Saturday, 15 September 2012

How to Wear... Pastels

Pastels always bring sweetness and sunshine to an outfit, whatever the weather – you just need to get your colour mix and proportions right to ensure you look (slightly) closer to your age than your shoe size. Proportion-wise, I tend to go for a typical forties/fifties style silhouette, or team a looser top with a slim bottom half. I usually stick to a maximum of two main pastel tones per outfit, but sometimes sneak in an additional shade or two for accessories.

The Candy Skinnies

Pastel skinny jeans look great either colour blocked with other pastel shades, or set against neutrals.

Baby Blues

Pastel capri pants work well with a sweetheart-neckline bandeau and retro-inspired accessories for a vintage feel (the cute belt also helps to disguise those annoying top-bits-of-jeans-showing-through-tight-tops lines and bumps!). A retro-inspired crop top would also work well here, if you have the guts!

Jeans: Primark (Past Season)
Top: Jane Norman (Past Season)
Belt: Primark (Past Season)
Shoes: Office (Past Season)
Hair Band: Primark (SS12)

When Life Gives You Lemon

Diaphanous chiffon blouses in pastel shades add casual glamour to a colour-blocked look (this more muted pastel-toned number would also work well tucked into a pastel boucle skirt for autumn). For a bit of extra fun, I’ve added a pop of pink on shoes and lips to the sun-and-sea palette, and layered on a couple of skinny plastic kids’ hairbands in pink and aqua tones to tie the look together.

Jeans: Primark (SS12)
Blouse: Primark (Past Season)
Shoes: New Look (Past Season)
Hair Bands: Tu at Sainsbury’s (Past Season)

Lilac Fields

To maintain waist definition and take away some of the casualness, I sometimes like to cinch in my floaty chiffon tops with a skinny waist belt. This combination of lighter-coloured top, hip skimming draping and cinched waist is also the most forgiving option for anyone worried about pastel skinnies being too unforgiving for their body type (pick a top with floaty sleeves if you don’t like your arms).

Jeans: Primark (SS12)
Top: Primark (Past Season)
Belt: Forever 21 (SS12)
Shoes: Office (Past Season)

The Frothy Skirt

I tend to pair pastel skirts with neutral-toned coordinates to avoid looking too much like the Sugar Plum Fairy (although more muted pastels can take it – say, a dusky pastel-toned boucle skirt with a contrasting pastel sweater or blouse).

I have had this tutu skirt in my wardrobe, complete with tags, for about 3 years – existing only to be intermittently stroked and admired, because, even though I wasn’t brave enough to wear it, it was just so preeeetty. But, some time over my last week or so of browsing other people’s street style for inspiration, I was struck by the number of net skirts that seemed to be making their way to picnics in the woods, skipping sessions in meadows (possibly many other bloggers are actually fairies) and generally out of the house, so I determinedly dusted it off, flicked off the cobwebs (don’t worry, using artistic license here) and finally snipped off those tags.

I love the grungy pairing of tutus with casual band tees and sweatshirts, but it didn’t quite feel like me, so I decided to keep it feminine and frothy, but add a bit of grown-up vintage elegance with a peplum and heeled brogues.

Skirt: (Past Season)
Top: Primark (AW12)
Collar: Topshop
Shoes: Peacocks (Past Season)

Swapping the tutu for a pleated midi gives a slightly more traditional, primly elegant vintage-style look, still fun and feminine, but more appropriate for work/royal garden parties.

Top: As Above
Skirt: Jane Norman (Past Season)
Belt: Forever 21 (SS12)
Shoes: Primark (Past Season)

Transitioning Into Autumn/Winter
Pastels are still very much acceptable this AW, perfect partners for the sophisticatedly sweet fifties look which stalked the runways. Team pastel skinnies and skirts with ladylike lacy tights (or pastel opaques if you’re brave!), heeled brogues and court shoes, and pastel or neutral-shaded knits, jackets and coats in heavier fabrics like wool, boucle and tweed. Boucle/tweed skirts (pencil, tulip or whatever other shape your heart desires) will also look simply gorgeous in pastel shades.

Tomorrow: How to Wear Neon

See more posts featuring pastels here

Follow Me:

 Follow Me On Bloglovin’RSS FeedFacebookInstagramPinterest


  1. wow! the outfits looks amazing *_* you are very beautiful <3 your blog is very lovely and interesting. follow? imm glad if you visit my blog, too <3 keep in touch!


    1. Thank you so much :) I really like your style too, am following you now, would love if you followed me too! xx