The neon prints and accessories that were once considered a whimsical (and regrettable) ghost of ‘90s fashion past have surfaced on the Spring/Summer 2012 runways with a vibrant punch. From electric turquoises at Rag & Bone to glowing neon sign-coloured gowns at Jason Wu, this colourful trend is a functional and playful style option to work into every occasion this summer. Here are four ways to try the neon trend at every difficulty level.

Neon fashion trend challenge: Beginner
The shoe

Where you’ve seen it: Two-toned, colour-blocked pumps and
sneaker wedges on Marc by Marc Jacob’s Spring/Summer 2012 runway.

How to wear it: Pair pumps with a sleek high-waisted skirt and crisp blouse to add a bold pop of colour to your office wardrobe. For the sartorially adventurous, don a coral knee-length frock along with Marc by Marc Jacob’s sleek black and poppy red heel.

Where to wear it: Make the two-toned pumps (playful mixes of cobalt, red and green) work for day or night—pair with an LBD and blazer for work and simply remove the jacket for après-hours cocktails. The tri-coloured kicks are a playful addition to your daytime ensemble.

Wattage meter: Minimal neon effect, yet just as effective—two glowing bulbs out of five.

Neon fashion trend challenge: Beginner
The top
Where you’ve seen it:
Lemon yellow silk blouse with ruffled collar on Ruffian’s Spring/Summer 2012 runway; the electric turquoise poncho from Rag & Bone’s Spring/Summer 2012 runway.

How to wear it: To brighten up an office look, pair with a black pencil skirt. Or try one in cobalt blue (if you should be so bold).

Where to wear it: Emit your own haute glow with the Rag & Bone blue poncho when hanging out by the campfire on long-weekend getaways.

Wattage meter: It’s getting hot in here—three brightly burning bulbs out of five.

Summer fashion 2012: Neon trend accessories

For more ways on how to wear the summer fashion neon trend, read on…
Neon fashion trend challenge: Intermediate
The dress
Where you’ve seen it:
A layered, popsicle lime gown with flowing train at Jason Wu’s Spring/Summer 2012 runway.

How to wear it: Like with the sun, all eyes will magnetically be drawn in your direction. Use your powers wisely: pair with statement black heels and
simple clutch to keep the bold neon dress the focal point of your look, which shouldn’t be too hard. Remember: Belted is always better, go for a slim patent leather number to wrap around the waist.

Where to wear it: Somewhere you can shine like the sun—light up the dance floor or a dimly lit ballroom. Not for a
first-date night (unless your own loud personality can outshine the vibrant gown).

Wattage meter: Stand back—3.5 radiating bulbs out of five.

Neon fashion trend challenge: Advanced
The skirt
Where you’ve seen it:
Van Gogh’s
Starry Night-inspired sleek lime knee-length on Rodarte’s Spring/Summer 2012 runway; the candy-coloured flapper-esque style from Peter Som’s Spring/Summer 2012 show.

How to wear it: Almost but not quite a full neon commitment, the bright, fitted bottom half of the ensemble is both a playful and elegant nod to one of the hottest runway trends this season. Scale back with a neutral blouse on top. Bonus points for
colour-blocking with a tangerine or coral jacket.

Where to wear it: Perfect for a Sunday brunch outdoors or a long-weekend spent on a chic patio in the city.

Wattage meter: Grab your shades—five brilliantly flashing bulbs out of five.

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