How to wear neon: 9 Style Panel tips for including fluorescent hues in even the most neutral wardrobes

How to wear neon Style Panel
How to wear neon Style Panel

Once relegated to summer camps and dress up parties, neon has been making its may back into the forefront of fashion over the past few seasons. Especially with this season’s nineties crazy, even the brightest fluorescent hues have even become near basics.

Seen prominently on many of this summer’s music festival attendees, neon appeared on everything from bra tops to the ever-popular Cambridge satchel. Neon was popular with celebrities as well, spotted on Serena Williams’s nails to Gwyneth Paltrow’s heels.

On the Spring 2013 runways, neon appeared with creative pops in Peter Pilotto’s ruffled dresses and bright prints on Kenzo’s jungle print jumpsuits and Christopher Kane’s Frankenstein shirts. For Fall 2013, the unexpected cold weather hue makes its return with 3.1 Phillip Lim and Rag & Bone’s brightly hued motorcycle style jackets.

Since the trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, the girls from Style Panel are sharing key tips on how to wear neon this season and beyond.

Never having tried the trend, Dainty Girl’s Nicole Wilson works neon into her outfit with brightly coloured yellow heels. In the same vein, both Suburban Faux-Pas’s Krystin Lee and Born Lippy’s Melanie Morais suggests wearing neon in moderations, while pairing it with neutrals. If you’re still unsure on how to wear neon, Canadian Fashionista’s Amber Desilets advises to start with something simple like accessories. Nothing like a neon necklace or neon belt to really make your everyday outfits stand out and on trend.

Question 61: How do you wear neon? Read the answers now!


How to wear neon Nicole Wilson

Nicole Wilson, 29
Toronto | Dainty Girl

I love bold pops of colour in my summer wardrobe, but I don’t want it to be overwhelming. Most of the time, I work neon in to my outfits through jewellery or a chic little clutch, but as soon as I saw these neon yellow shoes, I knew they would bring the perfect pop of neon to my summer looks! This is the kind of neon I can wear to work without blinding my co-workers!

Blue and neon yellow are both hot colours this season and I love the way they look together! As soon as I saw this dolman sleeve dress in rich cobalt blue, I knew it would be the perfect match for my shoes. The simple shape and design of the dress leaves the door open for a variety of playful accessories.

My neon yellow clutch was a natural companion to the neon yellow shoes and creamy cabochon jewellery tied in perfectly without distracting from the main event!

Nicole’s wearing: Dress, Clutch & Bracelet, Ann Taylor. Shoes, Boohoo

How to wear neon Melanie Morais

Melanie Morais, 25
Edson, AB | BornLippy

I’ve always been a fan of the neon trend and the 90’s child in me makes me so happy that it carries on to each summer. The great thing about neon is that despite the intense brightness, I think there is a shade for everyone. With that being said, wearing the right shade for you head to toe is a big no no. The key to pulling off neon is wearing it in moderation. It has to be paired with something neutral. My go to item that I constantly go for when I’m wearing neon is chambray. Chambray is such a flattering compliment to basically all neon colours!”

Melanie’s wearing: Chambray button up shirt, Joe Fresh. Pants, Gap. Flats, Aldo. Sunglasses, Ray Ban

How to wear neon Stephanie Koch

Stephanie Koch, 27
Kelowna via Calgary | Inherited Jeans

For me, the key to using neon in an outfit and not looking childish or a blast from the 80’s past is to keep things simple. This silk t-shirt dress is understated despite being a bright blue, and I added a neon necklace in yellow as a contrast. By keeping everything simple neon can come off as sophisticated with a dash of fun rather than childish.

Stephanie’s wearing: Dress, Wilfred by Aritzia. Sandals, Michael by Michael Kors. Sunglasses, Joe Fresh. Necklace, Ell & Emm. Cuff, Aldo.

How to wear neon Amber Desilets

Amber Desilets, 30
London, ON | Canadian Fashionista

As with most trends, the easiest way is to incorporate neon into your wardrobe would be through accessories, like a neon scarf, belt, shoes, handbag or jewellery and this is also a simple and inexpensive ways to add a punch of colour to any outfit. Feeling a little more daring, try wearing neon with your neutrals; take a neon top and pair it with browns, whites or blacks and make it be the focal point of your outfit. This is a great way to add a pop of colour to an otherwise pretty simple outfit. Finally, and my favourite way, is to colour block it will other neon shades, combining two trends at once. I took a classic hot pink, button up shirt and paired it with bright, neon, floral shorts from Zara’s, but kept my shoes and handbag neutral letting the clothing do the talking, creating the perfect bold yet chic look.

