How to wear orange? 7 color combinations to get you started!

by Sylvia

How to wear orange - ideas for color combinations | 40plusstyle.com

Orange is not the easiest color to wear as the color can be quite bright and overpowering. However, if you look more carefully, there are actually a lot of fabulous ways to wear orange in all kinds of color combinations.

In this updated comprehensive guide I show you how to wear orange in a number of surprising ways. 

As I usually do when I look for inspiration on how to wear a certain color I visited colourlovers.com. It’s a great site where you can create your own color combinations or get inspired by those of others. Here is what I found.

how to wear orange | 40plusstyle.com

colors to mix with orange

orange blue and black color combination

orange combined with pastel colors

The versatility of orange

Can you believe that orange looks so good with so many colors? It’s actually proving to be quite a versatile color.

I have seen orange in the shops in all kinds of shades from very bright to more demure colors, so you can just pick the color orange that suits your complexion and temperament best and mix and match with all these other fine colors.

You don’t even have to buy a garment in this color. Just adding a scarf or a bag will already give you that orange flavor and will add some flair to your outfit.

Here are 5 quick tips to inspire your styling with the punchy hue.

1. Pair orange with neutrals

A great way to let the bold tones of your orange piece stand out without competing with any other color, is to pair orange with neutrals. From black to nude shades, your look will be cleaner and more refined with the fun and punchy characteristics of orange.

How to wear orange over 40 | 40plusstyle.com

Outfit 1: Essential silk top – Tracy Reese pencil skirt – Vince Camuto tassel pendant – Michael Kors sandals – Treasure and Bond colorblock pouch

Outfit 2: Topshop orange trousers – Steve Madden white sandals – Tommy Bahama woven wristlet – Lush knotfront shirt – J crew hoop earrings

Outfit 3: Kay Unger orange dress – Sam Edelman nude pumps – Topshop embellished bag – Canvas bar earrings

2. Go with prints

Combining bold orange hues with unique prints is a very effortless approach to putting together a visually interesting look, with enough of a bright dimension to lighten up your look.

How to wear orange - ideas for outfits and pieces | 40plusstyle.com

ECI floral dress – Ali and Jay lili pond dress – Eliza J maxi dress – Barbour white shirt dress – Elizabeth and Jay dove stripe dress

How to wear orange | 40plusstyle.com

 

Sentimental NY ponte skirt – Nordstrom signature sweater – Nordstrom balloon sleeve blouse – Topshop tiger print sweaterEliza J high low dress

3. Embrace the purple-orange clash

Orange and purple are a style favorite when it comes to contrasting combinations. Visually appealing, the two dynamic shades create a bold and chic look when paired together. The key here is to ensure you add a neutral piece, such as a pair of white shoes or a dash of gold jewelry, to the look to keep it from being an overwhelming display of colors.

How to wear orange with other colors| 40plusstyle.com

Outfit 1: Gracie orange shoes – Michael Kors bag – Soprano purple dress – Cam pendant necklace – Gorjana cuff bracelet

Outfit 2: Tophsop orange sweaterBP tassel gold earrings – Cecilia NY purple booties – Caslon scarf – AG high rise skinny jeans

Outfit 3: Topshop wide-legged pants – Madewell teeSondra Roberts white crossbody – Sam Edelman white mules – Karin Sultan multistrand necklace

4. Orange with cobalt blue

Pairing orange with cobalt blue can bring out the best in both colors. By sticking to classic styles and shapes, or including a neutral piece like a pair of white pants, the look is vibrant yet clean.

 

How to wear orange - ideas for blue color combinations | 40plusstyle.com

Outfit 1: Topshop wrap skirtKenneth Cole orange heels – Bobeau satin top – Argento vivo circle gold pendant

Outfit 2: Dolce Vita orange platform – Vince Camuto cobalt blue top – Paige white crop jeans – Panacea circle pendant

Outfit 3: Cole Haan orange bagTahari blue dress – Via Spiga orange pump

5. Accessorize with orange

Not ready for a full bold display of orange? You can add the punchy color as a highlight to your look by incorporating as an accessory or go-to beauty tool. We particularly love the orange nail polish, which is flattering on a number of skin tones.

Stylish orange accesories | 40plusstyle.com

Halogen beaded orange tassel earringsTopshop swirl orange earringsAdia Kibur statement necklace – NF orange scarf

Orange accessories| 40plusstyle.com

DVF pouch – Longchamp orange bag – Sunny Side LA sunglasses – Treasure and Bond orange mules – Essie nail varnish – Armani orange watch

Let’s take one color combination to the test

Although I love them all, I picked Storming Psychedelia as the inspiration for some outfits that I created at Polyvore. In this set orange is only visible in a subtle way and is mainly added as a pop color.  Have a look at what you can achieve with these colors! Very stylish and certainly not boring! You can mix and match and add more orange if you like to all these outfits.

