Pretty in Pastels…Without Wanting to Puke

A big trend this season is pastels.  There are few people out there who think of pastel colors without getting that sick feeling in their stomach or the taste of saccharine on their tongue.  

While yellow isn’t a color that most people choose as their favorite, pink has been voted by many as their most disliked color. It stands to reason as pink is a color that psychologically evokes feelings of agression and agitation.   In fact, I will tell you a funny story I was told by a woman who is an architect of prisons.  Long ago, because it was believed that pink was a soothing color, many prisons put their inmates in the color.  Yet, this all changed when further research did prove that while pink does in fact soothe people and make them happy, when stared at for too long, people got angered and agitated.  Now you will notice prisoners will usually wear yellow or orange, two happier colors.

Of course, pink isn’t the only pastel color out there, every color in the rainbow can be made into a pastel if enough white is added to the shade.  Few look good in pastels, however.  Those who do need to have the same soft coloring in their own personal appearance otherwise they will look washed out, sick or pallid.  Unless you are under the age of two, or are someone whose style just personifies a pastel color palette, you are better off wearing this trend in small doses, if at all.  As an accent, a pastel shade can add some soft life to an outfit you are wearing, can add femininity to a stronger look or can make you seem more approachable.   However, pastels can also be seen as passive colors.  I wouldn’t recommend wearing a pastel shade (especially in large doses) if you’re looking to be taken seriously.

If you are someone who wants to add some pastels to your wardrobe, without getting nauseous, here are some ways you can do it.

Minty Orange
The orange and navy in this outfit are bold and strong.  With the addition of a softer mint colored shoe, the outfit is softened.  And, given the fact that the mint shade is nowhere near the face, this is a great way for a person whose coloring isn’t suitable to pastel shades can wear the color.
Teal and Pink
The dark teal shade of this dress can be a bit dark and heavy for summer if some lightness isn’t brought in.  The pink accessories lighten this look up and also add a touch of femininity to the overall look.  Additionally, the darker teal shade cuts the level of sweetness of the shoes and purse which creates a greater balance.
Peach and Grey
Peach is a hot pastel for spring and summer and nothing cuts the saccharine flavor of peace better than grey.  The peach also adds adds a soft feminine touch to this more somber of all over grey.  Peach, having some warmer tones, can also be a better pastel shade for those who don’t look as good in soft blues or pinks.  There is more yellow in peach than in pink or blue (which are more blue based), making it an easier color for some to wear near their face.
Colored Jeans with Grey
As a tonal accent to a pair of colored jeans, the softer pink scarf pops this outfit which would be a lot more serious and less feminine if it wasn’t there.  Additionally, the burgundy colored jeans cuts the sweetness of the scarf and, again, more balance is achieved.
Mint and Blue Cocktail
If you do want to wear pastels as an all over look, but feel the color is too light or too washed out, another way to do it is to bring in more anchored colors to the look to ground it a bit.  In this case, I used a cobalt blue to tone down the lightness of the dress.   This is a great solution for those who want to wear pastels but feel their coloring would look better if there were some darker colors mixed in.