Archive for Monday, March 21, 2011


Mass St. Chic: Citrus chartreuse among new spring color schemes

March 21, 2011


This spring, relinquish your all black-and-white clothing mentality. Wave the white flag and make amends with the enemy — color! Your look can be instantly transformed from season to season by making simple adjustments and selecting clothing of different colors. I have previously offered some tips regarding spring color trends. Read on for more spring outfit ideas and color combinations that make for fresh, fun spring dressing.

Color Cues:

Get a speedy spring wardrobe makeover simply by adding a few fresh colors to your daily wear. Look out for separates and accessories in shades of cream, seashell pink, light-mustard yellow and my favorite — citrus chartreuse. Not familiar with the shade? It is a refreshing shade of lime green, named after the French liqueur of the same hue. Pair your chartreuse clothing items with bright whites for a super crisp look. For a few examples, consult Christopher Kane Spring 2011 Ready-to-Wear.

Pattern Play:

If you love classic nautical style but are sick of so many navy blue stripes, wide-leg trousers and white accessories, reinterpret this look for an equally chic update. Use similar color combinations to maintain a pleasant color palette or trade out one color for another. For a sporty, nautical look, insert a clean, turquoise green (keep matching accessories simple and clothing shapes traditional). Still resemble a sailor? Take one step further by utilizing patterns and prints. For a perfect example, check out Rodarte Spring 2011 Ready-to-Wear. In this collection, the traditional designs and white and blue color combinations of traditional Ming vases are reflected onto the clothes.

Lighten your load:

For a more modest use of color in your spring wardrobe, layer separates of similar shades — not too matchy-matchy, but definitely a conscious dressing decision. Right now I love the combination of whites and greys with metallic accessories and, oftentimes, a few subtle feminine pieces mixed in, like a soft mauve blouse. For another light color palette, I use colors like tan, beige and pale green. See Dries Van Noten and Jil Stuart Spring 2011 Ready-to-Wear for good examples of these color combinations.

Styling tips:

Regardless of the color of your outfit, don’t neglect other important elements that create successful personal styles overall. Utilize seasonal fabrics while you can, like lightweight knitwear and sheer lace garments. Also, keep clothing shapes modern — trade your skinny jeans for some wide-leg pants and try wearing a skirt in the hippest new length, right above the ankle.

— Caitlin Donnelly can be reached at


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