When the signature palette of the ’80s first made a comeback, I ignored it. Flat out. It felt like a fleeting trend that just wouldn’t fit with my more classic, neutral-filled closet and wasn’t worth spending the money on. But now that highlighter hues are looking more and more like they’re here to stay, having graced the runways, red carpets and real life street stylers for more than a few seasons straight, I am slowly coming around to the idea of electrifying my wardrobe with some hot hues. The trick to making the throwback shades feel 2013 is to ground them in neutrals — and use them sparingly. Here are some chic neon styling ideas that are inspiring me to infuse some hot hues into my look.
I would never think to layer hot hues with camel, but it tones down the brightness factor, whereas black and white actually help neon shades pop.
A hot pink blazer feels chic not sweet with leather pants. I wouldn’t have thought to add a pair of green pumps in a different intensity, but the more muted green works well with the pink to add interest without overpowering the hot hue.
Just the simple pop of the mini neon-yellow messenger bag and belt takes a gingham-stripe combo from cookie-cutter preppy to chic with preppy undertones (think: connecticut country day school vs. Blair Eadie of Atlantic-Pacific). Bonus points for the army green hooded vest.
Now if this doesn’t get you into the mood for spring, you best go back into hibernation. This to me is the perfect resort outfit — spring break anyone? To make a colorful ensemble this chic is harder than it looks. The yellow strap of the shoes ties into the yellow sheath (and yellow and purple always seem to pair so well, don’t they? I especially love the combo in brighter shades). The hot blue bag feels a bit random but it works because it plays so nicely with the bright yellow dress.
A slouchy neon sweater with the bedazzled jean pockets could have veered to much into my childhood wardrobe, but somehow this works. Part of it is this girl is pretty frickin’ gorgeous, but the details — her statement earrings, her cool tortoise frames and a structured bag — pull the look together in a very right-now way.
Hot pink denim seems like a no-brainer. Here’s how to do it the preppy way.
See what I mean about a black backdrop making a neon piece pop even more? But in this case, a jolt of color lends an unexpected touch of spring to wintry black layers. Take note those of you still suffering through winter like this New Yorker.
While the look is a little sweet for my taste, the hot hues edge up what would have been more girly look for a chic spring ensemble even this un-girly girl can digest.
This runway shot is from a few years ago, but it’s just as fresh and inspiring today, which is further evidence that highlighter hues are not a passing fad but a palette that’s here to stay.
For the more daring, a neon skirt is a perfect transitional piece that will liven up your all-black uniform now and can be paired with white extras come warmer days.
This Tibi skirt certainly made the rounds during fashion month, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s a great piece for to create an unexpectedly modern look for a summer wedding or soiree. But right now, I love the idea of pairing it with stripes and booties to carry you through the end of winter.
Looks like the neon trend will be carrying over into fall if Kate Spade’s Fall 2013 collection was any indication, so looks like it’s time to invest in a neon piece or two.