Pastel hues — lemony yellow, Dreamsicle orange, minty green — seem to have melted designers’ hearts for spring. But unlike the Necco Wafers you probably snarfed as a child, these shades aren’t saccharine. “They’ve got a kind of lighten-up attitude, but they’re not kiddie candy,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the color-forecasting Pantone Institute. “They can be sophisticated and have this lovely faded quality, like something you’d pull from Grandma’s cedar chest.” Still, to assure you look like 2012, not 1912, mix and match shades (lavender with mint, buttercup with tangerine). And know that, like anything this sweet, a little goes a long way.
1. Mood Indigo: Marc by Marc Jacobs top and Vince pants ($198 and $225, Bloomingdale’s, 5300 Western Ave., Chevy Chase, Md.; 240-744-3700) with Alexis Bittar earrings, Vera Wang Lavender Label shoes (both $275, Shoe Hive, 127 S. Fairfax St., Alexandria; 877-548-7106), a pink belt and coral ring ($24 and $30, South Moon Under, 2700 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington; 703-807-4083).
2. Long on Style: Calpyso mint maxi dress ($440, Ginger Boutique, 7114 Bethesda Lane, Bethesda; 301-664-9242 ), Free People sweater ($78, Bloomingdale’s), Juicy Couture shoes, a mint ring, a gold ring ($250, $159 and $168, Shoe Hive) and a delicate necklace ($40, Periwinkle, 1557 Potomac Greens Drive, Alexandria; 703-519-5242).
3. Denim Redone: Purple jean jacket, Hudson jeans ($198 and $154, Bloomingdale’s), chunky necklace ($170, Hysteria, 125 S. Fairfax St., Alexandria; 703-548-1615), Alexis Bittar earrings ($235, Shoe Hive) and Belle Sigerson Morrison flats ($195, Shoe Hive).
4. Mini Mint: Tibi romper ($395, Bloomingdale’s), sunglasses ($20, South Moon Under), pink stone necklace ($275, Shoe Hive), ivory bangles ($28-$40, Hysteria) and Bettye Muller cap toe pumps ($368, Simplysoles.com).
5. Patchworking Girl: Rebecca Taylor dress ($425, Piperlime.com), earrings and ring ($575 and $695, Shoe Hive) and Butter peep toe pumps ($310, Shoe Hive).