How to wear orange

Orange color combinations | 40plusstyle.com

Orange-Purple Contrast

Here are a few more ideas from Liz on how to wear orange

“It was only while thinking about how to wear orange, that I realized I have much more orange in my closet than I thought. Plus, it got me out of my comfort zone and thinking about how to wear favorite items in a new way.

The orange top is actually a dress tucked into a suede skirt, which is from Miss Selfridge, or white jeans from H&M. Sylvia inspired me to experiment with using my dress as a top in her piece on how Diane von Furstenberg is her latest style crush!

I’d never actually worn the khaki dress. It was one of those items I bought in the sale and popped into the back of my wardrobe, but pairing with orange shoes is a new idea for me. The orange paisley skirt is a Topshop purchase from my student days!”

How to wear orange over 40 | 40plusstyle.com

More outfit ideas

How to wear orange - ideas for color combinations | 40plusstyle.com

Orange-Neutrals

Want to add some orange to your life? Here are some fabulous orange items you can buy right now!

Want to know how to wear other colors too?

I have created several color guides for popular colors right now:

Do you plan to wear orange this coming season and which color combination is your favorite?

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 How to wear orange - ideas for color combinations | 40plusstyle.com
 

 

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Heather Fonseca

I’ve had a “thing” for orange for a while. Currently there’s a purse, sandals, a leather skirt and a black and orange print scarf in my closet. I don’t like wearing orange with black as in the US it says “halloween”, but I do like pairing it with brown in the fall. I’m not sure how to mix it in with spring colors, but I’m pondering the problem at the moment. For years and years I’ve loved orange mixed with pink, but that is quite a statement!

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2 Sylvia

Orange is the national color of my home country holland, so I should really own more of it but I don’t. I should really post a picture of a really funny picture of my whole family in orange, with an orange bike, during the soccer championships (when basically the whole of holland was orange….)

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3 Milan

oh my god! that seem adorable! orange is one of my favourite colors and family is always a top priority for me, just imagine how thrilled i was as i read your comment! 😉

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4 Tracey

I love mixing orange with teal. Or as an accent with black and white. Have to have the white or it looks Halloweenish – like someone Heather already noted. See here for summer version of teal and orange with denim. http://fashionforward40.com/2011/traverse-trip-we-arrived/

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5 Sylvia

Oh you look absolutely fab in that outfit!

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6 Suzanne

I love orange! It is such a happy color. I like it with navy blue and with a bright cobalt blue. I like it with hot pink and with yellow. I would wear it with the right shade of purple. It is great with gray. This Summer I will wear it with white.
I have an orange Kate Spade purse, an orange dress, orange sandals, a tangerine tunic, a RL orange print blouse, and I just got tangerine and leopard RayBans and a tangerine belt. I also like it with dark or light denim. I wish I could find a pair of orange pants – can’t wait to see yours. 🙂

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7 Sylvia

Will have to see what I can pair it with. Possibly white, maybe purple or maybe even bright red if I’m in all a really daring mood… We’ll see. Will have to shop my closet!

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8 Nanne

I like orange, but so far I’ve just worn it during spring and summer. I’m a bit particular about not wearing too many colors at once and I don’t feel comfortable mixing brights (although I absolutely appreciate the look on others), but I think orange looks great with white or offwhite, beige/stone and navy.

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9 Sylvia

Yes, you’re right that you do need to careful and not look like a clown. I’m sure I’ll wear it with white mostly but am still going to try and mix it with other colors as well!

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10 Angie

I plan to wear orange in one of my next posts so thanks for the inspiration.

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11 Sylvia

Excellent! I look forward to seeing it.

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12 Kionon

Orange and white! Texas fight!

Orange is one of my go to colors. It looks very good on me, so I have several shirts, and neck ties, and even a bow tie, where orange is prominently displayed. I also have two sets of bright orange socks.

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13 Sylvia

Great! You will love all the new choices in the shops then!

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14 Jeannie

Great post! I’ve only worn orange to ball games (college color). I always complained to hubs how difficult it was to come up with outfits with orange! Now it’s fashionable, and who knew it could be worn with so many colors! Thanks!! I’ll be styling in ORANGE at the next ball game!

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15 Sylvia

It’s certainly not the easiest color to style if you want to look chic. I’m going to give it a go as well in the next few days!

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16 Robert

Love orange! But,only have an orange blouse that i enjoy wearing with a brown skirt. I’ve alway’s found it difficult pairing orange with other colors..

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17 Sylvia

It is difficult. I’m going to try my luck with it today…

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18 Jenny

I have just got orange trousers for my holiday l am a a 68 year old lady and my friends are daring me to wear them l have a yellow top which is plain or a white top with assorted panel of flowers down the side of the top or a patterned teal blouse black marking

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19 Aquí

Loving these gorgeous color combos! Congrats on making links a la mode 🙂

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20 Sylvia

Thanks Aqui!

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21 Anna

to be honest, I’m not a big fan of orange. But as you said, there are many hues, one can choose from. I always prefer more peach-y and coral-y hues for summer, as in the winter I don’t own anything in orange! Currently I own a couple of summer orange tops (one of them has a super flattering cut), which I usually pair with light grey or white shorts and with jeans (the easiest combination!!!)

