Black is a color many women wear on a daily basis. What if you don’t want to wear black, though? What alternatives are there to choose from? Fashion blogger, Josephine Lalwan, talks about her choices of trending colors and how to accessorize them best. Enjoy the show!

 

 
 

Margaret Manning:

My guest today is Josephine Lalwan who maintains a fashion blog at her fabulous website Chic at any Age. When she started blogging about seven years ago, her intention was to empower mature women to feel good about fashion and style in their own personal way. Welcome to the show, Josephine.

Josephine Lalwan:

Thank you very much, Margaret. I love Sixty and Me, and I think your site is a great resource in all areas—fashion, beauty, etc.—for us women.

Margaret:

Thank you so much. We cover a wide range of topics—from retirement to travel and education as well as fashion and beauty. Whenever we do an interview with our makeup consultant, Ariane Poole, people really love it.

Josephine:

I love those interviews, too. I watched the last one, and it was really good and informative.

Margaret:

Thank you. Ariane is really fun and also a bit like you: She has a very light-hearted and positive attitude toward her area of specialty. Today I would like to talk to you about wearing black as you get older. You discussed this topic in an earlier article on your website, Chic at Any Age.

I’m really interested in your views because I wear black a lot. You, on the other hand, were suggesting that maybe we can think outside the box where that color is concerned.

Josephine:

Yes, definitely. I’ve also worn a lot of black over the years. However, with my hair going naturally gray, my skin turning a little bit lighter, etc., I’d have to work harder if I were going for the little black dress. Black requires a bit of drama. It needs stronger makeup, brighter lipstick, maybe some funky red shoes, jewelry; otherwise, it can be a little bit draining.

Personally, I’ve got a little navy dress in my wardrobe. That’s my standby because I find it a little bit more flattering, and it’s fairly easy to accessorize. I also think navy goes from day to evening with the right accessories. It’s quite adaptable.

Margaret:

So you wear the LND.

Josephine:

Yes, that’s it.

Margaret:

It’s really a great idea. I think I own a single t-shirt that’s navy. Ariane talks about navy as a makeup color that’s very good for older women. She says that using a blue eyeliner highlights the white in your eyes. So, that’s very consistent with what you’re saying. How would you accessorize a little navy dress? What would you use?

Josephine:

My usual choice is this fairly universal necklace of tiny beads in black and white. It looks a bit funky, and it’s got feathers at the end.

Margaret:

Has it got purple in it as well?

Josephine:

No, it’s got black, but there’s also gray. It’s actually two separate necklaces, but I’ve put them together.

Margaret:

The effect is really cool. You’re adding just a tone (because gray is between black and white), and since navy has got its own kind of quality you can mix it up with gray and black, and the result is unique.

Josephine:

Definitely. I actually put navy with black. People don’t wear navy with black, but I do. I think it’s quite chic, and it’s also very French.

Margaret:

Really?

Josephine:

Yeah, they do a lot of that. I don’t know who said you couldn’t wear navy with black, but it definitely wasn’t the French. I think it can be very chic if you do it right.

Margaret:

So do you wear navy and black as part of the outfit, or is the black an accessory, a scarf or an accent?

Josephine:

It can be either. You can have a dress with navy and black in it. I often wear my standard black trousers with a navy top—a sweater or a shirt—and I found that goes pretty well.

Margaret:

There are different shades of navy, aren’t there? There are the ones that have got a little bit more blueish tinge, as opposed to those that you literally have to hold up against the light to determine whether they’re navy or black.

Josephine:

Yeah, there are many shades of navy. I think you should choose the right one depending on your coloring: If you’ve got a darker color, you can take a darker, stronger navy. If your skin is a lighter color, I would advise for what they call a French navy or a lighter navy.

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When I was doing color analysis, I was introduced to a warm navy and a cool navy. Those are a little bit trickier to spot with the naked eye, but a good way is to hold it up under your face and see the reflection on your skin. This way you can see which tone of navy works for you.

Margaret:

What other colors would you put with navy? Would you put green?

Josephine:

You could put a little bit of red. There’s lots of burgundy around this season. I think navy and burgundy is very chic.

Margaret:

Yes. Actually that is a nice color combination. Red and blue look beautiful, though not tomato red.

Josephine:

No. It needs to be a bit deeper. Some people call it wine, some people call it burgundy. It’s a slightly softer but deeper tone, and it makes you feel warm.

Margaret:

You mentioned in another video that you have a navy blue coat which you refreshed by putting something green to accentuate it. Was it dark green or olive green?

Josephine:

It’s a bottle green. It’s a very classic coat—neat laid, single breast. I’ve had it for five years. It’s still a good work horse, but’s it was starting to look a little bit boring. So I invested in this lovely faux fur collar thing to put around it, and it gave the coat a million dollar look.

Margaret:

What kinds of bracelets and jewels do you think go well with a navy dress? Maybe you could wear a really beautiful emerald or faux emerald bracelet or different kinds of sparkly jewels. White looks beautiful with navy as well.

Josephine:

You’ve got to be a little bit careful with white and navy combinations. Wearing a white shirt with navy trousers or a skirt could give you a military look. It would be a good idea to break it up with an accent color.

Margaret:

Red could do the trick. You could put a really pretty red pin.

Josephine:

Yeah. There are lots of other alternatives as well: deep greens, turquoise greens, etc. If you’re warm in coloring, there are some rusty tones you can try. Yellow looks great on some people, though I personally can’t wear it well.

Margaret:

I actually have a visceral response to yellow, so I cannot wear it. I don’t think I own one single thing in that color in my wardrobe. Maybe a gold color would look nice with navy.

Josephine:

Yes, it would be stunning. Very good.

Margaret:

This has turned into a great brainstorming session on wearing and accessorizing navy outfits. Maybe it’s time to look at the navy section when you go shopping, especially since it’s a trending color these days. Maybe you could even switch the black dress for a navy one.

Josephine:

Yes. It’s just as versatile and more flattering as you get older.

Margaret:

That’s a really good piece of advice. I would suggest you check out Josephine’s website. It’s called Chic at Any Age, with chic meaning ‘put together in a style that makes you feel good’. It’s really cool, and there are some really good articles. I think you have one on the little navy dress?

Josephine:

Yeah, I think I did that a little while ago. You might have to go into the archives. You can type it into the search, and you should come up with it, hopefully.

Margaret:

I’ve got an H&M just around the corner from me, and they’ve got a lot of navy this year.

Josephine:

Good. They have got some good styles this season.

Margaret:

That was great advice on the little navy dress, and it’s fun to accessorize it.

Josephine:

Yeah, definitely.

Margaret:

Thanks so much for your help. I’m actually looking forward to my navy dress now. Thanks for the inspiration.

What do you think about the idea of wearing navy instead of black? Do you have an accessory that would look great on a navy outfit? Would you suggest another alternative to black? Please join the conversation!

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