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Whether you agree or not, we’ve now all heard that it’s perfectly acceptable to wear your white jeans after Labor Day and even into the winter, but what’s this I see… Pastels in winter, too? Your mother might have a hard time believing this, but there’s good news for those of us looking to lighten up this season.

InStyle’s January 2013 cover shows an icy Chanel look.


From the runway to your closet. How will you interpret the trend? (photo source:

Pastels are not just for Easter anymore! Springing up on magazine covers and talk shows everywhere, they are all the rage these days. These yummy resort hues can and should be worked into your wardrobe now. How’s that for being thrifty! Get more mileage out of those pretty pastels by pairing them with neutral winter hues, like your creamy winter-whites, yummy heather greys, or the always go-to camels and blacks.

Love how this bag lightens things up a bit.
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Fresh Mint

This mint green and camel ensemble is fresh! (photo source:

My perennial favorite, the blouse, would be a great investment if you are expanding your fashion palette to embrace pastels. Wear it with leather leggings and a furry vest until your inner thermostat tells you it is okay to bust out the white jeans. In the photo below, see how you can wear mint green now…

Hint of mint for now. DVF Kelly blouse, $189,; Alice + Olivia Azura Convertible Fur Vest, $319,; Helmut Lang black stretch leather leggings, $840,; Chloé Lana suede pumps, $364,; Michael Kors Gia ostrich-effect leather clutch, $450,, Chanel Vintage Quilted CC Long Necklace in Gold, $1665,, Vila Plum Scarf, $46,

And again later in spring with a change in accessories and pants.

That same mint blouse with a more spring styling. DVF Kelly blouse, $189,; 7 for All Mankind The Skinny, $200,; Le Silla Nude Patent Leather Platform Peep Toes, $495, from;  Chloé Sally textured leather shoulder bag, $1,695,; Rhinestone Bow Tie Earrings in gold, $60,

Blue hues that beat the winter blues.

Feeling a little daring? Opt for a more fashion-forward color block look by pairing pastels with this season’s hottest, rich and more somber colors. Couplings like pink and burgundy, cobalt and ice blue, emerald and mint green are not only acceptable but make that splash of spring look more deliberate and thoughtful.

Oscar de la Renta belted wool-crepe dress, $597, (note: sold out); Coast Alissa Coat, blue, $185,; Rockport Women’s Shoes, Presia tall boots, $240,

Fur and pastels.

When playing in the pastel color box, it is important to be mindful of texture and weight. Leave your eyelet, lace and linen for later and either look to pastel pieces in more substantial fabrics like leather, chunky knits, suede, velvet and wool, or carefully pair your spring standards with warmer wear.

Love this look from another favorite fashion blog, Atlanta-Pacific, showing how well fur can pair with a pastel, muted palate.
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Pink for winter.

Yes, you can think pink now…

Cameo Rose Shell Pink Skater Dress, $37,; grey military funnel-neck coat $88,; Wolford matte opaque tights in black, $52,; Givenchy black suede Zip Heels, $595,, Emilio Pucci burgundy square clutch, $870,; Kate Spade New York “All Wrapped Up” glass pearl short necklace, $128,

And later, the same pink dress is primed for spring.

Cameo Rose Shell Pink Skater Dress, $37,; Rupert Sanderson high heel platform pumps, $440,; Asprey Regent Envelope Clutch in Faded Coral Python, $3,870,; GUESS by Marciano, Rosa Collar Necklace, $78,

Pastel Accessories

Accessory and beauty departments are picking up the trend, offering chic choices from head to toe. So if you are looking to ease into the trend, try a polish change or a little lilac on your lid.

Pastel beauty updates.
Nars Eyeshadow, $27, asos.comLemon EyeShadow, $5,; Tom Ford Lip Color in Spanish Pink, $48,; Chanel Le Vernis nail colour,

Pastel accessories to wear now. Nly Shoes, Annie, $32,; The Cambridge Satchel Company, Upwardly Mobile Satchel in Mint,13″, $175,; Adrianne’s Chunky Abstract Shape light blue stone bracelet, $44,; Alexis Bittar Neon Yellow Lucite Teardrop Earrings, $85 (no longer available, but similar pair here, Lavender Pashmina, $14,

Local Sources for Pastel Pick-me-ups:

Your Birmingham Editor Catherine has spotted lots of pretty pastel pieces around town that are just begging to be worn now, too!


Lighten up in this tunic by Calypso at M Lavender.
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 And, I predict we’ll see at least a few more pastel dresses on the red carpet this awards season, too.

Jessica Chastain in pastel Calvin Klein on the red carpet at the Golden Globes
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So whether it’s a springtime something you are bringing to the forefront of your winter wardrobe, or perhaps a nod you give toward the runway as you settle on a cozy coat in a powdery hue, for the moment, the pastels have it. Everyone can do it, just follow a few simple rules and embrace the opportunity to let your pastel pieces work double-duty this winter and into the sunny spring and summer months ahead. Celebrate another fashion rule worth breaking during this season. Be bold by being soft and most importantly, ladies, be warm!


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