Get your own personal stylist to help you find clothes you love. All online, completely free

Sign In

Pastels have long been synonymous with spring. Maybe it’s the colours invoking spring blossom and the first flush of life after winter, or the fact that they just look so good in April’s soft sunshine. And yes, you should wear pastels in spring, as often as possible. But please, don’t put them back in the drawer when the leaves start to change colour. Worn right, pastels can be appreciated all year round.

“There’s this sense – that has been mostly perpetuated to make you want to buy new clothes – that certain things and colours are for certain seasons only,” says stylist Toby Standing. “The idea of seasonal colours does have some grounding – certain tones work better in certain lights – but that doesn’t mean they don’t work at other times too or that it’s all you can wear. No one will think it’s unusual if you wear a pastel t-shirt in autumn.” So does this mean you should break out the baby blues and pastel pinks and never look back? Kind of. “Your style is your style all year round and so, if pale colours work for you, go for it.”

But as the weather becomes more unpredictable (hello, t-shirt days in winter and snow in summer) your style has to become more versatile too. Instead of going crazy like a toddler with a painting set, Toby recommends a more measured approach – mix and match. A head-to-toe pastel look might feel too saccharine for a dreary day, but put a pastel shirt into the mix with some dark-blue jeans or khaki chinos and your pastels feel bright, but not overwhelming.

Or try a new take on tonal dressing and add a baby blue tone in with your navys. A hint of pastel peeking out from under a jumper or jacket adds a little life to your outfit, whatever the weather. If you’re already a walking advert for wearing colour, switching to pastels instead of the bolder, brighter tones can feel like a total wardrobe refresh, even if it’s not.  

“The changing of seasons shouldn’t dictate a complete change in style,” says Toby. “It should be a version of your style that is consistent all year, with different seasonal elements. It should feel like you, all the time.” With that in mind, think of pastels as swapping different elements in instead of replacing things. Do you have a maroon jumper that you love? Go for a peach one instead. If you constantly rotate the same primary colours, try switching in a pastel instead. It’s not as jarring as you might fear. 

There is no need to be so prescriptive about style choices in 2019, if you want to wear a pastel hoodie as the days get darker or see out the last of the summer in a pastel overshirt – go for it. We will be.

Words: Nadia Balame-Price
Photography: Andras Hari
Styling: Brooke Philips
Styling assistant: Izzy Harvey