Your wardrobe can help you express your personality—and this shouldn’t stop as you get older. In fact, you should ideally feel that as you mature, your sense of personal style becomes more fully realized. And choosing the right colors can go a long way in nailing your look with confidence. However, stylists say that the wrong colors can have the opposite effect. Rather than highlighting your best features, these shades can actually age you beyond your years and distract from your other sartorial choices. Here are the five colors experts recommend avoiding.

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Black and gray are both considered classic, must-have colors for your wardrobe, says Yenia Hernández Fonseca, a stylist, luxury fashion expert, and contributor to Margo Paige. However, she warns that relying too heavily on these shades can age you.

“Even though they’re very versatile colors, overusing blacks and grays cast sharp shadows around the face and can accentuate fine lines,” she explains

However, Fonseca notes that this doesn’t mean you have to strike these color staples from your wardrobe entirely. “Instead of avoiding these colors altogether, opt for softening the contrast with a creamy off-white scarf, a rich camel top, or deep-toned jewelry to bring warmth to your complexion,” she recommends.

Brenda Cooper, a fashion stylist, Emmy-winning costume designer, and color expert, says picking the right shade can also make a world of difference: “The key to rocking black lies in finding the right tone. For those with fair hair and skin, a soft charcoal black can work wonders, giving your complexion a radiant glow. Say goodbye to harsh shadows and hello to a flawless, vibrant look.”

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Fonseca warns that wearing soft pastel colors can also age you prematurely by highlighting changes to your skin and eyes.

“While beautiful and fresh, soft pastels can make your eyes look sunken,” she tells Best Life. “Older adults naturally develop a less white sclera, or ‘the white part’ of the eye, as they age. Eyelids become pigmented and melasma may appear. Pastels can enhance hyperpigmentation so it’s best to avoid them.”

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Neutral colors can lend a sophisticated and classic look to your wardrobe, but Fonseca says they can also backfire by making you look drab and older than your true age.

“Colors such as nude and blush can wash you out and make you look matronly,” she says. Instead of relying solely on these powdery shades, she suggests balancing out the look with darker colors.

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Portrait of a mature woman with gray hair wearing a peach shirt standing against a light-blue background
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While you may refine your look or color palette as you get older, this doesn’t mean you have to banish bold colors from your closet. However, Cooper notes that there’s one bold color that can commonly go wrong: salmon pink.

“While salmon pink may be visually pleasing, wearing it can have its pitfalls. This vibrant hue can cast a fluorescent glow on your skin, accentuating any redness or imperfections,” says the stylist and color expert. “Beware of its potential to add weight to your face and opt for more flattering tones to enhance your natural radiance.”

Smiling mature woman with gray hair in an office, wearing a purple sweater

Cooper says that some colors are harder to nail than others, and that purple is notoriously difficult to get right. For example, if you opt for a purple top with gray undertones, this can leave your skin looking dull and lifeless.

“Purple, when chosen right, can exude elegance and sophistication,” the fashion expert says. “However, the wrong shade can cast unflattering shadows, leaving you looking fatigued and lackluster. Avoid hues that turn your skin and lips purple, drawing attention to imperfections. Opt for purples that enhance your features and breathe life into your look.”