Pastels go from dim to delightful

Blue, pink and lilac aren't just for babies and grannies any more

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.

Yawn.

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!)

shopellen@tribune.com

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

 

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