Pastels get no respect, and it's easy to see why.
Pale pink, lilac, light blue. They're the colors of baby clothes and grandma's lounge-around track suit.
But something is happening: Manufacturers are turning up the volume on the pales.
Now perked-up pigments and novel styling infuse clothes and accessories. Let's call it "pastel plus."
For instance, once-forgettable pale tangerine is now a hard-to-resist coral. And unexpected touches of acid yellow and teal turn a mundane aqua silk blouse into a showstopper.
And even that reviled pale pink looks new and utterly modern when it comes in shoulder-grazing runway-ready earrings.
To get you started, I went shopping for examples of the pastel-plus trend — a few well under $10 — that will perk up any spring wardrobe. (See the photos above -- click "captions" for more information, or read more below!)
Nail polish: Essie Lilacism, $8, drugstores, beauty.com
Blouse: Two by Vince Camuto color-block utility shirt, $98, Nordstrom, nordstrom.com
Men's shirts: Express 1MX, $59.90, express.com
Sunglasses: Forever 21, $5.80, forever21.com
Scarf: BP, $18, Nordstrom, nordstrom.com
Handbag: Charming Charlie, $30, charmingcharlie.com
Earrings: M. Haskell, $22.50, Macy's, macys.com