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The neon conundrum

It’s the ghost of Wham! videos past. Or at least that’s how some might view the comeback of neon colors.

It’s the ghost of Wham! videos past. Or at least that’s how some might view the comeback of neon colors.

If the fall ’09 runways were any indication, the trend is on the cusp of its tipping point after flirting with popularity for the past two years.

Call it a by-product of fashion’s current crush on all things ’80s. Whether or not that is a good or bad thing depends on whom you ask (and which designer’s work you’re looking at.) Technically, we can thank Stephen Sprouse and Marc Jacobs for the return of fluorescent colors.

Jacobs produced a hugely popular retrospective of the late American designer’s iconic Day-Glo bright graffiti prints for Louis Vuitton before using similar colors in his own signature women’s wear collection. The happening ended up being a signal of a larger trend to come. It also brings a set of problems: How best to wear it without looking ridiculous or burning someone’s retinas?

1. Accessorize, accesorize
Wearing a bold neon handbag, pair of shoes, cuff bracelet or scarf as a statement accessory is the easiest way to rock the neon trend with the lowest amount of risk. It’s also a great way to give your existing wardrobe an on-trend update. Best of all, it can give a basic, everyday outfit such as jeans and a T-shirt or an all-black ensemble an extra kick.

2. Let your nails make a statement
If you don’t want to shell out major money for Day-Glo clothing or accessories, do like recording artists such as M.I.A. and Ebony Bones and stock up on neon nail colors. It makes a credit-crunch friendly way to experiment with the trend without fully committing to it.
OPI has a selection of fun bright colors such as Flamingo Pink ($11).

3. Go full-on
If you choose to wear a full-on fluorescent look, it’s best to go with a strong single item (a dress, trousers, skirt or jacket, for example) rather than a complete outfit of Day-Glo separates and matching accessories. Accessorize with a whole lot of confidence.

 
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