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Spring 2012 Color Trends — The Neon Brigade

From fluorescent Reebok Freestyle Hi sneakers to banana yellow trousers, acid green leggings, bright orange cord friendship bracelets, hot pink fishnet fingerless gloves, and cyan blue shutter shades, the fashion fads of the 1980s were arguably the most blinding of any decade. Cyndi Lauper was perhaps the godmother of neon mode, with her two-toned, vermilion-and-canary-yellow hair ‘do, her Mardi Gras-style beaded necklaces, and her tutu-like skirts. But she was hardly the only proponent of the trend — Jane Fonda and Olivia Newton John got physical while clad in neon leotards, running tights, leg warmers and wristbands; the Wham! “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” video was an electric bolt of high-octane color; and even the Rolling Stones donned bright suit jackets, trousers, and button-down shirts on their Dirty Work album cover (yes, Jagger, there’s proof!).

Neon trappings are experiencing a resurgence this season, but designers are not advising us to approach these colors in the excessive, heavy-handed manner that typefied ’80s style.  Instead of piling on bright after bright, creating an ensemble so dizzying, so flashy and psychedelic it makes onlookers feel like they’ve been staring directly into the sun, this season we’re simply peppering otherwise subdued outfits with pops of neon, thereby infusing them with a jolt of whimsy and cheer. Rather than garish acrylic earrings and jelly bracelets, then, we’re seeing expertly constructed clutches, sophisticated platform pumps, and well-tailored summer shorts in perky hues.

Below, you’ll find some of our favorite neon finds for the brighter days ahead!


Jeffrey Campbell Darian Wedge, $159.95. Available at Solestruck.com and UrbanOutfitters.com

The Cambridge Satchel Company The Fluoro , $155. Available at Bloomingdales.com and JCrew.com

Cubannie Links Neon Matanza Bracelets, $32 each. Available at CubannieLinks.com

Rag & Bone Legging in Neon Yellow, $188. Available at Barneys.com

Brian Atwood Alima Neon Patent Leather Pumps, $795. Available at Net-a-Porter.com

Dannijo Cluny Bracelet, $495. Available at Dannijo.com

McQ Alexander McQueen Stepney Tote, $990. Available at Nordstrom.com

girl. by Band of Outsiders Tweed Shorts, $250. Available at ShopLesNouvelles.com

Noir Jewely Dangling Cord Earrings, $106, and Thick Cord & CZ Necklace, $255. Available at NoirJewelry.com


Michael Kors Neon Pink Belted Sheath Dress, $1245. Available at Shopbop.com



Rebecca Minkoff Ostrich Embossed Beau Clutch, $395. Available at RebeccaMinkoff.com

Aida Kibur Silver and Neon Chain Link Necklace, $144. Available at Shopbop.com

Mara Hoffman Neon Party Dress, $305. Available at FarFetch.com

Kendra Scott Rhonda Earrings in Yellow, $90. Available at KendraScott.com

Kelsi Dagger Linzy Pump in Neon Pink, $109. Available at Endless.com

Juicy Couture Color Block Wristlet, $118. Available at JuicyCouture.com

Suno Pleated Shirt Dress, $758. Available at ShopLesNouvelles.com

See by Chloe Twirl Cross Body Bag, $325. Available at Shopbop.com

Lead Jewelry Neon Lead Multi Colored Crystal and Beaded Neckalce , $90. Available at Endless.com

Marc by Marc Jacobs Too Hot To Handle Hobo, $438. Available at BergdorfGoodman.com

Nicholas Kirkwood Lace Detailed Platform Pumps, $839. Available at MyTheresa.com

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