When seen on the runway (or, for most of us on Style.com), some runway trends can seem a bit…overwhelming. Day-Glo bright separates? Pants so wide they need their own zip code? Kaleidoscope-crazy prints? After last year’s subdued khaki trousers and ladylike satchels, the circus parading down this year’s catwalks is harder than ever to imagine crossing your college quad. But just because you may not have the funds—or the fearlessness—to pull off Prada’s painfully bright prints or Dior’s hot pink hot pants doesn’t mean you can’t make the season’s trends your own. We’ve got the scoop on what’s hot this year and how to get the look without breaking the bank.
As the weather warmed up, so did the colors. And I don’t just mean a hot pink American Apparel tank at a hipster concert, or some neon Ray-Bans on the beach. No, this spring saw an explosion of Crayola-bright separates all worn together, in a technique fashion insiders call colorblocking. At Jil Sander, especially, Raf Simons paired bright colors masterfully with basic black to create a striking balance.
Christian Dior had a more playful look, pairing a bubblegum-pink skirt with a poppy-orange jacket and adding some seriously bright accessories. But colorblocking can go bad quickly, so when creating your own bright ensemble be careful your colors go well together or you’ll look like a box of crayons threw up on you. Try pairing primary colors together, and avoid obvious combinations (red + yellow = hot dog, red + green = Christmas, etc.) And don’t be afraid to mix pink and orange, or green and blue—they can look great when mixed with the right accessories!
Get the Look Here!
For Jil Sander’s minimalist look, choose classic, solid pieces in standout colors that complement each other. Colored skinnies, like this edgy pair from Topshop, are a great place to start—they stand out but match with almost anything. Try them with a feminine blouse in a totally contrasting color, like this royal blue chiffon top from Urban Outfitters. To add even more color you can layer on a bright blazer from the other end of the color wheel, like this pink Zara jacket. A good rule is to keep all your pieces in a separate color family; green pants are harder to pull off with an aqua top than a fuchsia pair. Even out the look with neutral accessories, like this natural white belt and classic brown oxfords and satchel, and you’ll turn heads wherever you go—and not in a “what’s that crazy chick wearing?!” kind of way.
Colorblocking is a great look for evening, too. You can imitate Dior’s unexpected pink-and-orange look with this sexy Urban Outfitters dress. A black blazer pulls the look together, while a contrasting leather clutch, like this one from ASOS, balances out the colors in the dress. Add in some edgy white wedges and a classic gold watch and you’ll stand out brighter than any strobe light at the club.