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Summer Trend Alert: Neutrals + Neon


Neon green belt on a neutral outfit
Photo Credit

Here at CF, one of the reasons we love summer is because it’s all about bold, fearless, and fresh fashion choices. We’ve all seen more than enough dark wintery hues and textures for the past few months and now it’s finally time for floaty silhouettes, sheer fabrics, and bright colors to take center stage!

The neon and neutral trend, which was heavily featured in Burberry Prorsum’s Spring 2011 collection, totally embodies our love for spirited summer looks. Already popular with designers, celebrities, and bloggers alike, this trend is also totally college-girl friendly! Read on to learn how to rock it!

Why We Love This Trend

  • It’s fun, flattering, & perfect for summer. Both neons and neutrals look great against a summer tan (or faux tan!). Bright, bold colors make a perennial appearance in stores around this time of year, so take full advantage.
  • It’s easily dressed up or down. Since this trend is color based, you can incorporate it into just about any outfit – from super casual to quasi-red carpet. There’s no easier way to add a trendy touch to your favorite summer-night-out outfit than by adding neon accessories.
  • Can be worn on a small or large scale. We love versatility in our trends — it makes them more wearable and budget-friendly! So, if you’re unsure of this trend, start small! Incorporate neon into your beauty routine by sporting bright nail polish a la Rihanna or try a colorful feather hair extension or neon hair streak. Take risks with apparel when you’re feeling more dramatic!

Tips for Rocking the Neutrals + Neon Trend

Fashion bloggers wearing the neon and nude trend
Photo Credits: 123.

  • Get great neutrals. Though other neutrals can work in a pinch, shades of tan, taupe, beige, and brown are best for recreating this ultra-trendy look. The contrast between neon and white can be a bit jarring, and neons and black can look halloween-y, though these hues can look great with neon with a little planning (see here and here for inspiration). Avoid the aforementioned issues by picking a neutral shade that’s either a universally flattering warm sand (neons look great against this background!) or one that’s close to your natural skintone to really make your neon accents pop!
  • Choose a single shade to start. While we all love our bright colors for summer, this trend is easiest to get “right” when only one neon is used per outfit. Avoid looking like a glow stick groupie by picking a single bold color to work into your look. Right now, the trendiest hues seem to be neon yellow-green and orange, but shades of electric pink, turquoise, and purple can work, too. Pick your favorite and go from there!
  • Don’t over do it. Since ultra-bright colors can walk a thin line between eccentric and costume-y, it’s best to keep the rest of your look simple and classic. Think of using color as a statement piece: A great neon bag adds an unexpected touch of glamour to your basics, but hot pink shoes, jewelry, and lipstick together are over-the-top.
  • Reverse it. If your style leans towards a more daring aesthetic, rocking a primarily neon outfit with neutral accents could be the perfect way to make this trend work for you. Neutral accessories are especially “in” this season — celebs are loving beige and brown sunglasses — so throw on a colorful dress, neutral sunnies, skintone-matching pumps, and a matching belt and you’ll be good to go. By simply reversing the “dominant” color in your outfit, you’ve got a whole new trendy look! It couldn’t be easier to go from bold to demure and back again.

Outfit Inspiration

Wild Child

Wild Child outfit - white tank, blue shorts, gladiator sandals
Product Information: EarringsShortsTopSandalsBag.

Neon + Neutral

Neon + Neutral outfit - green dress and tan sandals
Product Information: BagBraceletDressEarringsSandals.


MultiColor outfit - Yellow tank, white blazer, hot pink wedges
Product Information: Skirt, TankPlatformsBlazerSunglasses.

Tell us what you think!

Will you be adding bright colors to your summer looks? Which neon is your favorite? Any other summer trends you’d like us to cover? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!

Posted on on May 25, 2011 / Filed Under: Trends / Tags: , , , , , ,

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23 Responses to “Summer Trend Alert: Neutrals + Neon”

  1. 1
    May 25th, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I think you mean “neutrals” instead of “nuetrals”! ;)

    Great post though–the outfits are to die for!! I’m a neutrals kinda gal but would like to be more gutsy with color, so this is the perfect way to get out of my comfort zone a little! I (heart) CF!

  2. 2
    May 25th, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Haha, wow! Can’t believe I didn’t catch that error in the title – thanks for the heads up, Caitlin! :)

  3. 3
    May 25th, 2011 at 11:01 am

    I am in LOVE WITH THIS TREND. I am trying to recreate this look for the summer.

  4. 4
    May 25th, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Been rocking this since spring. Colored shorts are my thing. I just love pure, solid, intense colored garments!

  5. 5
    May 25th, 2011 at 11:33 am

    I love these outfits! so cute and unique! though i still can’t quite get into the whole flatforms trend…still looks weird to me. very 1990’s.

  6. 6
    May 25th, 2011 at 11:59 am

    I agree with Sam, I absolutely adore boldly colored shorts and J. Crew has some of my favorite ones! It’s my favorite way to inject a pop of color into an everyday outfit.

  7. 7
    May 25th, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    There is no link to where the white blazer in the last outfit combination is from and I’d LOVE to know where to find it! Thanks!!

  8. 8
    May 25th, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I love this trend. Thanks for highlighting it CF!!

  9. 9
    May 25th, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Thanks for this post, I’m loving all the neon colours right now and this is helpful for showing us how to wear them. Personally I don’t own any nude clothing though, I never know which type of nude is flattering on me – I’d love to see a post on how to find a good nude colour!

  10. 10
    May 25th, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    The link for the blazer in the last outfit doesn’t work! It’s so cute I would love to know where to get it.

  11. 11
    May 25th, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Hey girls! I’m so happy you’re loving this trend as much as I am–super fun! Stacy and Allison, the white blazer in the last outfit is from H&M, but the link to buy online was from their UK site ( H&M always seems to have cute jackets though, so I’d definitely check the store if you want that one!

    PS, excellent catch, Caitlin!!

  12. 12
    May 25th, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    How fun! I just looked down and realized I’m rocking this right now. Black dress capris, light grey cari with a bright coral ruffly tank top. Hooray!

  13. 13
    May 25th, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Outfit two is just delightful! I will now be on the lookout for the trend!

  14. 14
    May 25th, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Haha no problem guys, I got your back ;)

  15. 15
    May 26th, 2011 at 6:29 am

    I completely adore this trend, but few people can pull it off. I keep seeing people dressed like they are planning to attend Mardi Gras. I love a strong shade of coral, electric blue, hot pink ( but only a touch of that here and there) and turquoise. Perfect eye-catching colors!

  16. 16
    May 26th, 2011 at 10:34 am

    hey, the first picture is just me :D Thanks for this feature. I LOVE this trend!

  17. 17
    June 1st, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    I have a bright pair of high wasted red shorts that i got at H&M and love wearing them, can’t what to get more colors for summer, and get away from the black that fills my closet! Love this trend and the skirt and belt in the first pic!

  18. 18
    June 9th, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    I love this, and I do it all the time! Especially with nail polish or shoes. I have way too much neon nail polish, and hot pink converse that wake up any black/white/gray outfit.

  19. 19
    July 12th, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    I am so in love with this trend. So colorful and 80’s like but still unique.

  20. 20
    July 14th, 2011 at 2:41 am

    I love these outfits. these outfits are so cute and unique! though i still can’t quite get into the whole flatforms trend..

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