Grey does not have to be impossible

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“Who does grey look good on anyway?” my sister in law Shirim asked me this morning, echoing the sentiments of many, and possibly you. For years I too was convinced it was a color that made me look like death, but then I realized that all you need is a nice bold lip to counteract the washing-out effect it can have. Also, I follow the advice of former Sassy fashion editor, Mary Clarke, who once told me that if there’s a color you love that doesn’t exactly suit you, just make certain you’ve got another, more flattering hue closest to your face.

I still haven’t gotten myself a  is velvet blazer—I’ve been coveting one for over a year now—and this one is very nearly perfect.

Light grey pants can be unflattering if you’ve got hips—or at least that is the fear—but these are not only excellently cut, they’re satisfyingly dark.

This fine-striped tee would be excellent for layering.

The dog chewed my perfect grey suede Vans (which were limited-edition and no longer available, of course)  so I’m thinking of getting these as a substitute.

I love the faded-out look here, and I usually dislike when clothes are pre-faded or distressed.

I looked at a few V-neck sweaters for this post, and this is the one I liked best: nice and roomy and slouchy.

Just a super-cute star tee.

This cardigan has such a great live-in-it-always feel.

And from Kara: this streamlined backpack.

I love the idea of a grey suede boot, and these are pretty much exactly right.

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28 Thoughts on Grey does not have to be impossible
    c.w.
    31 Aug 2017
    8:05am

    I love grey! I find it not quite as harsh next to my faded complexion as black (even though I do continue to wear black). Love those chinos, the v-neck, the cardigan (Oh that cardigan!) and the boots. Lots of winners here!!

    I did just purchase a cotton v-neck from Everlane which I’m loving because it’s a little shorter (though not cropped!), but since I’m a little shorter it works.

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      Mamavalveeta03
      31 Aug 2017
      11:36am

      I’ll bet grey looks great on you!

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    y.k.
    31 Aug 2017
    9:09am

    i love grey too!
    but i especially love that you said velvet! suede!
    i am so over summer.

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    Debra
    31 Aug 2017
    9:14am

    Grey is my go-to color. I have no idea whether it flatters me or not but I’m not giving it up!

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    shana
    31 Aug 2017
    9:22am

    I strongly encourage the Pumas. I have them, they’re amazing. Stupid cute and they feel like memory foam.

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    DeDe
    31 Aug 2017
    9:34am

    I’m really digging these fall-themed posts lately. That blazer! The chinos (says the anti-chino person)! The cardi! They almost make me feel ok about September starting tomorrow.

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    elise
    31 Aug 2017
    10:16am

    Hey Kim! I have a question for a future post – I can never think of what I want to ask when you are taking requests so thought I’d toss this out while I remember 🙂

    I always love the items you choose, no matter the subject but – HOW do you choose?? With so much to wade thru online, what is your methodology for searching? How long does it take, on average, to decide which items to post? Curious minds want to know! thanks so much!

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    Mimi
    31 Aug 2017
    10:34am

    I love grey too, from pale grey to charcoal. And gray.(?) When I got dressed this morning, before waking up my computer, I put on a favorite marled light gray long-sleeved tee. I find pale gray next to my face more flattering than white and menswear gray flannel trousers are my winter go to pants. They go with everything.

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    Eleanor
    31 Aug 2017
    10:51am

    I have way more gray tops than I need, yet I keep buying more. It’s a really good color for me as a cool-toned blonde.

    As with nearly all colors, I think if it doesn’t look good on you it’s probably not the right one. Keep looking!

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    Lindsay C
    31 Aug 2017
    10:57am

    I wear a ton of grey in all shades – love it. Out with the pup in my ancient vans😍

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    RebeccaNYC IG: @mybackstageopera
    31 Aug 2017
    10:58am

    Remember “Color me Beautiful”? I had my colors “done” back in the day and discovered that cool tones were my best friends. And sweatshirt gray was one of my very best colors. (Black was one of my worst and of course, I wear black all. the. time) So when I want to look healthy and awake, I put some gray (and silver) around my face and “pop”! I look awake. So thanks for all the gray links!! love it.

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    Claudia
    31 Aug 2017
    11:19am

    I love your site (and I love grey) and I’ve bought things based on your recommendations. But $325 for a “destroyed knit cardigan” is insane. I get that this is about selling, but maybe a little editorial comment like–“if your grandpa didn’t have one” or “you haven’t had any luck at the thrift shop”…

    Ladies, bank the cash.

