Trend report: How to wear neon

Jenessa Williams

Once the preserve of the 80s, neon is making a comeback. Here's how to wear the trend without going full day-glo. 

Where did the trend come from?

(From left to right: Balmain, Tom Ford, Tibi, Balenciaga)

Our appreciation of sportswear-as-everyday-wear has really put neon back on the map.

As a society, we’re more fitness-focused than ever, and designer brands are putting huge amounts of investment into athleisurewear, knowing that what we wear when we work out can have just as positive an impact on our mood as the workout itself.

Big brand partnerships such as Stella McCartney for Adidas and Rihanna for Puma only emphasize the increasing popularity of sportswear brands.

Alongside sportswear, the summer’s Pride celebrations have also had a huge influence on how we dress. As we champion self-expression and love as love, rainbow colour has made a comeback, reflected in slogan t-shirts, statement dresses and outlandish-accessorizing. What’s not to love about a trend that makes the world that little bit brighter?

 

What should I be looking for?

neon trend
(all images from whowhatwear)

The bolder the better! Choose your neons in fabrics such as chiffon, silk and neoprene to ensure that the colour will withstand washing and general wear and tear. Avoid cotton unless you’re ready for some serious upkeep—nobody likes a washed-out bright.

Neon footwear is a huge movement for this season, with the sock boot and slider trends showing no signs of going away.

For something a little more practical, shop for a neon trainer, ideal for the gym or for dressing up a jeans-and-jumper outfit.

 

How should I style this trend?

how to wear the trend neon

(From left to right, top to bottom: Topshop Earrings £10, Weekday Belt £20, John Lewis Sports Bra £18, Dolce & Gabbana handbag £875, ASOS tote bag £24, Balenciaga maxi dress £627, ADIDAS by Stella McCartney trainers £180, New Look Jumper £15.99, New Look Heels £19.99, Prada stripe skirt, £278, Peacocks Hoodie £8, Dorothy Perkins skater dress £12, ilia lipstick £22, New Look T-Shirt £7.99, Zara bumbag £29.99, Altuzarra Flares £248, H&M Leggings £10, Mango silk skirt £35)

To avoid looking like a fancy dress theme gone wrong, it’s best to steer clear of too much pattern. Pair clashing-block colours together to make a real impact, or add an acid-toned accessory into a more monochrome outfit if your usual look is a little more sedate.

For formal wear, choose styles with tighter fits and purposeful silhouettes that will flash just the right amount of skin.

A v-neck a line dress, tailored flared trousers or cropped playsuit all perfectly fit the bill and require very little in the way of accessorising.

 

Where can I get this look?

(From left to right, top to bottom: Paul & Joe Dress £590, Huda Beauty Electric Obsessions Palette £25, Valentino Bag £180, Dior Eyeliner £26, Moschino Dress £789, Nike Trainers £64.99, Primark Bodysuit £12, Zara Jumper £39.99, Urban Outfitters Bag £35, H&M Earrings £3, Kiko Eyeshadow £2.50, Mac lipstick £15, Prada clutch bag £590, Topshop polo shirt £20, Warehouse jumpsuit £56, Preen Dress £510, H&M Sock boot £20, Dollskill sliders £24.95)

For the best neon items, it’s worth searching high-end. Designers such as Preen, Prada and Balenciaga all use quality fabrics that allow neons to truly pop, cut in sophisticated ways that promote fashion forwardness.

If you’re on more of a budget, consider adding some high-octane colour into your makeup routine. Budget-friendly brands such as Kiko, Huda and Mac offer a huge array of high pigmented lipsticks and eyeshadows that work well as a day-to-night option.

Or perhaps try out some bright gym wear? H&M, Peacocks and New Look all have great ranges.