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How To Wear Spring's Pastel Shades Without Looking Like An Easter Basket

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A combination of laziness and practicality makes me gravitate toward neutral colors, particularly in the winter. In an attempt to step outside my comfort zone, I decided to make a conscious effort to incorporate more interesting hues into my everyday wardrobe, and quickly learned that pastels, which are big for spring 2019, were the route of least resistance. Wearing them without looking like an Easter basket, however, was more of a challenge.

This season, there are two hues in particular that I have gravitated towards: mint and lilac — both separately and together. Though they may be opposites on the color wheel, they look surprisingly coordinated when styled just right. The key is the ways you mix materials and prints to avoid pairing them in a way that feels forced or clashing. If you're eager to stash your tired winter clothes, incorporating these fresh 2019 colors into your closet helps expedite the transition to spring. Here's how to style them like an adult.

Mint

Seen at Burberry, Marc Jacobs, and Jacquemus, mint is the easiest way to embrace the broader green trend. Available in a range of saturations, from almost-cream to nearly neon, it offers a multitude of styling opportunities. In general, keeping the silhouette simple helps to minimize the sweetness of a pastel, and mint is no different. I opted for a simple midi slip dress version from UK brand, Rixo. (Extra bonus; it's a great option to have on hand for spring weddings.)

Courtesy of Burberry

To avoid looking too girly, I paired it with an oversized periwinkle hoodie and combat boots, but a blazer and loafers would work just as well. (Keep in mind that mint looks best paired with anything in the cold color family.)

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The benefits of a slip dress are plentiful, not least of which is the fact it can be worn with a multitude of layers in cold weather, or simple sandals once the temperatures spike.

A little more interesting than a traditional crewneck, this ribbed hoodie gives a subtle nod to spring's California trend.

Lilac

Shown at Tibi, Valentino, and Emilia Wickstead to name a few, lilac is a welcome reprieve from winter's navy's, blacks, and denim blues. You may already own a piece in the mauve hue, given that it also graced the runways last spring. It pairs surprisingly well with unexpected colors like camel and red, but again, blue is its most versatile and effortless partner.

Courtesy of Emilia Wickstead

I found a Baum und Pferdgarten dress in a lilac floral print which featured long sleeves and pockets (!) which I teamed with neutral heeled boots for height. Topped with a denim puffer — an easy update to the ubiquitous denim jacket — the resulting look is casual and relaxed.

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This breezy dress will also look right at home on a beach come summer.

Warm and rugged, this denim puffer is the perfect blend of cool and practical.

The Combination

Finally — now stay with me here because it's about to get crazy — I paired mint and lilac together. Why not go whole hog in a desperate attempt to pretend spring has already sprung? I kept the pieces simple, a cropped sweater and pencil skirt, and paired them with barely-there sandals. The final product was work-appropriate and surprisingly not too sugary.

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The chunky neckline, cuff and hem of this sweater help it maintain its shape.

This fluttery pencil skirt will also look great with a white tee and sneakers.

Overall, adhering to a few guidelines makes any range of pastels feel accessible and modern. Simply opt for effortless silhouettes, minimal accessories and keep ruffles and sashes to a minimum. If this is a sign of things to come, I might just be wearing neon by March.