Fashion: How to wear neon

  • Photo by Tessa Berg
From the April 19, 2012 edition

Sure, neon is hot right now. But what’s not? Too much neon.

As with all trends, it’s true that there can be too much of a good thing. In the case of highlighter-bright colors, the way to wear them (without looking like a fool) is to limit them to small doses here and there.

The easiest way is to incorporate a neon-bright accessory or two — but as you’ll see below, committing to a bright top or pants can be all right, too.

Canvas backpack, $32

Tigertree, 787 N. High St., Short North

Usher in the era of neon in a retro sort of way. Mini-backpacks from Baggu have tons of personality and plenty of space to stash your stuff. Don’t worry about the bag matching what you’re wearing. Throw it on over any casual outfit and go.

Chain-link necklace, $28


Delicate, casual, light and bright all at the same time! Wear it with an otherwise simple outfit to bring a burst of neon, or pair it with your favorite colorful shoes to really make things pop.

Tie bar, $28


Beyond sneakers and tees, working neon in can be a challenge for guys. But wear a bright tie bar with an otherwise plain-looking suit (and a skinny tie, of course), and you’ll be amazed by the reactions you get. When it comes to neon, a little bit can work wonders.

Short-sleeve top, $18

Target (various locations)

With a scene-stealing top or bottom in neon brights, keep the rest of the outfit muted (The pastel colors so popular this spring pair work surprisingly well with their brighter counterparts. Or just stick with jeans). We love the fun detailing on this tee’s neckline, which lightens the mood even more.

Chunky legwarmers, $18

American Apparel, 1221 N. High St., Short North

You’ll stand out in these knit legwarmers, which come with a warning to wash them separately from other clothes. Now that’s bright! Anyone willing to put themselves out there in these has likely already concocted the full outfit.