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22 Sylvia

Orange is a lot more challenging than other color eg. red, but you’re right, it would look great with blue jeans!

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23 Audrey

Hi, I found you on IFB’s Links a la Mode. I’ve always loved orange. I love all the ways to combine it into my outfit without looking over the top. Great post:)

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24 Sylvia

Thanks Audrey

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25 Dana

I LOVE orange! Such a fun, mood-boosting color!

http://woodstockwardrobe.com/

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26 Sylvia

I agree. It’s hard to wear orange and be very sulky!

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27 Sia

I love orange too. I have a very bubbly perosnality and it suits me perfectly plus with all the different shades available surely there is one to suit all.

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28 Sylvia

Yes, it’s a great color for extraverts. I’m a bit more introverted, so more challenging for me…

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29 Carol

Nice! I especially LOVE that orange sweater you picked out. The construction on it is awesome. I too am looking forward to getting some orange pieces. I’m trying to branch out of my blacks and grays. LOL I came in via the IFB Links a la Mode.

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30 Sylvia

Hi Carol. Thanks for commenting! Yes that IS a great sweater, isn’t it? I’m just going to settle for t-shirts as it’s too hot for jumpers here. Still need to wear my new orange T…

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31 ann amos

I’ll try orange with army green n probably with one other color I don’t yet.I love combining colors

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32 Faith

Glad I tumbled along this site. Lol, I have an orange summer dress and was kind of confused on what color shoes I should wear. So far I have navy blue and darkish grey.

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33 Misha

Hey.. Wearing a subtle grey shirt with a blue jeans and carrying a neon orange hand bag.. Paired with a light orange scarf… Isn’t a fashion disaster right?

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34 Sylvia

No that should be ok!

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35 victoria

i like orange. Can i combine orange, green and red as my wedding colors?

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36 Sylvia

Sure. It would be unconventional but a lot of fun!

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37 Samantha

Orange is one of my favourite colours!
Thank you for more colour mixing inspiration.
I am a fan of mixing it with other reds/oranges/yellows as well as blues and neutrals BUT I have never mixed it with a teal/green combo.
That needs to be remedied!
XXX
Samantha

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38 Sylvia

Wonderful Samantha. I look forward to seeing it!

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39 beate

fabulouse post!!!
i used to hate orange until a few years ago….. but the new shades – coral, peachy or burned tones – changed my mind 🙂
and i look forward to summer to test some of your exiting suggestions!
xxxxx

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40 Sylvia

Wonderful. The orange dress in your post of today looks beautiful!

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41 Greetje

I absolutely love this post. It gave me so much inspiration. I have noted it all down and I am going to experiment (about the first time in my life haha).
Thank you very much for all this work.
Very very useful

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42 Sylvia

Great to hear Greetje!

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43 Faye

I have orange arm sleeves cool dri sun protectors spf 50, I have short sleeve polos in dill green, slate blue, french blue (bright), deep eggplant, purple, brick red, butter yellow, true navy, fall brown. Will the orange go with all of them?
The sleeves you get on Amazon.com, they are better than wearing the whole shirt.
I also have white and black arm sleeves.
I live in the Key West Florida (100 miles from the mainland & 90 miles north of Havana, Cuba) where the sun burns you at 8am till sunset around 6:30- sevenish. Florida is brutal with the humidity and merciless sun, not all plants can grow here.

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44 Brenda Justice

I have a very light color peach blouse can I wear a light blue sweater with it

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45 Sylvia

Yes that should be ok.

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46 Barbara B

I loved this Orange workshop! Orange and grays looked great, as well as the blue and purple combination.
I have a darkish red hair and blue eyes, regularly getting compliments on my hair from strangers, I find. ( KUDOS to my long-time hairdresser!!)

Anyway, certain shades of orange are tops on my list, for sure. I absolutely ‘relish’ using color in my dressing and I have about 20 colors of shells or camis for starters, then accessorizing with jewelry and scarves, as this can really stretch my wardrobe. I will look forward to finding time in my busy life to read all the ‘color’ articles. Thanks!

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47 Sylvia

Great to read you enjoyed this Barbara. Thanks for your feedback!

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48 Greetje

Brilliant post! I saved it.

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49 Laura -So Ca

Hi ladies,
Well, it seems I am not alone. When we lived in our luxury home, and life was, shall I say, much richer (financially), I dressed in white/beige/black, and would never entertain wearing color. I thought it was less sophisticated to enjoy color. I was boring. Fast forward, we’re living a modest life (husband’s ocular issues), and now I use color to cheer myself up, and celebrate the spring and summer seasons. Orange is loud and obnoxious, but I am frequently told I look good in some hues. I pair it with white a lot. Today, I bought a bright orange leather tote, and I really like it. I have a new apricot wrap dress (soft orange) and I will pair it with beige sandal heels and a beige handbag. Orange is full of energy, and I like it. The color combo ideas you shared are great. Thank you.

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