How to wear magenta; 6 ways to wear this bold color

This article covers how to wear the color magenta, the Pantone color of the year for 2023.

In middle school, my favorite color combination was pink, gray, and teal. I had the argyle sweater, friendship bracelets, and woven barrettes with beads at the end to prove it. I was all about pink. All shades and all the time. Magenta was reserved for special occasions. Like my strapless prom dress with big magenta flowers and ruching up the side. I was an 80s teen. 

Each year Pantone determines the color of the year. Based on the happenings of the previous year and their predictions for the upcoming year. In December they announced that the 2023 color of the year is Viva Magenta. 

What emotion represents magenta?

Viva Magenta is a bold shade of pink that Pantone chose for its liveliness and energy. The color is all about “optimistic celebration, experimentation, and unrestrained self-expression,” according to Pantone. Sounds like it might be a wild year. Last year’s pick, Veri Peri, was all about optimisim as well, but it wasn’t as bold.

It’s a deep pink that has lots of red and blues (almost purple) and it’s a shade that can be challenging to wear. It’s a jewel tone that is supposed to be flattering on everyone. Whoever said this isn’t familiar with my appliance white skin. This is a hard color for me to wear. And I had no idea what to wear with such a bold color. So I tapped into my middle school style mentioned above and started playing around. I found a few ways to wear magenta that feel attainable and more sophisticated for the mid-life me. 

How to wear magenta

There are a handful of ways to wear magenta. You can:

  • Tone it down with a muted color such as gray
  • Make it bold by pairing it with another bold color like orange or chartreuse
  • Wear it head to toe for a big impact
  • Add an accessory for a pop of color if a whole garment feels like too much for you
  • Wear it with other jewel tones 
  • Choose a pattern that has magenta in it 

Visual examples of how to wear magenta:

Gray cashmere boatneck sweater, magenta tulle midi length skirt
Gray cashmere sweater/ magenta tulle skirt

This tulle skirt is a great way to take part in this color trend. The gray fisherman’s sweater tones down the bold color of the skirt. Having this color in the lower half of your body keeps it away from your face, which helps if this color doesn’t work with your skin tone. 

White t-shirt, orange and magenta Batik printed scarf, magenta satin cargo pants, orange pointed toe kitten heel slides with rhinestone buckle
Magenta and orage scarf/ magenta satin pants/ orange slides

Adding a touch of another bold color takes this look over the top. I added orange slides to the magenta cargo pants here. But you could add an orange belt or chartreuse earrings for a similar effect. The goal is to make a bold look, bolder. I would keep the shirt neutral. I added a scarf with orange and magenta to tie it all together and add a chic twist to the look. 

Magenta silk shantung long sleeve midi length tiered dress is a great way to wear magenta.
Magenta silk shantung dress

A stunning magenta silk shantung dress is a big way to wear this bold color. As you may know, a dress is my number one secret to simplify getting dressed. I would keep the accessories minimal and the shoes neutral or in magenta for a true head-to-toe look.

Navy and bone colored trainers with a magenta stripe down the side
Trainers with magenta stripe

If this color feels too bold for you, think about adding a magenta earring, bracelet, headband, or shoe. This trainer has a small strip of magenta that you could wear with just about anything. 

Magenta crew neck cotton fisherman sweater and emerald green wide leg wool pants.
Magenta cotton sweater/ wool wide leg slacks

Magenta is a jewel tone and all jewel tones work together. I paired this sweater with emerald slacks. But any garment in a jewel tone would work. I would keep the rest of the outfit neutral and only introduce one other jewel tone to the magenta. 

One shoulder magenta, pale link and white floral dress.
Magenta floral pattern dress

A pattern that has magenta in it is an easy way to dip your toe in the magenta pool. This dress has a lot of magenta, but the white and paler shades of pink break it up a bit. You could find a pattern with smaller pops of magenta as well. Again I would keep accessories neutral or in the colors that are in the pattern already. 

How to make this your own

The idea here is to explore. Try different things. You get to decide if you want to match bold with bold or tone it down. Either way, experiment with colors and fabrics to see what works for you and your style.

What are your thoughts on Viva Magenta? Any ideas on how you’ll be incorporating it into your wardrobe? Let me know in the comments below. 



I show women over 50 how to get noticed, stay relevant, and be connected through their wardrobe. Getting dressed is something you have to do each day, why not make it fun.



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