As a fashion editor, I can often spot fashion trends months before they infiltrate the closets (and Instagram feeds) of the masses. However, there are always a few surprises thrown into the must-have mix that I truly never see coming. Take, for example, the resurgence of neon clothing, accessories and beauty.
This slightly controversial trend (shout-out to my sister, who has been quoted saying, “Ew, neon is only ever appropriate at the gym or on Halloween”) has been picking up in recent months with no signs of slowing down, and Pinterest has the numbers to prove it. Searches for “neon dresses” are up 269 percent. Inquiries for “neon sneakers” have risen 288 percent. And the pursuit for “neon eye makeup? That’s seen an uptick of 280 percent.
So, if you happen to be wondering how to make Day-Glo shades work for your everyday life, here are eight ways to rock the trend, from beginner to advanced.
Start with a minimal hair accessory
A simple green ribbon wrapped around your pony or a pair of eye-popping barrettes are all you need to make a bold, trendy statement, without making too big of a commitment.
Opt for a Less Obvious Hue
Highlighter yellow and hot pink are everywhere (at the very least, they’re popular in our pencil case), but vivid turquoise? Not so much. Try a pair of trousers in that shade with a clean white tank, subdued mules and a simple gray handbag. It will keep the focus on your show-stopping and unexpected pants.
Mix It In with a Variety of Brights
Somehow, neon hues don’t feel nearly as blinding when worn with a rainbow of other vivid shades. That said, if you’re already rocking Barbie pink, sunflower yellow and royal purple, keep your neon touches on the small side (like a hair bow or statement earrings).
Make Your Eyes Really Shine
Oh, you thought this dramatic color trend was limited to fashion? Think again. Neon beauty is also on the rise. Ease into Day-Glo cosmetics with thin yellow cat-eye liner or a swipe of blue mascara. If you’re feeling really bold, go all in with a full-on wash of vibrant eyeshadow.
Add a (Small) Second Pop
Wearing multiple neons at once without looking like you’re heading to a rave is a difficult feat. One way to pull it off is by limiting the second shade to one small area. Neon jacket + neon earrings = trendy brunch ensemble. Whereas neon jacket + neon dress = EDM festival.
Stick to One Color Family
We love a good tonal look (i.e., wearing various shades of one particular hue), and that includes one with neon pops. Pair a yellow-green bag with a green-blue dress or jacket to make the transition from one part of your look to the next feel less jarring.
It's All About Choosing The Right Dress
Yes, blindingly bright hues can actually look elegant (just ask Kate Bosworth). Luxurious fabrics like silk, tulle or anything with a satin finish help elevate the colors we often associate with jazzercise to a higher, fancier place. P.S. Super-chic seasonal accessories help, too.
Try a Tiny Flash
Still not sure this hot summer trend is for you? A neon yellow or pink mani (the two most wearable shades in the neon family) can help you test the waters in a tiny and inexpensive way, especially if you use them as just an accent color.