THERE is nothing more predictable than pastels in spring, is there? Every year we wait for a burst of creativity from our favourite fashion houses yet surprise surprise, the candy hues arrive on the catwalks again. These bright saccharine colours have started to fill me with that fashion ennui that is usually only reserved for bootleg jeans and kitten heels and this boredom returns with a vengeance every year.
Don’t get me wrong; I do love a splash of pastel in my wardrobe. Honestly. It’s great to dress up in those brighter colours after a winter wardrobe of dark hues and numerous shades of black. However, after a little while, the cutesy pastels and floral prints get a little less chic and a lot more boring. So this season, how about breaking the mould a little? I love Zooey Deschanel’s quirky style as much as the next person but what if we give those pastels and adorable prints the old heave ho and mix them with something a little outside the norm? Brands like Crew have made standing out from the crowd a little easier by making their floral and pastels a little more masculine. I’ve given a few of my suggestions for combatting the candy striper look to appear a little more high fashion.
The Shirt: When I think of pastel, I usually think of cute 50s blouses in shades of lavender, mint and baby pink. In a name: Mad Men. This season, stay away from the blouse style and steer towards long-sleeved shirts instead, Burberry style. Even if the shirt is floral or baby blue, having a more masculine cut will tie in with both the androgynous and inevitable pastel catwalk trends for Spring/Summer 2014 and teaming it with leather or other tough fabrics will give it the edge your outfit needs.
The Trousers: These suit more people than the fashion industry would have you believe; it’s all about having the right cut and fit for you. They don’t have to be those god-awful palazzo pants that were all the rage a couple of years ago with offensively large flowers on them or god forbid, baby pink cords. It’s all about doing it in moderation; picking a colour and style that suits you and toughening it up with some studs, high-necked, heavier materials or darker colours.
The Blazer: This only works if you’re mixing it with a far more masculine cut or colour throughout your outfit. Blazers are a fantastic invention for us women: they suit every shape and sizes, can be dressed up or dressed down and go with just about everything. Wearing this with a pair of leather leggings and boots or an androgynous-style outfit keeps you bang on trend for the summer without have to look like something that sauntered out of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Check out Susanne Ostwald and Ingvar Helgason’s collection for London Fashion Week SS14 that incorporates some gorgeous vibrant prints with androgynous cuts that isn’t unlike early Mary Katrantzou.
The Coat: Since we live in Ireland and realistically it’ll be cold most of the year, you’ll still need to have a fantastic coat to get you from winter to summer. A transitional wardrobe, so I’m told. Using your pastel colours on a coat give people the element of surprise – most team pastels with cotton and other breathable fabrics so having such a heavy piece in such a bright colour will frighten people. In a good way, obviously. There are some fantastic coats out there that will keep you warm for the cold months to come, yet still keep you feeling bright and colourful with an on trend wardrobe!
It’s difficult to find a way to stand out of the crowd when everyone is following the same trends but making sure you stand out of the crowd is easier this season once you know how to do it! Good luck ladies and happy styling!
Words: Emily Maree.