If you’re a child of the early nineties, then you might remember the staple of loud colors that paraded through the neighborhood, and even on television. Their return this year is nothing short of electrifying; in fact, one could say that it is a welcome change from the usual en vogue pageantry of earth tones, and monochromes.
What’s not to like? Neon colors have a lively character. Their vibrant and stimulating hues add a playful tint to everyday ensembles. When they first came out, there was a tendency to overuse these colors; but their fashionable comeback this year sees them being utilized in more clever and intelligent ways.
Graphic Prints and Sixties Fashion As sixties-inspired fashion is also on the rise: sharp, streamlined designs, executed in buoyant, glowing colors, come together to make a bold statement. Reputable brands have a number of graphic prints, and remakes of old-style dresses that you may find yourself falling in love with.
Try a neon orange floral (or fruity) cami with your favorite slacks, cardigan and dark pumps for an upbeat day at work. You can wear a thick gold chain for accents if it doesn’t get lost in the blouse’s print.
Unlike the full-on neons of the 80s and 90s, today’s solid neon blouses, skirts and dresses are much easier on the eyes and a lot more styled. Bodycons and bandeaus are only some of the styles you could try out. Not to mention peplums and skater dresses. There are so many chic choices now than there used to be, you could wear a different one to work or school every day.
If you’re shy about wearing a full dress, try a neon yellow peplum blouse with a black pencil skirt and medium heels for a peppy day at school. When you’re more used to it, a skater dress or bodycon wouldn’t be too hard to pull off. Pair the skater dress with a denim jacket and the bodycon with a leather and bead necklace.
Believe it or not, if you wear shades with these, it’ll be to complete the outfit and not to shield your eyes from the glare.
Shoes Made for Walking
Shoes are another way to integrate neon into your wardrobe. Despite the full-on-neon ones we’d gotten used to seeing in good ole 80s dance-music videos, today’s designers use neon colors to tastefully highlight simpler styles – neatly underscoring with vivid tones, such as, hot pink, azure blue and zesty orange. The advent of DIY has also put the ideal pair of shoes within more women’s reach.
Fully neon sandals aren’t so bad either. Today’s designers are aware that novel colors, when applied without consideration for harmony and unity of design, come out disastrous. Rather, neon is an element that must be wielded intelligently, in order to produce a sound piece, thereby rendering the color more effectively.
The above being said, feel free to light the streets up in colorful flats, sandals and clogs during the day; while swaggering in sleek stilettos of solid neon, or with neon heels and accents, at night.
Citrusy Cardigans and Succulent Scarves
A black sleeveless mini with a neon yellow cardigan would look smashing at work.
Add-ons and accessories are a great way to neonize your outfit. You could wear your usual tailored ensemble, and add a splash of summer through another layer. Boleros, long vests, cardigans, scarves – name it, and there’s probably a neon version of it.
Try a neon aqua, long vest over a white ensemble of blouse-tee and jeans, or a neon pink one, over a storm grey blouse and leggings. Good for a day stroll or an afternoon at the movies.
For something to wear to work, picture yourself in a beige office dress and a neon orange scarf, knotted artfully around your neck. (Note that there are 25 ways to tie that scarf!) Accentuate further with an equally bold bag, and you’ve got your outfit for the day.
Beads and Nails
Aside from shoes, bags and cover-uppers, there’s jewelry and yourself. Tempting, though it may be, refrain from coloring your eyes and lips with neons, unless posing for an art shoot. The closest to make-up you can decently wear is neon nail polish. Wear an all-black ensemble and a shock of neon pink nails. Streamline those nails with a similarly-colored bead necklace, and off you go.
If you like cooler colors (shades of blue, green, purple), they go well with printed fabric. Make use of bright nails, to match the accents on a boho blouse or jacquard dress, and pair with equally flabbergasting flats.
Sharon Sussman | Elite.