Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Quiet colours

Pastels aren't easy to pull off, but with restraint, you can wear this soft look

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Here we are, nearly three weeks into the spring and still not a crocus or tulip in sight. A quick glance outside the nearest window will confirm that the season isn't going to blossom any time soon.

It's a shame, really. Still, even if there's three feet of snow on the ground, don't let the remnants of winter stop you from embracing one of the season's hottest trends -- pastels.

I know the idea of wearing these soft, muted hues can seem a bit frightening -- no one wants to look like an Easter egg or pretty petit fours -- but with a few style tips and some helpful know-how, even the most cautious trend-adapters can incorporate runway trends into everyday life.

Mix pastels and neutrals -- Avoid that Easter egg look by teaming neutral tones in beige and ivory with muted pastel hues. Try wearing a robin's-egg blue or lemon-curd yellow cardi over an ivory lace-trimmed camisole.

Keep it light -- Pastels are delicate hues and so should be matched by the fabric that you drape yourself in. Light and airy is the key -- chiffon, sheer and crepe are choice textiles to look for.

Avoid cutesy -- The last thing any woman needs to look like is a teenager out on a grad date. Steer clear of overly ruffled garments and billowy dresses and instead opt for a sheer mid-length dress with a simple silhouette in a solid hue such as mint or lavender.

Practise clean line colour blocking -- Head-to-toe pastels aren't entirely out of the question if done properly. The trick: take tip No. 1 and pair with a slim cropped jean in a contrasting pastel hue.

Start small -- Inject pastels into your wardrobe via accessories. Totes and clutches are always an easy way to incorporate the latest colour trends -- such as pistachio and melon -- into your mix. Hats, scarves and shoes are also great accessories to consider and can be worn with multiple outfits.

Toughen up -- Pastels are feminine and soft in nature, so team them up with something structured, such as a fitted blazer or crisp pant to create balance.

Got a suggestion for a future column or a fashion trend worth following? Email Connie Tamoto at connietamotofashion@hotmail.com.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 6, 2013 ??65526

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