Hue Right: Colors for Gentlemen with Gray Hair

In this edition of “Hue Right” we’re talking about the best (and worst) colors for gentlemen with fair skin and gray hair.

For this one we tapped long-time friend of AOS Mike O’Hearn (Tim’s father), from my hometown of Windsor Ontario!

First, the colors to avoid.

Avoid: Pale Neutral Colors

You want to avoid shades that are too similar to your natural coloring; beiges, creams, off-whites, stone grays, taupes, etc. These colors will only wash you out and emphasize your gray tones.

Go For: Rich Fall Colors

Saturated Fall colors (like forest green, burgundy and chestnut brown) can offset your otherwise colorless palette and bring some youthful energy to your look. Keep the jacket dark, the shirt light (the pink bengal stripe references the burgundy jacket), and the tie in a middle tone to tie the two together.

Go For: Low Contrast Blues

If you have gray hair and fair skin, you are considered “low contrast”. This means you will look better in low-contrast outfits. Consider pairing colors that are similar in tone and “darkness”, like the jacket and shirt here (both mid-blues). Monochromatic outfits (with a focus on texture contrasts) are always a smooth look for a gentleman with salt & pepper hair. This goes for dark outfits as well – a charcoal wool topcoat over a black cashmere turtleneck, for example, is very sharp and sophisticated.

Don’t Be Afraid of Gray

A lot of men who go gray think they should avoid the color altogether, for fear of looking older. That’s a mistake. Embrace it, especially dark charcoal fabrics with a luxe texture – like this wool/cashmere oversized birdseye, for example. Gray is masculine, mature and sophisticated.

What’s most important is making sure your garments fit properly. Nothing will make you look “older” and more “out of touch” than oversized menswear that doesn’t flatter your body type.

A Quick Note on Hair Coloring

We often get reader questions about hair coloring products, like “Just For Men”. In my opinion, unless your grays are significantly premature and it’s affecting your perceived age/ability, I saw embrace the gray! A well-groomed head of gray hair can be an asset. After all, a well-made gentleman only gets better with age.

Got gray hair? Feel free to share your experience(s) in the comments section below!

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier

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Source: Articles of Style

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