You know the fluorescent trend that came out a year or two ago? I didn’t talk much about it then because I was born in the 80’s and I remember it the first time around, thank you very much. Day-Glo oranges and yellows worn together is kind of frightening and not particularly flattering, but that could be just me.
And in case you’re wondering, I feel the same way about parachute pants.
The touches of fluorescent colors mixed with pastels are lovely! Who knew?
And it got me thinking: if we are going to embark on the fluorescent color train, how do we use them? I can think of three ways off the top of my head.
#1: Fluorescents with neutrals/quasi-neutrals: The brighter or the more saturated the color, the more it’s going to stand out, period. So, why not let it shine nice and bright? Stick with the neutrals (white, black, and gray) or the quietest, dullest shades (the quasi-neutrals) as back-up colors to a single bright hue, and you’ll get that pop of color you want without compromising its brightness or having a color scheme that feels unfinished.
#2: Fluorescents with pastels: If you asked me last week if fluorescents could go with pastels, I would have said nope, but Trendland has convinced me they could definitely work. The trick here is to use fluorescents in small doses so they don’t overwhelm the pastels. The lighter, brighter pastels will then help soften the overall effect of a fluorescent color.
#3: Fluorescents with darks: On the flip side, darker shades will help ground a color scheme and keep brighter colors from feeling too much – too fluffy, too airy, too precious, too trendy. They add a touch of seriousness, so if your color scheme is feeling a little much, go for a dark to match with a bright instead.
As much as I’m discovering I can actually like fluorescent colors, I still think they are best used in small doses. They are so bright and powerful that they can very, very quickly be overwhelming. A little goes a long way, and all that. The thing here to remember is what a fluorescent color is: it’s a super saturated pure hue. It’s going to be bright, it’s going to be bold, and it’s going to grab attention, so use it wisely.
Your turn: would you ever branch out into fluorescent colors? And if so, what would you pair with it?