Brunettes -- Make a Beeline for Marigold and Mustard
It seems like every fashion-savvy brunette is trying out this sunny-but-sophisticated shade. We love how Marisa Tomei’s marigold Marios Schwab gown perfectly plays off the highlights in her hair.
As she moves from teen sensation to grownup style star, Vanessa Hudgens has been choosing more Old-Hollywood silhouettes on the red carpet. And this marigold confection from Maria Lucia Hohan does as much for her coloring as it does for her image.
Maria Menounos’s sequined Blumarine dress matches her sunny personality -- and brings out the dimension in her trademark brown tresses.
A simple sheath like Maggie Q's demonstrates how to rock the golden color without going overboard.
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Blues Are Meant to be Mixed
A surefire way to mix colors without worrying about clashing? Combine lots of shades of blue, like designer Rachel Roy, who combines jade, sea green and on-trend teal to create a fashion-forward, but surprisingly harmonious, ensemble.
We’re not sure if Sofia Vergara's patterned Missoni gown works so well because it reminds us of the variegated sky and sea, but whatever the reason, we’ll be trying it with separates and prints this spring and summer.
The Vow’s Rachel McAdams’ Peter Som ensemble reads like a list of blue hues. We spy cobalt, cerulean, periwinkle and a dash of aquamarine, to name a few!
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Tame Your Neons with Neutrals
Jessica Alba demonstrates how adding beige, mocha or gray to acidic yellow prevents the color from washing out your complexion.
Since Jordin Sparks -- one of our top contenders for America’s sweetheart -- wore this Yigal Azrouel number last May, half of Hollywood has copied her neon yellow-plus-neutral strategy.
Aussie actress Phoebe Tonkin reverses the formula perfected by Alba and Sparks by using a neon yellow accent to wake up a gray dress. Try the same trick with your own neutrals -- what woman doesn’t have a closet full of ‘em?
What do you wear to Versailles? If you’re fashion risk-taker Claire Danes, you opt for tiers of neon yellow -- tempered by beige to keep the look from skewing too citric acid.
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Add Red Pants to a Printed Blouse
Of any celeb, Rachel Bilson’s taught us the most about how to dress cute on a day to day basis. So, we plan to take a second look at all our printed blouses -- and find one that pairs perfectly with our next purchase: tomato red trousers.
Bilson’s costar on Hart of Dixie, Jaime King, shares the actress's savvy strategy, topping off her red own slacks with a pretty floral blouse. To ace the look yourself, follow the duo's lead by choosing a printed top that has red somewhere within the pattern.
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For Uber-Electrics, Pick a Sheath
As Jessica Chastain demonstrates, acid brights require streamlined and unfussy silhouettes. No ruffles, no embellishment -- just crisp color.
To keep ultra-bright colors from electrocuting your style, choose only the simplest, most tailored shapes. Case in point: Viola Davis’ simple, boatneck Michael Kors.
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Layer a Longer Top Over Colored Shorts
Malibu-born Colbie Caillat owns lots of shorts and knows how to wear ‘em. These peacock blue cuties are no exception -- look how she tones ‘em down with a peachy top.
A surefire way to try out a bright shade like Naomi Watts? Buy a tailored pair of shorts in the hue you love and top them with a longer, blousier top in a neutral shade.
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Outline Your Green with Black
Bright colors that might normally look garish are suddenly elegant when contained by black trim. Charlize Theron agrees: The statuesque South African is the epitome of taste in this silk Reed Krakoff dress.
What keeps Emma Stone’s green Gucci jacket from veering into Thriller territory? A shrunken shape and crisp black trim.
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Pick a Monochromatic Pantsuit
Gossip Girl Blake Lively suited up in Elie Saab to attend an event at Barneys New York. By wearing one hue from shoulder to sole, she looks even longer and leaner than usual. And there isn’t an ‘80s-style floppy tie in sight.
Leave it to Heidi Klum to make a three-piece suit look as easy to wear as jeans and a tee. The key to its comfortable-couture vibe? All three pieces are the same color.
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Black + White + Tomato = Triple Threat
Perhaps the most midcentury of color trios, ripe tomato, black and white combine beautifully in Zoe Saldana’s Rena Lange shift. Look for the same shades in tops, scarves and sweaters for summer 2012.
Olivia Wilde’s take on the three colors is prim and proper, but still a bit spicy.
Amy Adams lets the trio of hues -- her dress is a Roland Mouret creation -- take center-stage with neutral heels and a bare neckline.
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Blue and Yellow is a Breath of Fresh Air
This combo really makes us excited for spring. Like a scene from 1964’s Umbrellas of Cherbourg, the combo is as fresh as a maritime flag -- and we love how Iman gives the preppy hues a dose of sex appeal.
Should we pair a yellow necklace with a peri shell? A yellow blazer with a blue camisole? We have Demi Lovato’s look to hold on to for inspiration.
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Many Hues? Make Sure it’s Sleek
Fireworks, indeed. Candy hues play nicely in Katy Perry’s formfitting Fausto Puglisi dress. Even her smooth hair seems to have gotten the memo that bright shades look best in sleek shapes.
The craziest color schemes only work if you keep it tight. So forgo anything tented, draped or loose, opting instead for a slim-fitting style like Emmy Rossum’s Etro colorblock cocktail dress.
Scuba styling and shocking shades in one dress? Only if the fit is slim and sleek like on Adrienne Bailon -- and the venue is decidedly after-dark.
Our First Lady Michelle Obama really does know all the fashion rules, doesn’t she? By keeping her aqua-and-tangerine ensemble trim and slim, she looks pretty -- not overpowered by color.
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Be a Dream in Tangerine
These days, goddess dressing has a color: Tangerine Tango. Designers are draping Pantone's 2012 Color of the Year into flowing silhouettes (note Beyonce's bump-skimming gown) fit for Aphrodite.
Both a designer and a designers’ darling, Ashley Olsen is a Grecian vision in flowing tangerine.
Was Kelly Rowland inspired by former band-mate Beyoncé in her choice of gown? Regardless, the one-shoulder style is sexy in the breeziest, most goddess-like way.
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Play with Orchid Accents
There’s this pinkish-purple shade (catalogs call it “orchid”) that feels so fresh right now, especially in accessories. Diane Kruger’s clutch is a prime example; it holds its own against a wild mix of colors without hogging too much attention.
Glee star Jayma Mays clearly loves these orchid-colored pumps (they’re ponyskin Brian Atwoods, thank you very much.) Maybe we need a pair of our own to give last summer’s white dresses a makeover...
Photo Credit: Play with Orchid Accents (Photo Courtesy of iVillage)
Blend Seafoam and White
Star of the new series Scandal, Kerry Washington is always spot-on in her selection of clothes -- and colors. And we think she’s hit another home run in seafoam-and-white Missoni.
Twilight actress Nikki Reed looks front row-fabulous in a dress combining seafoam and white.
Adding a touch of white in the form of flowers to Elle Fanning’s Marc Jacobs dress gives results that are perfectly pretty.
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Grape is a New Evening Go-To
Looking back, Charlotte really was our favorite Sex and the City character. And we love that her demure dress code is still alive in Kristin Davis’ pretty red carpet picks, including this Monique Lhuillier, in a grape shade we’re suddenly seeing everywhere.
Our favorite thing about watching Revenge is Madeleine Stowe’s icy stare. Her Vera Wang gown, in that perfect grape shade, combines a bit of that steeliness with a dose of luscious sweetness.
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Consider this a crash course in wearing all the hottest colors -- and color combos -- of the season. Your teachers? The celebs that kill it on the red carpet!
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