The Day The World Turned Day Glo aka How To Wear Neon

You know when you hear a fashion trend being discussed and dissected on Woman’s Hour that it’s definitely escaped from the refined circles of ‘fashion’ and into the popular consciousness...
Publish date:
February 25, 2013
shoppables, fashion, neon, spring summer 2013, x-ray spex, fluoro, rave, woman's hour, day-glo

This morning I heard Sasha ‘Liberty London Girl’ Wilkins and Camilla ‘How To Walk In High Heels’ Morton discussing the neon trend with Jane Garvey on my beloved Radio 4 Woman's Hour and this, combined with Alison Ivey’s awesome piece on neon beanies PLUS the neon nail polish I was given at a super-fun hen party on Saturday made me decide to write about it. Oh and this song:

Sasha explained that, far from leaping straight off the catwalk and into our wardrobes, trends tend to take a couple of years to filter down and become looks that we’re comfortable with adopting, and so it made sense that the first time we really saw neon was at Christopher Kane’s September 2010 show (for S/S11) and it’s only now that that it’s really taken off on the high street.

Camilla added that neon is “an accent, it punctuates an outfit” and I agree that this is definitely the best way to wear it – through accessories or a bit of beauty. Sasha added “Take a classic shape in a crazy colour... you want to be demure and then shock everybody.” As with most things in fashion, it's all about balance and contrast - wear a neon heel, or a day-glo dress, but in a classic, even ladylike shape.

One of the benefits of being a saddo stingy fashion hoarder is that if I wait long enough, my tatty old stuff eventually comes back into fashion and I don’t have to spend a penny to try out a trend. As soon as I heard that neon was a ‘thing’, I went and rummaged through my cupboards to see what fluoro jazz I could find.

Camilla mentioned neon nail polish and a neon-accented envelope clutch: got and GOT! I painted my nails with Butter London Nail Foundation first, before applying a couple of coats of Models Own ‘Luis Lemon’.

A neon bra strap peeping out is also a chic way to wear this. Mine is from Topshop, but I would happily purchase either of these...

Add a flash of day-glo energy to a sombre outfit by wearing a pair of Topshop's socks with your trusty brogues or ankle boots.

Topshop Fluro Yellow Fishnet socks, £4 and hot pink ankle socks, £4, Caroline Issa's new collection for LK Bennett is quite pricey, but the pieces are beautiful and whimsical so if you are looking for an investment piece you and have a bit of money to spend, you could do a lot worse than these lovely embroidered loafers. Look at the pompoms! Imagine them with cropped jeans or a full circle skirt in the spring - very Audrey Roman Holiday.

And here's a more affordable - but equally chic - option from good ol' Zara...

I love this leather, neon and black cuff from Whistles - this is probablythe easiest and most subtle way to incorporate the neon trend into your wardrobe.

I want either (or preferably both) of these clutches. They are so FUN!

If you're going to wear neon-hued clothes, these paler, washed-out offerings from Jaeger and Gap are an easy option,

Whether it's a skin-brightening fluoro coral lipstick or a pair of fishnet socks, neon is an uplifting, empowering colour to wear. Have these high street highlights persuaded you to give it a try? Oh and if you need any more inspiration, check out J.Crew's cashmere shop - it's a wondrous place...