Pastel Colors: How to Wear Pastels
So soft, romantic and ethereal, cupcake inspired pastel colors are the obsession of all girlish girls, who want to spice up their looks with some innocent and romantic vibe, breaking the monotony and diminishing all the blues. Milk caramel, velvety peach, pale pink, powdery mint, banana, guava, lavender and baby blue – all these delicious Easter egg inspired shades instantly cheer up and turn any look on the positive way. However, when it comes to real life, incorporating pastels to our wardrobes may seem a little tricky. There are just a few fashion tips to stick to and you’ll know how to wear pastels and not look like you are going to an Easter parade.
After so many eye-catching prints and bold colors, these cotton candy shades come to rectify things and please the eye. Many designers give preference to lace pieces, creating a real poetic impressionism: whether it’s a lovely dress, a top or a skit, lace details go well along with pastel shades, making them appear even more delicate and feminine. Even casual dresses for a carefree stroll around the city, coming in delicate pale green, beige and blue colors with a minimum decoration, feature lovely lace, chiffon fabrics, looking so ethereal and trendy.
One of the most alluring ways to nail down the pastel trend is the pastel colorblocking. Thus, you can confidently combine pastel pink with pale lemon, blue with mint green, creamy orange with purple, and wear pastels the best way. It’s also fun to wear pastels with brighter shades. In this case too, pay attention to the color wheel.
Another popular style is pastel skinny jeans. Pale lemon, peach, cotton candy mint, and coral jeans look light and feminine and perfectly go with simple tank-tops and pastel shoes. You can wear pastel colored denim pants both in summer and fall, trying to brighten up the gloomy season. Try to wear your pastel pants with some neutral top or go colorblocking, paying attention to the color wheel and sticking to the main color blocking rules.
Style Tips for Pastel Colors
• Stick to Minimalism: The most important rule of pastel shades is not to overdo with their “sweet” manner. Maybe all these head-to-toe pale lemon and sugary pink dresses with lace details, accessorized with pastel shoes, bags and headbands look chic on the catwalk, but in real life they can be too much – after all, not all of us are pastry saleswomen. Instead, try to calm things down by accessorizing your pastel clothes with pieces in black, white or other neutral tones. Generally, when choosing pastel clothing pieces you’d better be guided by minimalism, always going for pieces with clean and sharp lines, which will place the emphasis on the design of the garments rather than the pastel shades. If you can’t do without ruffles and lots of details, you’d better go for sculptural forms to add a bit of drama to your pastel looks instead.
• Pastels with Neutrals: Do not be afraid to mix pastel colors with neutral ones. Beige and coffee shades will help you balance the girly nature of pastels. Pastels look incredible with gray and cream tones as well.
• Pastel Color Blocking: Without any exception, all pastel colors looks amazing with each other and you are welcome to mix and match more than two pastel shades in a look. Mix pastel shades on the principle of color-blocking, using things with clean straight lines. Pastel color-blocking will not work with clothes featuring too complicated cuts, details and draperies. Unlike the color-blocking rules of brighter tones, in case of pastels less strict rules exist. You can even wear some four pastel tones in a single look adding a bright accessory to create a contrast. However, brunettes aren’t encouraged to wear so many pastel colors at a time.
• Pastel Colors According to Your Hair and Skin Tones: The pastel rule states that dark skinned girls look great in lighter, more “creamy” tones, while women with a lighter skin color should go for coffee tones and richer pastel shades. On the whole, pastels are the best colors for the blondes, no matter what shade of blonde hair they may have. Blondes are welcome to mix and match various pastel shades and wear head-to-toe pastel outfits, looking incredibly feminine and sophisticated, As for the brunettes and redheads, too many pastel shades tend to make them look pale, therefore it’s a good idea to create a little contrast with bright shades when wearing pastel colors. You can either pick complementing details (shoes, bags, sunglasses, jewelry, scarfs, belts, etc. ) in darker shades like black, or go for even more contrasting hues for the accessories.
• Pastel Colors with White and Black: You can never make a mistake wearing pastel colors either with white or black pieces, or matching them both with black and white.Combine pastel jeans with a white and black top, complementing the look with dark colored platform sandals. No matter how many pastel shades to match with a black piece, black is always going to dominate, creating modern and polished looks. Since pastel colors may look a bit boring and dramatic with black pieces, you can always replace black with soft gray or beige tones. As for white, it only enhances the softness and femininity of pastel hues, at the same time managing to balance things out for more harmonious looks. Pastel colors with white make the go-to summer looks, while in winter, they might look a bit weird.
• Pastel Colors With Brights: For the ultimately playful and vibrant looks you can try wearing pastel colors with brighter tones. This way you’ll also reduce the exaggerated sweetness and femininity of pastels at the same time showing off your creativity and unique taste in style. For instance, think mint green pants matched with a bright green blazer topping a simple white tee and there you go! You just need some neutral shoes and a bag to make things pretty and cool. You’re never afraid of mixing different types of fruit ice cream in a bowl, so do the same with pastel shades, matching them with brighter tones.