Amber’s wearing: Tank, Smart Set. Shirt, Old Navy. Necklace, The Bay. Bracelet, RW&Co. Bracelet, Aldo. Purse, Michael Kors. Watch, Guess. Shorts, Zara. Shoes, Urban Originals.

How to wear neon Mo Handahu

Mo Handahu, 29
Halifax | Lion Hunter

Contrary to my closet being filled with bright hues and bold prints, I haven’t been a huge fan of the neon trend. I’ve loved seeing amazing street style and models strutting it on the runways, however, the thought of seeing neon against my skin tone makes me cringe a little. I blame it on the nineties when neon was as far as the eye could see and surprisingly as a teenager at the time I stayed away from the trend even if it made me an outsider. Now that I’m older and not afraid of trying a trend at least once, this week’s challenge presented an opportunity for me to wear a neon pink lipstick. I picked up Wet n Wild’s “Don’t Blink Pink” and I must confess that I am in love with it! It has a matte consistency, which I prefer, it complimented my bronzed hair well and it stayed in place when I pursed my lips. I’m still on the fence with neon clothing but at least I’ve fallen for a neon lipstick and that has to count for something.

How to wear neon Krystin Lee

Krystin Lee, 26
Toronto | Suburban Faux-Pas

I am a huge fan of all things neon. Whether it’s a bright pink or the perfect shade of chartreuse, I am always on board. This skirt was a great find as it often works double-duty at the office and on my days off. Paired with a solid white shirt I relied on accessories to add some punch to the outfit. An ornate necklace and bold pumps help bring the outfit together and truly add proportion to the neon.

Krystin’s wearing: Shirt, Ann Taylor. Skirt, Forver 21. Shoes, L.A.M.B. Bag, Alexander Wang. Sunglasses, Karen Walker. Necklace, Emerald Bling. Bracelets, J. Crew and Lauren Elan

How to wear neon Kayla Short

Kayla Short, 26
Halifax | Short Presents

From the front, this crew-neck lace dress appears to be quite conservative, but once turned around the neon grosgrain detailing along the exposed zipper on the back and the dropped sides offer up a completely different look: one that I find quite playful.

I typically tend to shy away from wearing neon yellow or green around my face, as I find it to be too harsh for my skin tone (I’m more of mustard yellow wearing kind of gal), but this doesn’t mean that I can’t wear pops of bright color here and there. For instance, I might do a neon bracelet, or some brightly hued nail polish/lipstain or better yet a purse (I’m still looking for the perfect neon crossbody bag).

Kayla’s wearing: Dress, Funktional Venice via Shopbop. Bracelet: Short Presents Etsy Shoppe. Lipstain, Revlon Just Bitten in “Love Stick.” Shoes, Mudd via Kohls. Sunglasses, Joe Fresh. Clutch, Silver Daisy Boutique.

How to wear neon Barbara Ann Solomon
Photography by Trevor Negin

Barbara Ann Solomon, 25
Toronto | Barbara Ann’s Style Blog

I think colour is an amazing way to brighten up your day and this neon trend is so versatile and makes quite the statement. I like to dress neon up and wear it in the office. When I style neons I try to keep them as the hero and pair with basics and neutrals. Cut and fit are the two key factors to look at when choosing neon for work or party outfit. If this dress were fitted, then it could totally be party worthy, but as it’s rather loose its perfect for the workplace or any weekend brunch.

Barbara’s wearing: Dress, Diane Von Furstenberg. Flats, Michael Kors. Necklace, Joe Fresh. Purse,vintage. Ear cuff, Urban Outfitters.

How to wear neon Christina Cravero

Christina Cravero, 27
Toronto | The Style Mogul

Neon has to be one of my favourite shades for the summer! The feelings you get when you put on neon is something you don’t exactly get with any other shade! The truth is we’re all a tad bit scared of head-to-toe neon, which is why I highly suggest that you chose one color that is your favourite and go from there. Try pairing it with a neutral color, like white or black or even tan. From there you can transition into something a little more out of your zone, and try to match colors (i.e. pink & orange or yellow and pink). You have to keep in mind that 80s neon and this seasons neon are extremely different. I mean when I think of 80s neon I’m thinking a full on neon leotard with hot pink eyeshadow and lips! These days we’re looking at neon in a softer more girly perspective. And lastly, for those who are still not ready to plunge into neon, remember that neon accessories can take an ordinary white on white outfit or even a H2T black outfit and add that extra pop.

Christina’s wearing: Top, BCBG Runway. Shorts, clutch and shoes, Zara. Bracelet, Ann Taylor. Sunglasses, Ray Ban

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