibrant print kimono or similar rover a column of black or that red dress. Tailored clothes work best for me too and I love your posts. I do wear all gray tunics and strait leg gray yoga pants to paint in. Warm red lipstick is always on and it seems to brighten up even all black . Gold jewelry only. I do need to weed out some clothes. How any gray pants does a person need!? Also, I’d love a white tailored shirt but white washes my skin out. It’s very difficult to find an ivory white shirt! Thanks so much for all of your suggestions and posts! I wish I had your shoulders! Glad to find some smaller shoulder pads again!,

    1. I love the sound of your outfits!just tried in a jacket with shoulder pads over the weekend so they’re around these days.

  23. Love your post today and your personal perspective. Color can be helpful in our look, but we don’t have to be a slave to it either. I used to avoid black, but found with different makeup, it was a dramatic change for me. As others have found as well, a colorful scarf around the neck does work wonders, too!

    1. Scarves are miracle workers!!

  24. I have that cheetah print blouse from Chicos! I just love it! I bought a really nice tencel/poly blouse from them that is forest green. That is one of my “colors” that I usually don’t wear, but I love the blouse so much I bought it first in black and now in the green. I look good in a cherry red (not orange red) but I don’t feel my skin tone looks good in red at all now that I have aged. Love this post! I love you in the blue jacket! I would buy and wear that color!

  25. So funny that you should mention camel color no longer works for you. I discovered the same thing this summer. Any clothing with yellow undertones next to my face is no longer my friend. I have a fair complexion and ashy white hair. Soft grays, heathered whites, and beiges with cool undertones are now my go-to for shirts, sweaters and jackets. Great post! Very relatable.

    1. Warm tones were never my best but when I dyed my hair, I could get by with them.

  26. Hi Jennifer, you nailed this post about color and how it feels. I too used to wear jewel tones all the time, but as my hair has changed I feel that they wear me. As a result I stay within the palate that’s been identified for me. I just bought a beautiful cashmere sweater that you modeled from Nordstrom Rack. As a cool beige in my palate I thought it would be a perfect addition. I tried it on and it felt blah….hubby said it was fine as long as I add some color. LOL. Hence, not all colors may feel good even when they are within the palate. Be Well~

  27. Exactly the same thing happened to me! I colored my hair a deep strawberry blonde for years, then lost it all to chemo. All those autumn colors are awful on me now that my hair is silver, steely gray. It has been a process to discover that now my best colors are white, black, navy, and grey.. I can’t wear warm greens, warm reds , it is so hard to find just the right shades. Im sticking to blues for now as I can usually make those work. Brown eyes don’t help. Makeup, lipstick, everything changes. People say your skin tone stays the same but it doesn’t either.
    Like you though, I’m keeping my leopard shoes I’ll find something to wear them with!

    1. I’m so glad you’re on the other side of chemo!! Your steely gray hair sounds rich and gorgeous.

  28. So much to think about! At first I thought, why not wear your favorite colors? It’s an eye opener to think about getting older and how that affects our look. For me, I have calmed down my love for prints and bright colors, but still wearing my happy color orange in more subdued tones especially at this time of year.

  29. Grandma Judy says:

    This is a great post. Wearing what makes us feel good, from bright colors to neutrals, is what makes us individual and unique. Life would be boring if we all wore the same colors. I don’t think we should criticize anyone for what they are wearing if it is neat and in good taste. Glad you are wearing what you enjoy!!

  30. Jennifer, this post resonated with me in a big way. I colored my hair for years in an auburn shade, and I wore and loved warm “autumn” colors. My hair is now completely white; I’ve discovered that my undertone is cool; my palette has completely changed. My best neutral colors appear to be black, grey, and pure white. I can no longer wear warm reds. The browns, greens, and oranges have been donated or given away. Pastels and camel drain me.
    Thanks for your thoughtful posts every day. I think you look terrific!

    1. Barbara, I envy women whose hair turns white – how lucky you are! I bet you would look good in the vivid blue jacket. I see it comes in a color called champignon that I’m thinking Jennifer might like. There’s also a teal option that I’m considering for myself as it’s a universal color apparently… takes out the guesswork. 😀

      1. I find your statement regarding hair and complexion color changing what you wear. I had my colors done and the person told me that changing hair color does not affect what we wear that our “colors” remain the same. Not so in my opinion.

      2. Our hair color certainly effects what colors look most flattering knit us.

      3. Great post today. That first outfit looks great on you btw!

      4. I do too. White is so striking.

    2. White hair is so glorious! Your new color palette sounds wonderful.

    3. Barbara–
      I could have written this post! Had auburn highlights in my hair for years so that I would look more like my daughter (whose are natural) but now my hair looks like Barbara Bush’s. I, too, gave away all that clothing. Last March 17, I went to get dressed and discovered I had not one item of green clothing to wear on St. Patrick’s Day! This fall, I found some sage green which passes muster and will have to stand in next year.

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