I’m sure you get a lot of things like this but I’m usually a very reserved person and my wardrobe reflects that perfectly in my blacks and grays. However, recently (for an odd number of reasons), I’ve found myself attracted to pastel colors such as pinks and blues.
This phenomenon is extremely out of the ordinary for me so I was hoping for some tips on matching pastels or choosing the right kind of clothes for these colors.
Vanessa, 14/Washington, USA
I totally feel you, Vanessa. Like yours, my wardrobe is also predominantly in black and gray, with a few whites and blues. Just a few days ago, I found myself browsing on YesStyle and actually setting the color filter to pink! One important lesson I learned in writing this column is that we all need room in our lives for more colors.
I do wish that you elaborated a little more about your wardrobe preferences. Are all your clothes black and gray? No blue jeans? No whites? Is there a spark of red somewhere, a pop of yellow, a burst of green maybe? Do you own more jeans than skirts, or the other way around?
All Aboard the Good Ship Pink and Blue
Pink is definitely having a good year, or making it a good year. Pantone’s colors of the year for 2016 were Rose Quartz and Serenity (Blue). This year, pink continues to trend and we now even have “Millennial Pink.” As it comes in many shades, the color pink is quite skin tone-friendly so it isn’t really difficult to find something to pair it with. Blue, on the other hand, has always been a reliable color, so much that if you see the word “denim” chances are you’ll think it’s blue.
Don’t feel pressured into buying new stuff in blue and pink just to satisfy this craving. I’m pretty sure you have a pair or two of blue jeans somewhere. Plus, you’ll still need your blacks and grays because those colors are definitely for keeps.
Convenient as Outerwear
Since you’re going to try these colors for the first time, it’s perfectly alright to feel a bit awkward at first. Wearing these colors as outerwear gives you an easy way out: You can always take it off (because you can’t take off your skirt now, can you?) Your summer hoodies and cardigans are the perfect pieces to start with. You can get your baby pinks and blues in solid colors, or with patterns like stripes or dots. Even if you’re wearing black such as a simple tee and skinny jeans, a soft pink boxy cardigan can tone it all down, while sky blue can minimize the overt brightness of an all-white outfit.
Use for Emphasis
A simple rule of thumb that has always worked for me is wearing a light top with dark bottoms, or vice versa depending on my mood. If you’re bottom-heavy, going light to dark keeps all the attention on top, and what better way to capture attention (even if you normally shy away from it) than to wear pastels? Wearing a pastel top with extra – but not outlandish – embellishments like lace, tie-cuffs, pleats or patterns can draw the eye.
Another trick you can try with any color is going for a monochromatic palette or tone-on-tone look. Basically, just use different shades of the same color for your entire outfit like a really pale pink tank top and going for a shade of apricot for shorts or a skirt. Punctuate the look with a bold piece like white sneakers, a statement choker or oversized watch, or a leopard-print fabric hairband.
Make It More Interesting
When you’ve gotten over the disbelief of liking pink and blue, I encourage you to incorporate other pastels in your arsenal. Mint green is definitely a cool tone while butter yellow, lilac and lavender, apricot and even pale fuchsia are worth looking into as well. Soon, you can try with deeper colors like royal blue (looks wonderful with gray), purple, burgundy, and even tangerine. With more practice comes more confidence!
Don’t forget to add extra visuals to your pastels, be it patterns, prints or color contrast. It also gives you more room to play with because you can choose to match the secondary colors instead.
I know you’re going to rock this, Vanessa!
P.S. If you’re sending a question, please don’t forget to include any helpful information about your body type or shape, your tastes or personality. You can include a selfie (link only please) or a photo of your clothes (which I will never publish without pre-approval). Thank you!
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