• Pastel Colors With Prints: If you think only monochrome is the way to go with pastel shades, you’re completely wrong. Pastel colored clothes look especially intriguing and romantic in combination with printed and patterned pieces, especially when those patterns feature pastel tones. For instance, you can wear a pastel lilac blouse with a white skirt featuring peach and lilac abstract prints, this way creating a connection between those two pieces. It’s, however, advised to avoid floral patterns to match with pastel pieces, since this might make you look a bit old-fashioned. Instead, give preference to modern minimalism and go for garments that feature minimal and abstract patterns.
• Monochrome Pastel Looks: Less is more is also true about pastel fashion and you can always create smashing looks picking a single pastel shade for your entire outfit. This way you’ll also elongate and slim down your silhouette. To jazz up your looks, go for creative accessorizing details and your pastel outfit is sure to win the spotlight instantly. When wearing a single pastel shade from head to toe, you are more than welcome to experiment with volumes and textures to create interest.
• Pastel Nudes and Creams: Cream and beige tones are the most versatile of all the pastel shades, and they go literally with any other pastel or neutral shade. When matched with neutrals, cream and beige clothing pieces look sober and elegant being an amazing option to wear to the office. On the other hand, you can always pick cream shoes or other small details that will ideally finish off colorfuly pastel looks.
• Wearing Pastel Colors in Fall and Winter: Although pastels are those ice-cream shades meant for spring and summer, if you are so in love with their sweet character, you can always wear pastels in fall and winter too. Pastel sweaters always look amazing in combination with black and dark-wash jeans in winter, especially when you pick a mohair pastel sweater. You can also consider wearing pastel colored outerwear, such as pastel coats.
• Pastel Accessories: If you are not sure that you will feel self-confident in pastel clothes, start with small things here and there, mostly using pastel accessories, such as a pastel clutch, jewelry, hats or shoes in candy hues. You can also experiment with pastel makeup (pastel pink or blue nail varnish will look amazing with a black dress or a white blazer with pants). Accessories in pastel shades can also be used separately with full black attire options. For example, a mint clutch or a pastel necklace worn over a black dress will create a magnificent look (Click here to learn How to Wear Mint Green).
• Shoes and Accessories to Wear with Pastel Clothes: When it comes to the best shoes to wear with pastel outfits, stick to either neutral or bright shades to create harmony and to balance things out. With black, white, cream, beige, brown and gray shoes you can never err. And in case you want to add energy to your monochrome pastel looks, you are always welcome to pick a bright matching shade for your outfits. This also refers to other complementing details, such as bags, belts or scarfs. Metallic jewelry pieces (both gold and silver) always look chic with pastel outfits.
• Makeup to Wear with Pastel Clothes: Avoid pastel and colorful shades for your makeup when wearing pastel outfits. Instead keep things minimal and neutral, playing with versatile earth-toned eyeshadows, nude lipsticks and creating perfectly smooth skin.
• Wearing Pastels in the Club: When wearing pastels to party nights, try to focus on contrasts. Pick bright and energizing accessories to your pastel outfits that will instantly catch the eye. However, keep in mind that pastel colors should dominate, so wearing either some neon-colored shoes or a bright clutch with your pastel outfits will do the trick.
• Wearing Pastels to the Office: Too many pastel shades aren’t appropriate for office looks, therefore try to incorporate white, cream or beige tones to your looks, at the same time picking only cleanly cut, modern and minimalist designs for your pastel garments. Keep your hair and makeup simple and modern.
• Wearing Pastels to the Street: The modern street style rules suggest mixing and matching contrasting styles and pieces for an outstanding look, so when wearing pastels to the street try to combine the femininity they exude with something preppy or sporty chic. For instance, pastel colored pants matched with a simple pastel shirt will look amazing in combination with loafers, a nude clutch and retro-style sunglasses.
The most wining pastel accessory is a spectacular clutch in pale pink, banana, lilac or mint. A small square or rectangular pastel colored clutch will add cheerfulness and a romantic attitude to spring and summer attire options. Choose something with a metal detail, peplum or ruffles to match with your evening outfits.
Pastel shoes look amazing in combination with white pants or a light colored dress. You can also wear pastel colored shoes with shorts and skirts in much softer shades. Don’t forget about pastel sunglasses and pastel jewelry.
Pastel makeup is great both for pastel outfits and neutral ones. Clear lip glosses, pearl eyeshadows, blush in the shades of tea rose are ideal for creating a sophisticated, natural look (Click here to learn How to Wear Pastel Makeup). And, of course, pastel nail polishes look so trendy and delicate. For pastel clothes, choose your nail polish in the main color of your outfit or the opposite shade to colorblock your look. High-gloss mint nail polish goes well with black clothes, pale pink with lemon, while lilac with white and pink.
Pastel colors are great to wear to work, on special occasions and on the daily basis. Just try to keep things modest, when you are going to work, a little more glam-glitzy for special events and simple for casual wear. Whatever you do, try to be creative and self-confident and you’ll look chic and sweet, while sporting a rainbow of taffy-colored hues!
Photos courtesy of Vogue