Pastels are soft, pale color tones often associated with evoking a light, airy and sometimes feminine appeal. Fabrics dyed in light pastel colors can make for beautiful clothing, and the use of pastel colors in an outfit can give it a fresh, bright ambiance. Whether you prefer a classic look or love to follow the latest trends, there is always room for a pastel piece in your wardrobe.
The word pastel was originally used to describe a specific type of crayon made from pure pigments. Although pastel crayons are not limited to light base colors, pastel pigments are sometimes mixed with chalk, giving them a light, cool tone. Over time, the word pastel has come to represent not only the crayon, but a description of light colors themselves. Thus, the use of “pastel” when referring to a color is a soft, delicate hue, or a pale color. Pastel-colored fabrics use a relatively small amount of coloring agent or pigment, resulting in a light color.
Clothing items in pastel colors can be used to create many stylish looks. Pastel clothing is often perceived as being feminine, so pastel pieces can be combined with other feminine garments, such as floral prints or accessories, to play up the girlish tone. Pastel clothing also helps achieve a preppy aesthetic for both women and men. Get the preppy look by wearing pastels with khakis, blazers or other classically preppy items. Furthermore, pastels are popular during spring, especially at Easter time, when men, women and children opt for delicate, soft-colored tones that mimic the colors of spring flowers.
Pastels have become especially popular with high-fashion designers in recent years. Those who love to follow seasonal fashion trends know that many colors come and go in popularity over the years. As of 2013, designers recently returned to using pastels in their spring collections. However, if you’re going for a trendy look, wearing too many pastels can result in a more over-the-top sweet than subtly stylish outfit. Knowing how to accessorize pastel pieces is key to achieving a stylish look.
Styling Pastel Clothing
To tone down pastel clothing and keep it from looking too feminine, you can pair it with black. Also consider wearing pastel accessories with a neutral-colored outfit, which will help make the pastel colors of individual pieces stand out. You can also match pastel colors with other bright colors; for example, you might consider wearing a bright pink piece with a pale blue pastel one. Because pastels are already soft and feminine in color, opt for elegant pieces with clean lines instead of items with frills or ruffles, which might add too much girlishness to your outfit.
Regardless of how you choose to style pastel clothing, a few choice pieces guarantee a fresh and stylish look.
References and ResourcesSouthwest Florida Pastel Society: What Are Pastels
The Free Dictionary: Definition of Pastel
Trend Hunter: Preppy Pastels
Syms: Preppy, Polished and Pastel
Oprah: How to Wear Pastels
Fashion Tips: How to Wear Pastels
ResourcesPopSugar: Best Pastel Clothing
Real Simple: Summery Pastel Clothing
Trend Alert: How to Wear Pastels This Spring