Gelato hues and pastel tones usher in spring with a sweetly wearable palette. Fashion Editor Stephanie Smith has tips on how to mix and match them.
Spring is taking its time making a proper appearance for this year, so we might have to kick-start the process with a swift and sweet injection of pastel tones.
The cynical among us might like to point out that pastel tones do, in fact, pop out on the High Street annually, and at about this time. This is true, but it does not mean that it’s a case of “same old, same old”. This season, there’s a new edginess to pastels – which we are calling gelato hues, by the way – and this is working to make them a far more wearable option to those usually reluctant to clothe themselves in what they deem to be pale, somewhat saccharine shades.
Parma violet, lemon sorbet, blush pink, pale bluebell – these are the shades playing out this spring across fabrics from knitwear to suiting. In terms of tailoring, look out for linen and cotton blazers to wear with matching trousers as suits, or to wear with another gelato hue (or two) for a tonally, ever-so-slightly off-kilter mood. Near-matching tones work well, too – so a blush pink, sleek, tailored linen jacket with a peach-toned shirt or fine knit under.
Tonally blending shades of pale yellow can be striking (in the right kind of way), although many of us do shy away from dressing in the shade for fear of it being colour draining and far too out-there. The trick is to add a paler, lemon cream shade – or try a pale blush pink or nude tone – in the form of a blouse or a bag, a shoe or a scarf, to a (slightly) more vivid yellow sorbet tone, to help neutralise any hint of garishness while maximising the effect of the tonal trend.
Don’t forget the importance of texture in relation to the current fashion mood, so pastels in satins, silks, laces, tweeds and suedes all give pleasing effects, especially for special occasion dressing. You can stop soft pinks, in particular, from looking overly pretty by adding leather accessories – belt, bag, boots – in black, while brown leather gives a more tonal effect.
One of the easiest ways to key into pastels is to throw on a sweatshirt or sweater – in a gorgeous vivid but gentle shade of blush pink or pale violet – over a striped or floral printed midi skirt, for an athleisure-meets-daywear-separates look.
Don’t be afraid to try a bold pop of bright colour also to offset any pale sugariness. Red accessories are ideal for this, but a bright lime green or turquoise shade could also work wonders. Start mixing it up.
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