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How To Wear Butter Yellow, The Biggest Color Trend Of The Summer

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Photo: COURTESY OF 3.1 PHILLIP LIM.
As we look ahead to sunnier spring days, a fitting new color trend is on the horizon. Butter yellow has been populating the runways, the high street and fashion TikTok. True to its appetizing namesake, this hue falls in the middle of the spectrum between beige and bright yellow, giving it a fresh, wearable take on the controversial primary color.
Compared to its brighter counterparts (à la dopamine dressing) a muted butter yellow is much easier to pair with other colors in your wardrobe. Especially adaptable for those who are color averse, butter yellow is the perfect spring neutral — and not just reserved for special occasions or high summer, as primary yellow often is. Just as a citrusy handbag can create a low-key statement, a creamy yellow shirt will go a long way as a basic staple. This trend is all about minimalist impact. 
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Earlier this year, Loewe’s butter yellow pin dress gained popularity when Aubrey Plaza wore the SS24 piece to the 2023 Emmy Awards, followed by FKA twigs on the April 2024 cover of British Vogue. The color reigned supreme elsewhere on the spring/summer 2024 runways, too, from 3.1 Phillip Lim’s expertly crafted three-piece suit to silk-thin butter yellow layers from brands like Zimmermann and Collina Strada.
While yellow can be as polarizing as the skinny jeans debate — from the fear of it clashing with yellow undertones and lighter hair colors to the understanding that it’s the color for Black women — butter yellow is quietly putting this all to bed.  Spring couldn’t be a better time for us all to get into our pastel eras. So, while we manifest May flowers from all these April showers, explore runway styling tips and editor picks that are sure to satisfy your butter yellow cravings ASAP.

A Butter Yellow Suit

Courtesy of 3.1 Phillip Lim.
3.1 Phillip Lim Spring/Summer 2024
Dressing in any color from head to toe is a bold move, but a butter yellow suit makes for a subtle flex. While the light tone won’t feel like an overcommitment (i.e., you likely won’t be mistaken for a banana) you will make a statement nonetheless. Plus it’s a great color for the warmer months. Take notes from 3.1 Phillip Lim and pair with light-colored shoes and accessories.

A Butter Yellow Dress

Photo Courtesy of Collina Strada.
Collina Strada Spring/Summer 2024
Picture a zen version of Beyonce’s Lemonade and you’ve got a flowy, butter yellow dress. Expect to see lots of buttery smocks  this spring and summer at weddings, holidays and on the street for everyday wear. Compared to bright yellows, which may not feel appropriate for every occasion, butter yellow is as versatile as it gets. Any shoe goes.
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A Butter Yellow Top

Photo Courtesy of Sandy Liang.
Sandy Liang Spring/Summer 2024
Get on *top* of the trend with a butter yellow vest, sweater, cardigan or shirt. Opt for a silhouette that you’re already familiar with and know will suit your wardrobe, and then work from there. Soon you’ll be able to layer ’em for a buttery, sophisticated vibe, as demonstrated on Sandy Liang’s spring runway.

Butter Yellow Pants

Photo Courtesy of Getsuz
If head-to-toe color is outside your comfort zone, you can still channel the breezy summer vibes of butter yellow with a pair of lightweight pants. Alternatively, opt for jeans in the pastel hue to take denim into your warm-weather wardrobe.

A Butter Yellow Jacket

Photo Courtesy of Paloma Wool.
Paloma Wool Spring/Summer 2024
If you’re in the market for a spring coat or jacket, there’s a butter yellow style out there for you. The hue’s shape-shifting neutrality goes a long way when it comes to outerwear and will give any outfit a head-turning boost. Follow Paloma Wool’s lead with a Western-style denim jacket (and maybe even a matching skirt).

A Butter Yellow Skirt

Photo Courtesy of Molly Goddard.
Molly Goddard Spring/Summer 2024
Butter yellow is to skirts what gold is to jewellery: It just makes sense. From Molly Goddard’s voluminous butter yellow maxi skirts, to Anna Sui’s quilted minis on the spring runways, the consensus is that this feminine shade is a skirting win. Styling tip: Don’t be afraid to mix a butter yellow skirt with other yellow tones. More is more!

Butter Yellow Accessories

Photo Courtesy of Christopher Esber.
Christopher Esber Spring/Summer 2024
Want to dip your toe in the butter before going all in? Creamy yellow handbags, shoes, and jewellery will add a touch of color to any outfit without drawing eyes to them immediately. Once you start letting the tone into your wardrobe, don’t be surprised when you end up dripping in butter yellow, click Christopher Esber’s chic head-to-toe look.

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