By Ruthie Prasil
Pastels have been around as a trendy look for a while, but I must admit that more often than not, I see people go overboard. It’s either all or nothing. Pastels head-to-toe or no pastels at all. This is not the way to do it! There is always a need for balance when it comes to fashion and it’s a hard thing to learn. With pastels, it’s so easy to wear too much and end up looking like the prized egg at the community Easter egg hunt. Instead of looking like that, you want to look like a casual yet polished fashion plate.
I always try to separate my “color” or “pattern” by 1 piece. For example, if I’m wearing a plaid top, I’m not going to wear plaid shorts, but I might wear a plaid shoe. Not necessary to double up, of course, but if you are it is usually best to separate a bit. For look number one, I started out with a pastel top.
Paired with simple, flattering, and easy pieces, it’s fun but not overboard.
1. Silver necklace. I think you should always accessorize. Not too much, but enough to feel and look put together. A necklace is the easiest thing! With a bold top, a simple necklace is the way to go. Choose one of these:
Vince Camuto pendant necklace from Nordstrom.
Unwritten bow necklace from Macy’s.
Mama Bird necklace from Lisa Leonard.
2. Headband. I like matching my necklace metals to my headband metals. It seems to bring it all together nicely. I’m also a fan of simple and understated hair accessories when wearing bright and fun clothing so I chose a skinny silver headband for this look. Like all of these:
Decodence headband from Anthropologie.
Metallic headwrap from Maurice’s.
Zig Zag headband from Claire’s. ←- yes! Claire’s!
3. Shoes. Bring on the pastel footwear! Yes, colorful shoes are absolutely doable and pair perfectly with a colorful top. There are so many fun options out there this season for pastels and colorful shoes that you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a pair that works for you. But go ahead and check these out if you need a kickstart:
Loeffler Randall “milla” flat at Piperlime.
Shelly’s London “kedieng” oxfords at Zappos.
Gap slip-on canvas sneakers.
4. Jeans. Keep your bottoms simple and easy if you’re going with a bright top and bright shoes. Ankle skinnies are always a good choice! They are comfortable, chic, and look good on virtually everyone (skinny and curvy girls alike).
1969 “always skinny” jeans from Gap.
Distressed skinny ankle jeans from Banana Republic.
Skinnies from Boden.
See? You look fab. And definitely NOT like a holiday treat.
For look number 2, I made the pastel focal point a pair of fun shorts. Here’s a secret for all of you who are skeptical of these shorts: shorter shorts look good on you! Now, I’m not talking inappropriately short. Let’s use common sense. But I am saying that long Bermuda shorts are rarely flattering unless your legs are incredibly thin. I know it sounds like a trick, but it’s not. Try on a pair of shorts that are on the shorter side and you will see! Show off those great legs of yours, especially with a pair of fun shorts.
1. With a plain shirt you can get away with a really fun accent necklace. Try something bold and chunky.
Celeste Droplet Bib from Anthropologie.
Stone Medallion necklace from Jcrew.
Berry Good Harvest from Modcloth.
2. Plain tee. Grey, black, or white for this look. If you choose a color, you risk going overboard with pastels — a big no. Plain tees are available virtually anywhere (from Nordstrom to Walmart), but you can start with these:
Sand and Sea tee in white by J.Jill.
Perfect V-Neck by Garnet Hill.
Outdoor Voices racerback tank from J.Crew
3. Shoes. Again, simple is best. Plain sandals, canvas tennies, take your pick.
Classic grey canvas shoes from Toms.
Champion canvas sneakers from Keds.
Sam Edelman “gigi” sandal from Nordstrom.
Now that you have the formula for creating a pastel look without looking crazy, exchange my colors for those you love. Instead of a yellow top, try that pastel purple color you’ve had your eye on. Maybe the flats I listed here just aren’t your look at all – that’s okay! Find a similar style you love and swap it out. You don’t need to stick to any one ‘look’ to create something that is amazing. Make it your own. But remember — don’t go overboard!