How To Wear Spring 2011’s Bright Colors

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By the time spring hits, you’re in need of a major vacation from work, from cold weather and from the all-black ensembles you’ve been wearing (fabulously) all winter. You’re thinking of exotic destinations like Africa, Peru and India. Coincidentally, so are your favorite designers.
“En Exotic Journey” was the theme created by the color experts at Pantone, who put together the top ten hues for the season. It’s been a while since you saw these on the runways in September, so allow us to refresh your memory.

The Hot Hues

How To Wear Spring 2011’s Bright Colors
We know, that’s a lot of color to take in (isn’t it fantastic!?), but don’t think you need to stock your closet with all ten. If you’re looking to narrow the list down, we think honeysuckle, blue curucao and russet are the best of the best, mainly because they’re the least fleeting.

Flirtatious honeysuckle, a vibrant pinkish-red, is the hottest color for both apparel and cosmetics, especially because it’s sticking around for fall. Blue curacao pays homage to the 2010 Color of the Year, turquoise, so you may already have something very similar in your wardrobe. Russet (okay, so it’s brown) provides a stable backdrop for the other colors and is a dramatic approach to neutrals that will transition to fall.

The hottest ways to wear them
A sexy, silk laser-cut off-the-shoulder dress in a vibrant shade of pink is a modern take on boho, and if you really want to make a statement, work an LBD: little blue dress. If you think a dress in a hue named after a potato is frumpy, think again. Animal prints often utilize russet, making the hue much more fun that it seems.

How To Wear Spring 2011’s Bright Colors
1. Patterson J. Kincaid “African Cheetah Salvador” Tank Dress, $75.60, Bloomingdale’s
2. ADAM by Adam Lippes Short Dress, $79, YOOX
3. Cassie Dress Slub, $88, Lily Pulitzer

Spring fashion is all about fun, so get creative with how you choose to accessorize with the season’s hues. Wear them on your head, on your feet and around your waist, or carry them in your hand. Once you start looking, you’ll see these colors pop up everywhere.

How To Wear Spring 2011’s Bright Colors
4. Jessica Simpson Sunglasses, $45,
5. Big Buddha Tote, $67, Bluefly
6. Romantic Sandals, $59, Nine West

Pairing the season’s hues
The colors for the spring season present an interesting marriage of unexpected warm and cool
tones. The key to mastering the hues is all in combining complementary colors, those that are opposites on the color wheel, to form unique color combinations. This way, you can pair existing pieces in colors traditionally associated with fall (we love repurposing!), with new favorites.

Another reason we love honeysuckle: it goes with pretty much every other color on the palette. Coral Rose and Beeswax are warm hues that pair beautifully with Regatta and Lavender. Blue Curucao and Peapod also pair well with Coral Rose and Honeysuckle. Russet, Silver Peony and Silver Cloud are spring’s nude hues, designed to coordinate with the rest of the season’s palette as well as everything already in your closet.

One of the easiest ways to practice pairing is to start with a neutral dress, then accessorize with more dramatic hues. If it looks like a lot of color, good. Spring 2011 is all about using bright colors to capture attention.

How To Wear Spring 2011’s Bright Colors
7. SIlver Cloud: Metallic Plisse Dress, $64.12, Miss Selfridge
8. Honeysuckle: Miss America Ilene Patent Sandal, $50, DSW
9. Regatta: Agate Long Pendant, $18, Asos