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      Viajera
      31 Aug 2017
      11:40am

      I don’t mind if items are expensive, as long as they’re things Kim actually likes. I can only speak for myself of course – but I come here to be exposed to different ideas — like drop-crotch pants!!! (why????) — that I don’t hear about otherwise.

      Maybe I’m naive but I never felt like Lucky was (too?) crassly materialistic either, because of the interesting things people were trying to do with their clothes – like wear MC Hammer pants! (“You can’t touch this!!”)(sorry I *had* to!!)

      Then some of those companies may actually be paying their workers a living wage. I don’t know *for sure*… but, it is possible.

      As a hardly-ever shopper who likes clothing though, the prices don’t even bother me, because I like so few things (well, for me to wear, that is), and despise shopping so much, that it’s usually not an issue.

      But you aren’t wrong that we all need to have some kind of budget, in case we live to be 110.

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        KimFrance
        31 Aug 2017
        3:44pm

        Thanks, Viajera. It was a big priority when we were creating Lucky to make sure it didn’t come off as vulgar.

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      DeDe
      31 Aug 2017
      1:39pm

      Honestly, if a woman likes that sweater and can afford it at full price, I have no problem with it. We’re all adults here and can make our own decisions. And we don’t need to have the same spending priorities.

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    Joannawnyc
    31 Aug 2017
    11:35am

    I was going to say, in order to look good it gray, you need neutral to wam skintone and dark hair but I see another commenter has said it works for her as a cool blonde, so now that theory is shot all to hell.

    I love gray but I think I started wearing it originally because it showed pet hair less than black and spills less than white.

    Great picks!

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      Viajera
      31 Aug 2017
      11:43am

      I agree – there are so many different tones, or shades, or whichever, of color that in theory, there is probably at least one in every group that could look good on each of us. Such is my theory anyhow, not that I’ve ever had the time or energy to test it. Plus… if you like something enough, wear it anyway, is my policy.

      There are purple grays, beige-y grays, and probably some I don’t even know about.

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    Mamavalveeta03
    31 Aug 2017
    11:36am

    I totally agree with you and Mary Clarke about your pop of color on the lips and wearing a flattering color near your face (“Hello, Chan Luu scarf!”).

    And a comment about the Frank & Eileen faded shirt: These shirts are fantastic! I am one that can’t spend much money on clothing, but I’ve got 4 of these shirts and I’m looking forward to another one. Comfy, well-made, and I get compliments every time!

    Such great choices, Kim!

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    Jessica
    31 Aug 2017
    1:40pm

    Grey looks great on me if I do say so myself. For reference, I have a very pale/rosy complexion and almost-black hair. Sometimes black or very bright colors can look severe or overly dramatic on me, so grey is a good neutral for people with coloring like mine.

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    Lisa
    31 Aug 2017
    8:19pm

    Just let your hair go gray and presto chango gray look fabulous;).

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    Lisa
    31 Aug 2017
    8:22pm

    *looks* aaargh

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    Lesley
    1 Sep 2017
    5:18am

    I agree about putting a flattering color on along with gray (which I also love) but if I’m not in the mood for a red or pink lip, I find that vibrant earrings or a scarf do the trick too!

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    Amy in StL
    1 Sep 2017
    10:04am

    Sorry but the distressing on that shirt looks like some creeper has been rubbing your breasts so excessively he’s worn your shirt out. Shirts shouldn’t be distressed in this manner, it’s weird.

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      Jenny
      1 Sep 2017
      11:04am

      This is perhaps my favorite comment, on this or any other blog, ever. I’m sorry you were weirded out @AmyinStL, but damn you made my day.

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        Elle
        21 Sep 2017
        1:18pm

        Me too!

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    Laurel
    1 Sep 2017
    1:31pm

    I also look good in grey! Especially paler/silver gray. I have a fair pinkish complexion and medium brown hair. I think the pale gray brings out the pink in my cheeks.

    Amy in StL, your comment cracked me up too!

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    Lynn in Tucson
    1 Sep 2017
    1:58pm

    As I’ve gotten older, charcoal is so much better on me than black. It’s easily my most flattering color. (Hazel eyes, olive skin.)

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      Elle
      21 Sep 2017
      1:19pm

      Exactly the same for me. Getting older = less black, more charcoal. (Also dark teal/ocean but that’s another post!)

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About

Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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