Experts weigh in on the one fashion trend everyone can follow (even if you're wearing sweats).

By Jamila Stewart
Feb 18, 2021 @ 3:41 pm
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Despite the fact that the ongoing pandemic has transformed Fashion Week into a mostly-virtual experience, it hasn't stopped designers from being innovative, or coming up with creative, must-try trends. Take last September's streamable group of shows and events, for instance, which provided us with cool cutouts and playful poet blouses, as well as an uplifting color palette for spring 2021.

"As we embraced an optimistic point of view for spring 2021, so did many designers. We saw a sea of bold, bright colors in a multitude of fabrics and textures," Libby Page, Senior Market Editor at NET-A-PORTER, tells InStyle. "Everything from sunshine yellow to citrus orange and hot pink will prevail for spring."

There are also tons of experimental styling tricks when it comes to wearing the season's best colors. Expect an update to classic colorblocking, as well as a new addition to spice up your collection of neutrals.

After nearly a year of reaching for basic sweatsuits and loungewear, the industry's top designers seem to unanimously agree that it's time embrace fun and hope through anything-but-beige. Ahead, industry experts, from buyers and fashion directors, share the color trends and combinations worth looking into ahead of the warmer weather. You may even feel inspired to get a head start, working these specific shades into your winter wardrobe in the meantime.

The New Colorblocking

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According to Celenie Seidel, Senior Womenswear Editor at Farfetch, this season is all about having fun with new color combinations.

"During a time when wardrobe foundations make more sense than ever, minimalism has received an update from Spring 2021's introduction of strong block colors" she tells InStyle. "Colorblocking often involves clashing brights, but this season, the pairing of a saturated bold color with a soft pastel feels new and uplifting."

Seidel adds that Fendi's Spring collection is the perfect point of inspiration, with powdery blues juxtaposed against bright oranges, and a striking reds against baby pinks.

Bold Red

While Page listed a wide variety of hues to add our wardrobes this season, she notes that red in particular will be among the most prevalent of microtrends, incorporated into "modern, elegant, and eye-catching designs."

Each representation of the color on the spring 2021 runway felt unique: Sporty and punchy at David Koma, poppy and extravagant at Christian Siriano, and utilitarian at Kenzo. Page suggests pairing red with neutral sandals and accessories for a toned-down, more digestible look.

Vibrant Orange

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Spring collections from Dion Lee, Marques' Almeida, and Christopher John Rogers all align with FWRD's Senior Buyer's color of the moment, vibrant orange.

"Don't be afraid to wear [it]," Rebecca Brewer tells InStyle. "I love pairing this punchy hue with a neutral — think camel, brown, or army green."

If you're open to taking on this trend from a colorblocking standpoint, Brewer recommends adding in a little pink. We're not saying it's the most unexpected color combo yet, but we're not saying it's not, either.

Sunset Pink

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Ariel Sibioni, Women's RTW Fashion Director at Bloomingdale's suggests sunset hues, especially pink, will lift fashion to a happier place in 2021.

"Isabel Marant sent a ton of head-to-toe pink looks down the runway and I am confident this is going to be a big color for spring," Sibioni says, adding that a variety of shades are up for grabs. "The brighter pink tones are perfect for summer resort wear, such as swimsuits, easy dresses, and matching sets."

Summer Whites

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Even as fashion turns to color in the coming months, Tiffany Hsu, Fashion Buying Director at MyTheresa says that summer white is the neutral that prevails, pointing out cutout styles from Jacquemus and Khaite.

"Ultimately, you should invest also in a crisp white shirt for summer, which never goes out of style and you can keep in your closet forever," Hsu says. "It is versatile and works with everything, [whether you're] dressing up or down."

The trendsetter also recommends pairing your white ensembles with raffia accessories, which are sure to sweep Instagram feeds as the weather becomes warmer.

Pastels as Neutrals

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How do you build color into a minimalist wardrobe? When it comes to welcoming an exciting addition into a sea of blacks, grays, and browns, Lisa Aiken, MODA Operandi Buying and Fashion Director, has the answer: Pastels, namely dusty pinks and buttery yellows.

"When it comes to styling these colors, it's best to consider which outfit formulas already work well for you," Aiken tells InStyle. "An engineered knit plus a sumptuous leather Bermuda short is universally flattering."

This is Ask the Experts, where our favorite fashion know-it-alls share their wisdom. Just because you can trust your style instincts doesn't mean you should have to.