Thanks to designers like Roksanda Ilincic, Peter Pilotto, and Carven, highlighter hues are alive and well for spring. But, remember: Not all neon is created equal. It's a fine line between rad or bad, which means keeping your look chic will require a bit of styling finesse. So, we did the work for you and put together five non-cheesy outfits perfect for fancy dinners, impromptu rain showers, errand runs, and, yes, even work, too. And, shocker — these new-wave neon ensembles might even have you rethinking your beloved pastels.
Errands are admittedly not our favorite weekend activity. In fact, we'd much rather stay bundled up in bed all morning and then venture out of our homes sometime around 2 p.m. for a hearty brunch with friends. At least in this outfit, we'll feel good about waking up early to trot around town in our best and brightest casual pieces. (Although, donning them for the former is also completely acceptable, if we're calling the shots.)
American Eagle Relaxed Pocket T-Shirt, $10, available at American Eagle; Koral White Cigarette Cropped Jeans, $245, available at Avenue 32; Vans Brushed Twill Authentic Slim, $60, available at Vans; Marc by Marc Jacobs Washed Satin Bomber Jacket, $776, available at MyTheresa; J.Crew Collection Cashmere Zip Front Hoodie, $238, availlable at J.Crew; Etienne Aigner Paperback Flap Shoulder Bag, $495, available at Etienne Aigner.
Think a neon skirt and crop top are the makings of an HR nightmare? Well, think again! Pairing a high-waisted pencil skirt with a midriff-baring top, like this one from Tibi, makes for enough fabric overlap to prevent unwanted skin exposure at the office. Easily take the look from 9-to-5 to happy hour with snakeskin sandals, an edgy choker, and a see-through clutch. The bold, citrus hue will help you stand out (in a good way) at the bar and your weekly team meeting.
Topshop Cord Lace Pencil Skirt, $120, available at Topshop; Loeffler Randall Elke Buckle Sandal, $375, available at Loeffler Randall; Tibi Cluster Beading Crop Top, $345, available at Net-A-Porter; Judith & Charles Cove Coat, $469, available at Judith & Charles; ManiaMania Silver Gold Dust Choker, $239, available at Bona Drag; 202 Factory Medium Transparent Neon Clutch, $70, available at Opening Ceremony.
This not-so-mellow yellow look is the answer to our unspoken lazy-girl desires. Meet up with a special someone for an afternoon movie date, or enjoy a relaxing night in with a few of your nearest and dearest in this casual style. Sweatpants are always a good call for laid-back occasions. And, swapping your heather-gray pair with this electric version will make you feel about 10 times more dressed up than you actually are. Put the finishing touches on the striking ensemble with metallic d'orsay flats and a hologram, leather crossbody.
Coach Bailey Moto Jacket, $1,598, available at Coach; Milly Miley Crossbody, $265, available at Milly; Jenni Kayne Paisley-Print Metallic Canvas d'Orsay Flats, $525, similar style available at Saks Fifth Avenue; Zara Trousers with Ribbed Waistband, $59.90, available at Zara; Miss Selfridges Neon Yellow Lace Top, $35, available at Miss Selfridges; Holst + Lee Glass Menagerie Crystal Stud Earring, $75, available at Holst + Lee.
Totally obsessed with the art-pop trend that took the spring '14 catwalks by storm? Channel Céline, Prada, and Co. with a graphic sweatshirt; cherry-red, wide-legged trousers; and an interestingly beaded clutch. The blend of primary colors here is totally harmonious. Be sure to keep your shoe game in neutral territory, but absolutely break out your kookiest pair of Karen Walker sunnies to complement your runway-inspired outfit.
être cécile Neon Floral Crop Front Sweater, $199.37, available at My-Wardrobe; Amanda Wakeley Dafina Wide Leg Pant, $536.05, available at Amanda Wakeley; Nanette Lepore Lust for You Clutch, $248, available at Nanette Lepore; Karen Walker Sunglasses, $329, available at Shopbop; Forever 21 Retro Pointed Pumps, $29.80, available at Forever 21.
Trust us: Neons can be just as feminine as candy-coated pastels. And, a bright-pink, sequined halter dress layered over a bow-embellished white blouse is just the ticket for April's tricky, transitional weather. Don't forget an equally flashy raincoat and comfy kicks to battle those impromptu showers.
Suno Neon Coated Chiffon Jacket, $280, available at The Outnet; Elizabeth and James Sling Backpack, $445, available at Saks Fifth Avenue; Uniqlo Women Rayon Bow Tie Long Sleeve Blouse, $29.90, available at Uniqlo; French Connection Sweet Mix Sequin Halter Dress, $371.12, available at John Lewis; Comme des Garçons Play Converse High Top Canvas Sneakers, $100, available at Forward.